Occupational Disease Attorney in New York City

Workplace injuries come in all shapes and sizes and can have a lasting impact on your life. Most workers who suffer from an occupational disease are not aware that they have a right to file for workers comp benefits. Many workers do not link their conditions to work, and doctors do not ask the right questions to diagnose the connection between work and illness, resulting in 69% of occupational diseases being unreported.

But that does not make the occupational disease less devastating. Employers reported nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries every year. These conditions are often chronic and painful, with workers finding their wages and earning capacity decrease as pain, difficulty, and disability slowly take over their lives. In addition to the health effects, many employers will try and avoid paying these claims, which means it is up to you to protect your rights. This can be difficult without the help of an experienced lawyer.

If your workplace has left you sick or injured, it is time to talk to a workers' compensation attorney to start filing a claim. We are here for you every step of the way! The New York City occupational disease lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm will fight so that you get all the compensation you deserve after suffering from a work-related injury or illness.

If you develop health conditions linked to your line of work, call us at (212) 268-3222 to schedule a free consultation and start your claim.

Occupation Diseases Covered Under Workers' Comp in New York

An occupational disease is an illness contracted due to risk factors in your line of work. These risks must be due to your work duties and not just your work environment.

For example, a data entry professional who develops tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive computer use has an occupational disease. Keyboard use is part of their job description, and evidence shows that it leads to musculoskeletal conditions. However, if the same data entry professional suffers severe allergies because their workplace installed a poor ventilation system, that condition is not an occupational disease. That worker cannot prevail in a worker’s comp claim, but they may have a course of action in a civil liability case.

Specific work-related illnesses may include:

  • Asbestosis: Asbestos exposure while demolishing or remodeling buildings; does not include asbestos exposure while working in an affected building. This lung disease produces coughing and irritation and is often the precursor to mesothelioma, asbestos-linked cancer.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Normally related to repetitive actions like keyboarding and manufacturing processes (folding, lifting, swinging, twisting, tying, etc.).
  • Contact dermatitis: Skin conditions due to particle or chemical exposure or constant friction while performing work duties.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): COPD is the fourth cause of death worldwide, and approximately 15 percent of COPD diagnoses link to occupational hazards. It develops due to exposure to vapors, gases, dust, and fumes, especially coal dust, silica, and cotton dust.
  • Bronchitis: Like COPD, bronchitis arises from occupational lung irritants.
  • Lateral epicondylitis: Also known as tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis develops from repetitive motions, especially repeated heavy lifting and other forceful tasks.
  • Asthma: Occupational asthma is the most common occupational breathing illness in industrialized countries. Like other conditions, asthma arises from dust and fume exposure. But asthma is more likely to occur from sensitizers like paints, cleaning products, beauty products, resins, and spray insulation. Bakers, factory workers, farmers, and hairdressers are few occupations where asthma is common.
  • Hearing loss: Construction workers, machinists, and factory workers may experience reduced hearing over time.
  • Cancer: Cancer may be the severe result of exposure to workplace hazards. If your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer after years of working around particles, fumes, and other risks, it is likely worth investigating.
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome: This condition may accompany other repetitive stress injuries with carpal tunnel or tendonitis. It is common for workers who use industrial power tools and constantly absorb their vibration while working.
  • Tendonitis: Like carpal tunnel, tendonitis is common with computer work and other light repetitive tasks.
  • Rabies: Rabies is a risk for workers who handle animals or work in natural settings where exposure to wildlife is a common hazard.

If you believe your health condition is related to an occupational disease, you need to see your doctor immediately. Once you receive a diagnosis, schedule a case evaluation with a personal injury attorney who handles workers’ comp. Since many of these conditions are expensive to treat and require long recovery periods, workers’ compensation can ease the financial end of your ordeal and ensure better peace of mind.

Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim for an Occupational Disease

Occupational disease claims are frequently complex and follow an exact procedure. You can receive benefits for occupational disease, but proving its link to your work duties is difficult. A workers' compensation occupational disease attorney at Raphaelson & Levine offer the experience necessary to complete your employee claim form correctly and increase your chances of securing benefits.

However, time is of the essence. Contact us as soon as possible as deadlines for completing your claim form are:

  • two years from the date of your disability from the occupational illness, OR
  • two years from the time you knew (or should have known) that the disease was due to the nature of employment.

For hearing loss, deadlines are tighter:

  • Three months from the day your workplace removed you from the noise (assigning ear protection counts as removal); OR
  • Three months after leaving your job to reduce exposure to harmful noise

For best results, contact us as soon as you confirm your medical condition. Your health insurance company may not cover all of your medical treatment, and your expenses will add up quickly. Workers’ compensation can offer relief when medical bills seem to spiral out of control.

Speak With a New York City Occupational Disease Lawyer Today

If you suspect you suffered an occupational injury due to your assigned work duties, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine offer the knowledge and compassion to help you navigate the workers’ comp benefits system and secure benefits for your medical condition. Call (212) 268-3222 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.

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Located near Penn Station in New York, NY, our law firm serves Nassau County, Rockland County, Suffolk County, Westchester and all of New York State, including the five boroughs of NYC: Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
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