Some workers may be at risk of developing chronic pain or an occupational disease because of job tasks or environments. In some cases, workers in what are relatively low-risk industries may develop chronic pain or illness while at work. If you believe your job caused you to develop chronic pain or a disease, you may be able to recover benefits.
Types of Occupational Diseases
An occupational condition is a disease, illness, or other health condition caused by a work-related activity or workplace environment. An environment at the workplace may put a worker at risk of diseases like cancer. For example, exposure to asbestos, such as in the home repair and demolition industries, may put workers at risk for mesothelioma.
Some workers must use hazardous chemicals in their everyday duties, and may be at risk of various medical conditions, depending on the type of chemical the worker is using.
Chronic Pain in the Workplace
According to the American Chronic Pain Association, pain is the number one cause of adult disability in the United States. Many occupational conditions cause pain. For example, workers who use their hands throughout the day may be prone to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause pain in the hand and wrist. Other workers may develop lower back pain or neck pain as they lift heavy objects or perform repetitive motions.
Chronic pain may develop as a result of a variety of workplace-related tasks, and may be related to or in some cases may be caused by an occupational disease. Those who develop pain and suffer from it on a regular basis should inform their employers and seek medical attention.
Back Pain Injury Video
Does workers’ compensation cover occupational diseases and chronic pain?
A workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease will only be accepted if a worker’s work and medical history shows that an illness or infection was caused by the worker’s job and not related to something else. Like an occupational disease, compensation for chronic pain may be awarded if the pain was directly caused by a worker’s job, and not by an unrelated or preexisting condition
In order to recover workers’ compensation benefits, you will have to prove that your pain or disease is work-related. But this can be difficult in some cases. You will need relevant medical documentation from doctors who are treating you. You may need an attorney if the workers’ comp insurer or an employer is arguing that your condition is unrelated to your job duties or environment.
Additionally, Washington State Workers’ Compensation Law requires that all claims for occupational diseases (and chronic pain) be filed within two years that a nurse or healthcare practitioner gives you notice of the disease’s existence, and thus your right to file for workers’ compensation.
Why You Need the Help of a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Unlike a workplace accident that results in an injury, filing a workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease or chronic pain isn’t always straightforward. While an accident with a visible injury is obvious, proving that your disease or chronic pain was caused by your job can be difficult.
Subsequently, your claim for benefits may be denied if you do not present adequate evidence. To help you file a successful claim and recover the benefits that you’re entitled to, seeking legal help may be within your best interest.
At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, our attorneys have the legal knowledge and determination to help you pursue your claim and benefits. To get started on filing your claim today, call our offices now at 844-920-2438.