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What may be characterized as an occupational disease?

Every year, there are numerous Maryland residents who experience illnesses that they believe may be work-related. This type of illness would be categorized as an occupational disease. What exactly, though, may be characterized as an occupational disease, and are any damages sustained as a result compensable?

When someone gets sick due to things he or she may be exposed to at work, the illness suffered could likely be considered an occupation injury. If the illness can be tied to a person's employment, that individual may utilize workers' compensation benefits in order to receive the necessary medical care and to cover financial losses. There are numerous things that may be characterized as occupational illnesses, including:

  • Skin diseases
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Poisoning
  • Loss of hearing

Each of these, and many other potential illnesses, can have a dramatic effect on a person's home life, financial well-being, long-term health and the ability to perform his or her work duties. Some may even experience temporary or permanent disability as a result. Those who believe they have experienced an occupational-related disease would be wise to report the issue and seek medical treatment as soon as possible in order to take advantage of their workers' compensation benefits.

Unfortunately, it is possible that someone may not feel the compensation received for an occupational disease was sufficient for his or her needs. Maryland residents who may find themselves in these types of situations, or those whose claims have been denied, may be entitled to seek legal recourse by filing civil claims against employers, negligent third parties and/or insurance providers. While taking this type of action may seem overwhelming, if it is appropriately managed, fair and full compensation may be achieved.

Source: bls.gov, "Occupational Safety and Health Definitions", Accessed on July 12, 2015

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