Most people understand that, when you’ve been hurt at work, your first (and often exclusive) remedy for lost wages and medical expenses is a workers’ compensation claim. But what if it’s not an injury suffered in an accident, but an illness caused by something at your job? Can you still seek benefits if your job has made you sick?

The good news—yes, workers’ compensation laws in New Jersey allow claimants to recover benefits for any disease or illness caused by conditions at work. If you work in an environment with toxic chemicals or other substances, you may have a valid claim for workers’ compensation if you contract cancer or some similar illness. If your job involves exposure to dust, fumes or fibers, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for silicosis or for asthma-like conditions. In addition, if you are employed in a high-stress job, working as a law enforcement officer, a firefighter or an EMT, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation if you develop high blood pressure, or suffer a heart attack or stroke.

In order to successfully recover workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease, you must demonstrate a clear connection between the job and your illness. If you suspect that you have a health problem because of exposure to something at work, your first course of action should be to see a physician. Be certain to document exactly when the symptoms first appeared and where you were working at the time.

It’s also important to understand that, if the substance that caused your illness was manufactured or installed by someone unrelated to your employer, you may be able to file a lawsuit in court against that party. You will likely have to wait longer to resolve the dispute, but you won’t be limited to the damages available through a workers’ compensation claim.

Contact Our Office

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

Speak Your Mind