Isn’t Illness Just a Risk You Have to Take for Some Jobs?
When you think of workers’ compensation, you likely envision a work accident or injury. However, workers’ comp may cover more than just physical harm. Here’s what you should know about bringing forward a claim after contracting an illness at work.
Some jobs, like being a childcare worker, a teacher, or a nurse, naturally expose you to more germs, bacteria, and viruses than other types of work. Doesn’t the risk of illness come with these types of jobs, or can you sue your employer for damages you suffered as a result of the illness if you can prove it was contracted at work?
Bringing forward a workers’ compensation claim for illness is more complex than, say, a witnessed accident that resulted in physical injury. However, if your employer had an obligation to protect you from exposure to pathogens and failed to do so, you may be able to pursue a claim.
Your Employer’s Responsibility to You
Some employers have a special responsibility to protect their employees from contracting illnesses on the job. For example, construction companies whose employees may be working with asbestos should be provided with proper personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a mask and gloves, to prevent the inhalation of asbestos.
Hospitals should provide gloves to phlebotomists to protect against blood borne diseases, and manufacturing facilities should provide earplugs to protect against hearing loss.
What Happens When Your Employer Does Not Adequately Protect You From Illness
If your employer has neglected to adequately protect you from contracting an illness on the job that they should have reasonably known about, you may be able to bring forward a workers’ compensation claim. You may also be able to sue your employer for damages related to the illness.
This could include but is not limited to emergency medical care, hospital stays, diagnostic testing, imaging, medication, and time away from work due to illness.
When to Contact an Experienced Florida Workers’ Comp Attorney
If you’ve contracted an illness that you believe was a result of exposure on the job, it’s important that you reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. You may be eligible for benefits, but how quickly you act after the discovery of your illness plays a significant role in the approval or denial of your claim.
Contact Marshall Adler today for more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your claim at 407-648-5523.