Do you believe that you developed a work-related condition? Filing an occupational disease claim through the Louisiana workers comp system can be a complex and challenging process.
We will explain what qualifies as an occupational disease under Louisiana law, and explain how a skilled New Orleans occupational illness lawyer can help you win your case.
How is an Occupational Disease Defined under Louisiana Workers Comp
According to the Louisiana Revised Statutes 23:1031.1, for a condition to be classified as an occupational disease, it must meet certain criteria. It must arise out of and be in the course of employment. This means that the condition must have developed due to factors directly related to your job duties and responsibilities.
The illness must also be characteristic of individuals employed in similar occupations or industries. In other words, if others working in your profession are at risk of developing the same condition due to their work environment or job tasks, then it may qualify as an occupational disease.
Common Example of Occupational Illnesses
Occupational illnesses can vary greatly depending on the nature of one’s job and exposure to certain hazards. However, the most common conditions giving rise to occupational disease claims are:
- Cancer, including mesothelioma and skin cancer
- Infections, including those caused by old
- Loss of hearing due to exposure to loud noises
- Inflammatory conditions due to overuse: carpal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, lateral epicondylitis, tendonitis
- Poisoning by lead and chemicals
- Respiratory conditions, including asbestosis
- Skin conditions, including eczema and contact dermatitis.
If you believe you have developed an occupational disease due to your job-related duties, it’s crucial to consult an experienced New Orleans occupational illness lawyer who can guide you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and help ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
What Is Not Covered by Workers Comp
Not all conditions are covered by workers comp in Louisiana. The reason for this is that it is difficult to determine that they were exclusively caused by your job duties and not by other everyday activities.
Some of these conditions are:
- Heart disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease.
However, if your lawyer can prove that your work duties made an existing condition worse, you may have the right to file an occupational disease claim. Additionally, some first responders, such as firefighters, may file a workers comp claim for heart disease, as it was proven that their type of work can directly contribute to the onset of this condition.
What Is the Deadline for Filing an Occupational Disease Claim?
Under Louisiana law, the deadline for filing an occupational disease claim is one year from the date when:
- The disease manifested itself
- You became disabled from working as a result of the condition
- You know or have reasonable grounds to believe that the condition is work related.
It’s worth noting that the prescriptive period begins only when all three conditions above are met. For example, you may experience carpal tunnel syndrome at one date, but become unable to perform your job duties a few months later and realize that overuse may be the cause of your condition. The date when you come to this realization and become aware of the disability is the starting point for the one year deadline.
How Can A Lawyer Help You Win Your Claim?
Navigating the Louisiana workers’ comp system can be complex and overwhelming, especially when it comes to occupational disease claims. This is where an experienced New Orleans occupational illness lawyer can make a significant difference in your case.
A skilled attorney will thoroughly evaluate the details of your situation to determine if you have a valid claim. They will assess your medical records, work history, and other relevant evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.
Additionally, an attorney will handle all communication with insurance companies and their adjusters. They are well-versed in dealing with these entities and know how to negotiate for fair compensation. By having legal representation, you won’t have to worry about being taken advantage of or settling for less than what you deserve.
Furthermore, a lawyer will advocate for your rights at every stage of the process. Whether it’s filing necessary paperwork or representing you at hearings or appeals, they ensure that all deadlines are met and that no detail goes unnoticed.
Moreover, an attorney can help gather additional evidence by consulting expert witnesses who specialize in occupational diseases. These professionals can provide valuable insight and testimony that strengthens your case significantly.
If litigation becomes necessary, a skilled lawyer will aggressively fight for your rights in court. They understand the intricacies of the law and how to present compelling arguments that support your claim while countering any opposition from the defense.
Talk to an Experienced New Orleans Occupational Illness Attorney!
Filing a successful occupational disease claim can be complex and challenging, but with the help of an experienced New Orleans occupational illness lawyer, you can navigate the process and fight for the benefits you deserve.
Don’t let your employer or insurance company deny or minimize your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation: 504-420-2755!