When workers suffer occupational illnesses, they may wonder if they are eligible for Workers’ Compensation. This is normally the best course of action for injuries or illnesses that result quickly after being exposed to an irritant or other harmful work hazard. Exposure to asbestos can be a bit more complex since this type of exposure usually results in an illness with a long latency period. Mesothelioma is the most common illness related to asbestos exposure, and it could take many years before an employee actually develops the illness. The employee may no longer be employed with that employer or the employer may no longer exist.
If asbestos exposure results in an illness that is diagnosed within the 300-week time period, then a Workers’ Compensation claim can be filed. The employee will have to show that he or she was exposed in that timeframe and that the illness was caused by the exposure.
There are also other limits for Workers’ Compensation claims. Workers’ Compensation can include coverage for medical care and replacement income, but it is a non-adversarial process, which means that it does not find fault or blame against any employer. As a result, any award under Workers’ Compensation does not include punitive or compensatory damages, even if an employee can prove that the employer knew of the hazard, but continually exposed employees to that hazard.
It is possible to bring a Workers’ Compensation claim against a company for exposure to asbestos for certain types of illnesses, such as asbestosis, which has a shorter latency period than other types of diseases associated with asbestos exposure.
For many other cases where the illness is not discovered within 300 weeks of employment or exposure, workers should explore possibilities of other types of legal claims. It is beneficial to reach out to an attorney who is familiar with these types of third-party claims. Personal injury claims, bankruptcy claims, or government disability programs may be more appropriate for certain employees, depending on their circumstances.
Employees should act quickly in some circumstances since life expectancy after diagnosis is approximately 12 months. These odds can be improved with treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The employee’s estate may be handled if it continues after the employee’s death. To determine the best course of action in your case, contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer immediately.
Our Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Gross & Kenny, LLP can assist you if you have been injured or sustained an illness because of conditions at your workplace. These cases are often complex, especially if you suffer from an illness with a long latency period. Contact us online or call us at 215-512-1500 today for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.
At Gross & Kenny, LLP we view the safety and well-being of our clients, staff and business partners as our highest priority.
The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus is continually changing, and we are following all recommended guidelines to stay healthy.
Currently, our law firm is remaining open to serve your legal needs. If you were working light duty or modified duty as a result of a work injury in Pennsylvania and were recently laid off or terminated from your job due to the Coronavirus you may be entitled to weekly workers' compensation checks for lost wages moving forward. Contact us to find out . We are open and ready to assist.
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