Occupational diseases are illnesses caused by the nature of the circumstances surrounding a worker’s job. For example, asbestosis is a disease that may have been caused by a worker’s job of removing asbestos from buildings. Some forms of skin, eye or lung disease may have been caused by long term exposure to chemical solvents or other solutions used on the job. Conditions such as these may result in the employees being covered by workers’ compensation even though there was no specific “accident;” they are covered as occupational diseases.
Occupational diseases are different than accidental injuries in that occupational diseases usually develop over time and are slow and insidious in their onset while accidental injuries occur at a specific moment in time.
Occupational diseases could include many things caused by many different on-the-job exposures. Overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow could be included as well as injuries to the spine or joints due to wear and tear. Hearing loss due to noise exposure could also be a claim.
In 1997, our firm was the first in the State to successfully pursue a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occupational disease claim. A claim was made on behalf of Baltimore County EMT who had multiple exposures to horrific accident scenes resulting in her developing PTSD. This case opened the door for many of our first responders get the treatment they needed for this condition.
If you think you have developed an ailment or illness due to repeated exposure to hazards associated with your job, contact us at 410-687-7878 and schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney today.