Three Top Occupational Diseases In Minnesota
An occupational disease is any condition that occurs over the course of more than one work shift. These workers’ compensation cases are often just as serious as falls and other trauma injuries, and much more complex.
The same time deadlines apply in both kinds of cases. However, most people do not immediately think “work injury” when they go to the doctor for breathing problems, hearing issues, or other such matters. The best practice is to file a claim at the very first indication of a link to a Minneapolis employer. The claimant has peace of mind that the paperwork is in order, and the claim can always be withdrawn later.
Moreover, many of these illnesses involve a pre-existing condition or have a partial non-work cause. If the job injury was a substantial contributing factor, the entire injury is covered. This analysis includes the nature and severity of:
- The prior injury,
- The prior symptoms, and
- The job injury.
If at all possible, the insurance company nearly always challenges occupational disease claims based on a pre-existing condition, even if the non-work injury or disease is decades old and/or not directly related to the claimed occupational disease.
This occupational disease is one of the most common claims. Extended exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels, which is basically mechanical garden tools, like leaf blowers, aircraft engines, or assembly line noise, often causes at least partial hearing loss.
The bad news is that such hearing loss is nearly always permanent and often degenerative, meaning that it gets worse if not properly treated. The good news is that hearing aids are smaller and more effective than ever before, and they usually completely cure even rather serious hearing loss.
Minnesota workers’ compensation plans pay for these devices 100 percent, as well as any necessary doctor visits and other costs.
Like hearing loss, insurance companies almost always claim that joint pain occurred because of non-work activity or a pre-existing condition. Any position that involves repetitive bending or stooping, such as warehouse or delivery work, can cause back, leg, knee, ankle, and other joint pain. Once again, workers’ compensation pays all the associated medical bills. In addition, most victims receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage while they recover from surgery or are otherwise unable to work because of their job-related pain.
Since only one asbestos fiber can cause lung cancer or other serious health issues, asbestos exposure is not technically and occupational disease. Nonetheless, most workers’ compensation insurance companies categorize it as such, mostly because of the issues involved. Many asbestos illnesses have extremely long incubation periods of up to thirty or forty years. It is very difficult for victims to make a connection between a job they had in the 1980s and the lung cancer they develop in the 2010s.
Aggressive representation is essential, because cancer treatments are so expensive that almost no one can afford to pay them out-of-pocket. Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits are almost literally a matter of life and death in these instances.
Connect With a Tenacious Attorney
Significant workers’ compensation benefits are available for occupational diseases, but the insurance companies do not simply give them away. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Minnesota, contact the Gunther Law Office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in workers’ compensation cases.