Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Act applies to both workplace injuries and occupational diseases (OD). Occupational diseases, or occupational conditions, tend to occur gradually over time and are usually the result of repeated exposure to hazardous conditions in the workplace. If you have contracted an occupational disease, you have the right to file a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Our certified workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience with occupational disease cases in Ohio. We successfully argued a beryllium disease case in front of the Ohio Supreme Court to recover the maximum compensation possible in our client.
What is an Occupational Disease?
To meet the definition of an occupational disease, your condition must be contracted in the course of employment. In such a situation, the conditions of employment put the employee at a greater risk of illness than the general public. In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you have to establish that your illness was caused by a work-related exposure.
According to OSHA, some of the most common occupational diseases are caused by exposures to:
- Air contaminants such as dust, gases, or fumes
- Extreme levels of noise, vibrations, temperature, or light
- Repetitive motions, heavy lifting, or other ergonomic problems
- Biological hazards such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other living organisms
- Radiation or radioactive rays
Common Types of Occupational Diseases
Ohio Revised Code §4123.68 includes a list of recognized occupational diseases, but it is not exhaustive and does not guarantee that your claim will be approved. Some examples of occupational disease include:
- Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Occupational Disease Claims Process
An occupational disease claim must be filed within two years of the date of disability or within six months from the date of diagnosis by a licensed physician, whichever period is longer. In order to qualify for benefits, the applicant must demonstrate:
- The applicant was harmed as a result of a work-related exposure
- The work-related exposure caused the applicant’s occupational disease or illness
- The nature or conditions of employment created a greater hazard to the employee/applicant than to the general public
Workers’ compensation benefits include payment of medical bills for treatment associated with the occupational disease. The benefits you can expect to receive will depend on the specific facts of your claim. In general, an award can include following types of compensation:
- Temporary total compensation
- Wage loss compensation
- Percentage of permanent partial disability for residual impairment
- Permanent total disability
- Lump sum settlement award
It is advisable to work with an experienced Ohio Workers’ Compensation attorney when filing an occupational disease claim. A skilled attorney can help make sure that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations, help protect your rights, and improve the likelihood of your claim being approved.
Contact an Experienced Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer For Help
At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, we have extensive experience handling occupational disease claims for injured Ohio workers. Our skilled team of attorneys can answer your questions about the workers’ compensation claims process, explain your options, and fight to secure the compensation you deserve. We provide compassionate representation and individualized communication throughout the claims process so that you can focus on recovery. Let us put our resources, knowledge, and skills to work for you.
Call us today at (419) 625-7770 for a free consultation today.