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I Think I Have Been Chemically Exposed at Work – Should I File a Claim?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2018 | Worker's Compensation

Most jobs present some kind of risk to one’s health or physical wellbeing, even if that risk is small. Indeed, even a teacher could suffer a slip-and-fall accident or be assaulted by a student. But some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, and workers who work around dangerous chemicals are at an increased risk of occupational injury or disease as a result of exposure to those chemicals. If you have been chemically exposed at work and are wondering whether or not you have a workers’ compensation claim, here’s a look into what you need to know–

Have You Suffered an Injury as a Result of the Chemical Exposure?

Exposure to some substances that are chemical in nature can cause instant harm to a worker. For example, if bleach gets into a person’s eyes, it can cause permanent damage to the nerves and tissues. Bleach can also cause serious chemical burns to one’s skin.

If you have suffered an immediate and acute injury as a result of exposure to a chemical that occurred on the job and during the course of your employment, then you should absolutely notify your employer of the injury immediately and begin the process of seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

Has Chemical Exposure Led to an Occupation Disease?

In some cases, exposure to a (chemical) substance in the workplace will not leave a person with an acute injury, but will contribute to the development of a serious disease or condition in the future. For example, workers exposed to things like diesel fumes, manganese (used in welding rods), asbestos, wood dust, solvents, and numerous other materials and toxic chemicals may be at risk of developing cancer, respiratory conditions, and/or liver and kidney damage. Chronic effects are often delayed, and result from continued exposure to chemicals.

If you have developed an occupational disease and have proof of that disease–i.e. You have received an official diagnosis from a doctor–you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. As found in Iowa Code Chapter 85A, occupational diseases–those diseases that arise out of an in the course of employment and have a direct causal connection to the employment–are covered under workers’ compensation.

Unfortunately, if you have been chemically exposed at work and haven’t suffered any obvious harm, you cannot bring forth a claim based on the exposure itself. You must have evidence that the exposure has led to an injury or occupational disease.

Our Lawyers Can Help You

Bringing forth a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging to do, especially if you are bringing forth a claim for an occupational disease – proving causation between exposure to a dangerous substance and your condition is complicated. Our lawyers have the resources that your case needs and know how to prove causation. We are experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Council Bluffs who are passionate about representing injured workers like you.

For a free consultation with our Council Bluffs workers’ compensation legal team, please send us a message telling us more about your case or call our law office directly. We are ready to start working on your case today.