Employers who have at least 3 workers are federally required to qualify as self-insured or obtain workers’ compensation insurance for the purpose of providing workers’ compensation benefits to their worker. Workers’ compensation, which was introduced during the early part of the twentieth century, was designed to provide financial assistance to workers who get injured on the job or who develop work-related illnesses, regardless of who was at fault for the injury or illness. This insurance benefit covers lost wages, medical costs, rehabilitation, disability and death. It is also meant to be provided without having to go through any litigation processes, but stipulates the exemption of employers from further legal responsibility concerning damages. An employee may have the right to pursue a civil case of negligence against his or her employer if he or she waives the right to claim Workers’ Comp. Benefits.
Many employers, however, compromise workers’ health and safety on the job by regularly exposing them to hazardous or toxic substances which develop in them severe cases of lung disorder. The possible illnesses that workers may suffer from (depending on the substance that they have been exposed to), include:
- Silicosis, which is due to inhalation of dust-containing silica;
- Pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, that is a result of inhaling coal dust over a long period of time;
- Chronic beryllium disease or (CBD), which is caused by the metallic element Beryllium;
- Byssinosis, a lung disease resulting from the prolonged inhalation of textile fiber dust;
- Bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), constrictive bronchiolitis (CB) or obliterative bronchiolitis (OB), which is a rare, yet life-threatening and non-reversible type of obstructive lung disease due to the inflammation or scarring of the bronchioles (small airway branches). This lung disease can be due to different factors, including exposure to poisonous fumes, like sulfur dioxide, diacetyl, chlorine, ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, thionyl chloride, and so forth.
According to the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC law firm, employees are always at risk of suffering a serious workplace injury even in seemingly safe workplaces, such as offices. Some injuries have left many employees seriously injured and unable to continue working, either for a period of time or in some instances, permanently. It is during this time that these employees need the best legal help they can get for a strong court representation which would help them claim the compensation they may deserve.