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Is Work-Related Cancer Covered Under Workers' Compensation In New York?

No one ever expects to be diagnosed with cancer due to their working conditions. It’s always tragic when someone is forced to suffer an extremely painful and often deadly disease, simply because they were working hard to take care of their families. Even workers who live a relatively healthy lifestyle outside of work are at risk of developing cancer if they’re exposed to the wrong hazards while at work.

Workers’ compensation is supposedly intended to help families in this situation by providing financial compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. But unfortunately, many sufferers of work-related cancer run into difficulties when they try to claim their benefits.

Applying For Workers’ Comp After A Cancer Diagnosis

You would think employers and insurance companies would have compassion for employees who contract a potentially terminal illness, but the reality is often grimmer. These insurance companies are out to make as much profit as possible, which means denying as many claims as possible. However, your claim is much more likely to be accepted if you have an experienced work-related cancer lawyer looking out for your best interests.

In order to file a successful claim, you must provide medical evidence that proves that your cancer is job-related. However, these companies may still argue that your disease occurred due to factors outside of work. Families in this situation often require the assistance of a determined lawyer who has the respect of the insurance companies.

See more on how financial compensation can help with work-related asthma:

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What Can Cause Work-Related Cancer?

Occupational cancer is a global problem – the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 19% of all cancers can be attributed to environmental factors, which includes work settings. Most of the factors which cause cancer in the workplace can be prevented.

Specific work conditions which can lead to cancer include:

  • Exposure to asbestos – Construction workers and tradespeople are frequently exposed to asbestos, either by removing it from homes or by working on old buildings where it’s still present. Inhaling these particles often leads to deadly forms of cancer, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
  • Too much sun – Working long hours under the hot sun puts you at risk of developing skin cancer. Construction workers, landscapers, farmers, and other outdoor workers should always make sure to regularly apply sunscreen, but it’s still possible to develop skin cancer even if you use sunscreen responsibly.
  • Chemical hazards – Regular exposure to certain chemicals and solvents may cause cancer to develop. Chemicals with known risks must be properly labeled with hazard warnings and be strictly controlled so that workers aren’t exposed to toxic levels. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that less than 2% of chemicals are tested for carcinogens.
  • Environmental pollution – Exposure to certain environmental pollutants and materials, (such as silica, diesel engine exhaust, fossil fuels, etc.) can cause cancer. Miners, agricultural workers, factory workers, and many other workers are at risk for these factors.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you should speak with your doctor about the possibility that it could be work-related.

What Forms Of Compensation Are Available?

If a medical professional determines that your cancer was caused by your work environment, you could recover the following benefits in a workers’ compensation claim:

  • Compensation for medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Death benefits for surviving family members

For victims of asbestos-related illnesses, there may be employer trust funds available which are designed to simplify the process of receiving benefits. However, many victims of these diseases require the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer to receive the benefits they need.

Some cancer victims may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits – this depends on the type of cancer you have and how treatable it is.

Will I Need To Have A Lawyer?

In order to best plan for your family’s financial future after a cancer diagnosis, it’s often necessary to have the guidance of an experienced work illness lawyer. This disease doesn’t just take our loved ones away from us, it often places families into suffocating debt. Receiving the compensation you deserve is often much more difficult than it should be.

A lawyer can help you gather all of the medical evidence and documents you need and demand the respect of your employer’s insurance carrier. He or she can also help you explore all possible options for compensation so that your family can recover every penny you’re entitled to.

At Banville Law, we understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be. That’s why we make it our mission to help families in this situation by getting them the financial compensation they need. Additionally, we only ask for payment as a small percentage of your compensation after you’ve received it. This way, you can focus on spending time with family without needing to worry about your finances.

Applying For Workers’ Compensation For An Infectious Disease is possible. Learn more from our work injury lawyers. 

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