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Asbestos and Workers’ Compensation

January 8, 2020

Asbestos causes extreme health issues in workers routinely exposed to its airborne toxins. Often decades after exposure, workers become ill with severe lung diseases and even cancer. Workers affected by on-the-job exposure to asbestos are eligible to collect workers’ compensation for their illness and its effects.

Asbestos is a natural fibrous material that was used in building materials until it was became heavily regulated for health reasons. It became known that breathing in the airborne fibers caused people to become sick. Despite the reductions in certain applications as a result of regulations, asbestos is still used commercially in some industries. It also still exists in older buildings, job worksites, and certain materials in use to this day.

What Types of Illnesses are Caused by Asbestos?

Asbestos is mostly known for causing lung issues, including specific types of cancer like mesothelioma. People exposed to asbestos can develop lung problems, some of which do not show up until many years after the exposure. In addition to the effects of asbestos on the lungs, the irritating materials can be ingested and cause health conditions to other organs. These damaging materials have even been known to migrate to other areas of the body and the cancers they cause can also spread.

Jobs Affected by Asbestos

Workers in the construction or mining industries are commonly associated with asbestos exposure. There are many other occupations that present an asbestos risk to employees, including:

  • Firefighters
  • Industrial and chemical workers
  • Power plant employees
  • Shipyard laborers
  • Insulators
  • Steel mill workers
  • Textile mill workers
  • Agricultural laborers
  • Railroads workers
  • Electricians

Workers’ Compensation

When a worker becomes aware of their asbestos-related diagnosis and they are able to connect the exposure to their job, they should notify their employer to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that covers employees who became ill or injured while performing their job duties. Workers’ compensation benefits provide coverage for:

  • Medical care
  • Replacement income for lost wages
  • Possible training or assistance for a new job

When a work injury occurs, the sooner the problem is reported, the better. There are statutes of limitation that apply for most claims. The long latency period for asbestos-related claims complicates matters. As part of the initial report, the employer will require the employee to fill out a claim form to be submitted to the company’s insurance provider and the state board designated to review workers’ compensation cases. After a review period, the claim is approved or denied. In the case of denials, an appeals process is available.

Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Represent Workers Suffering from Asbestos Exposure

If you became sick after exposure to asbestos at work, contact the Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP. We can help you obtain compensation for your illness. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-761-3773. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken.

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