Depending on your career, being exposed to chemicals may be a typical part of your workday. However, even if exposure to chemicals is a necessary part of your job, your employer is still required to protect you from the potential damage of these chemicals.
If you’ve been exposed to chemicals in your workplace that have caused you some sort of harm, then you have a variety of options to help you recover, including filing a workers’ compensation claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Learn about workplace chemical exposure, and why you should file a suit with the help of a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation attorney.
Federal Workplace Regulations for Chemicals
There are many dangerous chemicals that you could be exposed to in your workplace, including asbestos and carbon monoxide. Since the 1970’s, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has maintained rules for chemicals in the workplace that are designed to protect worker safety.
While the main focus of these OSHA rules is to outline acceptable chemical levels, they also require employers to maintain worker safety by providing them with protective equipment if chemical levels surpass a certain level. If you find that your employer is not complying with OSHA regulations, you might be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation Laws
In most states, workers are required to go through the workers’ compensation system instead of filing a personal injury lawsuit. With a successful workers’ comp claim, you may be able to receive both coverage of your medical bills resulting from your chemical exposure and compensation for lost wages.
Unfortunately, many workers’ compensation claims are denied. This is why it’s always a good idea to consult with a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation attorney. Your workers’ comp attorney should be able to help you file your claim and can help you if your claim is denied.
Proving Chemical Exposure and Injury
Many workers are unaware of just how difficult it is to prove that you have suffered harm from prolonged chemical exposure. For instance, the type of lung cancer that is commonly caused by asbestos exposure can also result from a long-term smoking habit, which can complicate both a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury suit.
If you’re suffering from a serious ailment and suspect that the cause is chemical exposure, it’s important that you act quickly and decisively. First, you should alert your employer of the dangerous condition as soon as possible, as this is a key part of a workers’ comp claim. Second, you should seek treatment from a doctor so that you can identify the cause of your illness. Extensive medical records are useful for both workers’ comp and injury lawsuits.
Consult a Winston-Salem Workers’ Compensation Attorney
As you can see, workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits involving chemical exposure can be very difficult, particularly if you don’t have an experienced lawyer on your side. Get advice about your case by working with a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation attorney from Lewis & Keller.
The lawyers at Lewis & Keller understand both personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims, and we are ready to assist you in whatever way we can. Contact us today for more information about our services.