Recovering For Occupational Diseases In Connecticut
Most workers’ compensation cases involve a sudden, acute injury suffered by a worker on the job. However, Connecticut law allows employees to recover for occupational illnesses and diseases as well – that is, long-term conditions caused directly by a workplace condition or environment. It can be more difficult to recover for an occupational illness or disease because their symptoms can manifest at any point, but with an experienced attorney, it is possible to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.
Colloquially, there is no real difference between an ‘illness’ and a ‘disease,’ but legally, one can draw a distinction because an occupational disease is generally identified among workers in a specific profession or specialty, compared to the general public. An occupational illness, meanwhile, is any kind of long-term ailment that can be traced back to something occurring on the job – for example, exposure to dangerous chemicals or polluted air.
The crux of most of these types of cases is whether or not the occupational condition can be linked to the sufferer’s employment. Sometimes, doing so is easy – say, a textile worker can generally link a respiratory condition to their employment with little trouble – but the jurisprudence on this issue is complex. The condition does not have to be unique to a profession, but it does have to be “distinctively associated” with that profession so that a causal connection can be established.
If you have developed an occupational disease or illness while working in Connecticut, some of the procedures for seeking benefits will be the same as if you had sustained a physical injury. The major difference will be the time frame; a physical injury may be defined as to a specific place and time – a claim must be filed within one year from the date of the accident, while one must report a suspected occupational disease within three years of the first symptoms. Keeping complete and accurate medical records can be crucial, both for your care and in case you are challenged on your need for benefits.
Call A Stratford, CT Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Occupational illnesses and diseases can be difficult to diagnose and treat, but if you have the symptoms of one, you have the right to seek benefits for what you have been through. A Stratford workers’ compensation attorney from the Morizio Law Firm can help answer your questions about a potential case. Contact our office at 475-338-3505 for a free consultation.