Occupational diseases are serious conditions that can severely hinder a worker’s ability to do his or her job, and they can even become fatal if left unchecked. It is the responsibility of every employer to maintain a safe work environment that minimizes the chance of injury or illness to employees. If a work-related illness does develop, however, an employee has the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Occupational disease claims are complex cases that should be handled by an experienced Georgia occupational disease attorney. At the law firm of Hilley & Frieder in Atlanta, we represent clients throughout the Atlanta area and across the state in a broad range of occupational disease claims, including illnesses arising from toxic exposure, lung diseases and others.
If you have developed an illness or disease that was a direct result of doing your job, contact us today.
The law surrounding these cases is complicated and the burden of proof is high. To be successful, we need to prove that the victim’s workplace is where he or she was exposed to the conditions or toxins that caused the disease. Our attorneys have the skill and the resources to fully investigate your case and seek the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Our lawyers have experience handling claims related to a wide variety of occupational diseases, including:
No matter what type of illness or disease you contracted because of your occupation, contact us for a free consultation. We will provide an in-depth analysis of your situation to determine if your case has merit. If so, we may offer to represent you when going up against your employer, an insurance company or another party in pursuit of fair workers’ compensation benefits.
In Georgia, you do not have to prove that someone else was negligent or responsible for your occupational disease to qualify for workers’ compensation. For example, you do not need proof that your employer failed to protect you from a known toxin or contaminant in the workplace. You do, however, need evidence connecting your diagnosis to your occupation.
You need proof that your illness or disease stems from tasks completed within the course and scope of your employment. This requires clear and convincing evidence of causation – specifically, proof that your disease was caused by conditions that are specific to your particular job. You will need to show that your disease would not have happened were it not for your occupation.
Proving an occupational disease requires evidence that you were exposed to a hazardous or toxic substance or environment during the course of your employment. For example, you may need environmental tests that show exposure to dangerous chemicals, asbestos, mold, vapors or infectious diseases at work. Then, you will need to show that work is where you were most consistently exposed to the hazard.
You will also need proof of the occupational disease itself. This can be more difficult than proving a bodily injury, as hard evidence such as x-rays may not be available. However, many occupational diseases can be proven with medical tests. You may also need evidence such as medical expert testimony to effectively connect your condition to your occupation.
If an insurance company accepts your workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, you can receive financial benefits to cover many past and future related losses without having to prove negligence. The types and amounts of compensation available depend on your case and the laws in your state. Georgia’s workers’ compensation system allows employees with occupational diseases and illnesses to recover compensation for all of the following:
It’s important to consult with a lawyer about the value of your workers’ compensation claim before you accept an amount offered by an insurance company. You may be entitled to more than the insurance carrier initially offers as a settlement. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently devalue claims to try to save money on client payouts. Rather than quickly accepting the first settlement offer, contact an attorney at Hilley & Frieder to discuss the value of your occupational illness case.
Ronald Hilley was the contributing attorney to this content.