New Jersey Occupational Exposure Lawyers
At Shebell & Shebell, we take pride in providing injured workers with the highest quality representation. Our reputation as one of the leading Workers’ Compensation law firms in New Jersey has been built upon our tireless advocacy and extensive experience. Together our team of Workers’ Compensation lawyers has amassed over eight decades of experience.
What Is Occupational Exposure?
“Occupational exposure” refers to situations where a worker develops illness or disease as a result of working conditions. This type of injury is often the result of years of dedication and hard work in a dangerous environment. Even if you carefully adhere to safety procedures, unintended accidents and exposure can still occur. Common examples of dangerous contaminants you may encounter on the job include:
- Lead particles
If you have ever been employed in a place where these toxins are pervasive, you may have inhaled them, or had them come in contact with your skin.
Occupational exposure can occur suddenly, as the result of a single unexpected accident, or, the effects might accumulate slowly over time. Resulting health problems might not be apparent for years. If you have reason to believe that you are suffering from occupational exposure, we can arrange for a skilled medical expert to identify any health conditions that may have arisen from your employment. Common problems include difficulty breathing, respiratory disease, pulmonary disease, skin rashes, mesothelioma and other conditions.
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for Occupational Exposure
If you believe that you were exposed to harmful contaminants on the job, you should report the exposure to your employer. This should prompt an immediate investigation. Your employer should notify its insurance carrier immediately so that an injury report can be filed with the State of New Jersey.
In order to collect benefits for occupational exposure, your disability must have been caused by the specific work you performed or the environment where you worked. If your body is merely deteriorated due to the natural aging process, you are not eligible for Workers’ Compensation. However, if multiple causes contribute to your disability, you may still have a viable claim. For example, if you are a firefighter and have been exposed to dangerous amounts of smoke on a regular basis, you may still qualify for Workers’ Compensation even if you also smoke cigarettes.
An injured employee bears the burden of proving the existence of an “occupational disease,” and a causal connection between that disease and their occupation. In addition, courts have established a statute of limitations on filing a claim. Generally, an employee has two years from the date they knew about their disability and its relationship to their job. Injured workers may file claims even if they are no longer working for the same employer. This is because due to the nature of occupational exposure disability, the injury may not be apparent until many years after the exposure.
Explore Your Rights With A Free Consultation
Workers are often unwilling to file for Workers’ Compensation because they fear they will lose their job. However, New Jersey law prohibits discrimination against those who file for Workers’ Compensation. If you have developed a condition as a result of occupational exposure, contact an experienced lawyer at Shebell & Shebell to discuss your case. Call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online.
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