Did you know your workplace can expose you to long-term illnesses? For example, construction workers that come into contact with dangerous materials or toxic fumes could develop cancerous diseases. On the other hand, people that regularly lift heavy items could suffer from back and muscle-related illnesses. Workers' compensation insurance guarantees compensation for employees that suffer workplace injuries.
Read this guide to learn how to seek compensation for a long-term illness caused by poor working conditions.
Hire A Compensation Lawyer
Unlike conventional injuries, long-term illnesses are difficult to prove. As such, you should hire a compensation lawyer to help argue out your case.
Check the lawyer's experience to ensure he or she has represented people with similar issues in the past. You should also examine the professional's winning history.
The lawyer must have professional liability insurance to protect you from liabilities caused by his or her negligence.
Compensation suits can be challenging. As such, the lawyer should have personal investigators and paralegals to help out with investigations.
Check the lawyer's pricing. If he or she has a no-win, no-fee policy, inquire what percentage of the compensation will be used to cover legal fees. Additionally, check whether the lawyer has extra charges.
Gather Sufficient Evidence
You will need compelling evidence that links your injury to poor working conditions. Typically, your lawyer will need employment records to ascertain that you were exposed to the said hazards. He or she could also require photographic evidence and testimonials from some of your workmates. Doctor reports will prove the existence of your illness, the likely causes and its effects.
Negotiating With The Insurer
Your lawyer will assess the severity of the illness to determine how much compensation he or she should claim from the insurance company. For example, he or she could claim hospital fees, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and disability. The lawyer will also assess the costs of managing the illness in the future. He or she will contact the insurance company and inform them of your claim. In most cases, the insurance company conducts thorough investigations before giving a counteroffer. Your compensation lawyer will negotiate the insurer's offer or seek clarification if he or she thinks that the offer presented is not reasonable. If both parties cannot agree, the lawyer will file the case in court.
An experienced lawyer will negotiate with your employer to ensure that you do not lose your job. Instead, your employer should transfer you to a department where you will not come into contact with the hazards that caused the illness.