Collecting Workers Comp for COPD
If you or a loved one is unable to work due to advanced COPD, you can collect Workers Comp benefits – if the COPD was the result of your employment. However, isn’t always that straightforward.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – usually called COPD – (COPD) is a debilitating respiratory condition that can be caused or exacerbated by workplace factors. However, COPD actually refers to a group of diseases that result in a limitation of airflow – making it difficult to breathe. Unfortunately COPD cannot be reversed – although new treatments are being developed every year. The performance of certain work duties, or chemical exposure in the workplace, can all lead to COPD – which may qualify you for Workers’ Comp benefits.
But, unfortunately, as with many Workers Comp claims – some employers and their insurance companies will deny benefits for COPD. In this article the experienced Workers Comp lawyers at Cantrell Green in Long Beach, CA explain what you need to know about collecting Workers’ Compensation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Common Workplace Causes of COPD
Several occupational environments pose an increased risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease development or progression:
- Exposure to Harmful Chemicals: Workers in industries such as construction, manufacturing, mining, or agriculture may encounter harmful substances like dust, fumes, and chemicals. Prolonged exposure to these irritants can lead to COPD.
- Secondhand Smoke: Employees working in bars, restaurants, or other establishments where smoking is permitted can suffer from secondhand smoke exposure, which is a significant risk factor for COPD.
- Poor Air Quality: Certain workplaces lack proper ventilation, leading to poor indoor air quality. This can include almost any industry to from agriculture to manufacturing and many more. exacerbate existing respiratory conditions or contribute to the development of COPD.
Proving COPD is Work Related for Workers’ Comp
COPD typically develops slowly – over a period of years. It may even be many years before a worker starts to experience any of the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. For this reason it can sometimes be hard to “prove” that the COPD was caused by the course of a workers’ employment.
Exposure in the workplace to dust, fumes, paint, cleaning solvents, or occupational pollutants – such as cadmium, asbestos or silica, lead, benzene, beryllium, or mercury – may be what has caused your COPD.
Your Workers’ Comp has nothing to do with “fault”. You only have to prove that you were exposed to a hazardous chemical or substance on the job and that, as a result of that exposure, you developed COPD. This could be the result of direct exposure, accidental exposure, a failure to warn you of the dangers of exposure, or even the result of defective or inadequate protective equipment.
But even though you know that your occupation caused your COPD, the Workers Comp Insurer may try to deny that the COPD is work related. They may try to claim that the COPD was due to smoking, or exposure to second-hand smoke, previous employment, or even home conditions such as a fireplace or automotive exhaust.
Reasons Employers Deny Workers Comp Claims for COPD
Despite the clear link between workplace exposures and COPD, employers and their insurers may sometimes try to deny workers’ compensation claims for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Employers may argue that there’s insufficient medical evidence to support the claim that the client is unable to work due to COPD, leading to denial. Similarly, Employers might contest the connection between workplace exposures and COPD, asserting that other factors outside of work were responsible.
If the worker had a pre-existing respiratory condition or even certain risk factors, the employer may claim that COPD was not caused by workplace exposures. Employers may also dispute workers comp claims for COPD if the worker fails to report the condition promptly or within the required timeframe.
Why You May Need a Lawyer to Get Workers Comp for COPD
As you can see from the scenarios above, navigating a workers’ compensation claim for COPD can be complex and challenging. Hiring an experienced workers’ comp lawyers can significantly increase your chances of success for several reasons. A seasoned attorney understands COPD’s complexities and how workplace factors can contribute to it.
A skilled lawyer can ensure your employer and their insurance company complies with all relevant regulations. They can gather compelling medical evidence to support your claim. In cases of denial or disputes, an experienced workers comp lawyers can negotiate with your employer’s insurance company to secure the compensation you deserve.
If your workers comp claim for COPD has been denied, a lawyer can guide you through the complex appeals process, making sure all necessary documentation and evidence are in place. And, with an attorney handling your claim, you can focus on your health and recovery without the added stress of legal matters.
Also, keep in mind, that under certain circumstances you may be able to file a separate personal injury lawsuit for your COPD against a “third party” other than the employer. This will depending upon where the damaging chemicals came from, who controlled the job site where the exposure occurred, what warnings were provided and even what safety equipment was used. A skilled lawyer can guide your through this process as well.
Workers Comp Lawyers for COPD | Long Beach, CA
As you can see, proving that your COPD was caused by your job can be difficult and even exhausting – especially when the Insurance Company is fighting you tooth and nail. An experienced Workers Comp lawyer can knows how to handle problematic Insurers, and how to submit your medical records and documentation, to get your Workers Comp claim approved.
In conclusion, if you’ve developed COPD due to workplace exposures, seeking the assistance of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer is essential. They can help you navigate the complexities of the claims process, gather crucial medical evidence, and fight for your right to receive the compensation you deserve for your work-related condition.
If you are suffering from COPD, or any other work related illness or injury, call our Long Beach Workers Comp lawyers today for a free consultation.
Long Beach Workers Comp Lawyers: 562-622-4800