At Wyland & Tadros, LLP, our attorneys represent employers and insurance companies in cases involving an employee’s exposure to a toxin or substance that allegedly caused an occupational disease. With two centuries of combined experience in the area of insurance defense, our attorneys are aggressive litigators known for taking on tough cases and getting exceptional results for our clients.
How Occupational Diseases Are Different
Occupational diseases are different from other types of work injuries. Unlike a sudden accident, such as a fall from a scaffold or a forklift accident, an occupational disease develops over what is usually a long period of time. Over months, years, and sometimes decades, a worker inhales or handles a toxic substance that causes changes in the body. One of the more well-known occupational diseases is asbestosis, which is a lung disease caused by long-term inhalation of asbestos fibers. Over time, repeated exposure to asbestos fibers can cause a worker to develop a form of cancer called mesothelioma.
Other kinds of occupational diseases include hearing loss due to repeated exposure to loud noise and machinery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, occupational asthma, and dermatitis caused by repeated or constant exposure to chemicals or liquids.
Florida Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Disease
Occupational diseases caused by exposure to chemicals and toxic substances are covered by Florida workers’ compensation law, under Section 440.151 of the Florida Statutes. However, there are special rules and strict guidelines for filing a claim for benefits for injuries caused by an occupational disease.
Notably, a worker claiming entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits due to an occupational disease must be able to prove that the disease resulted from the “nature of the employment” and that the nature of the employment is the “major contributing cause of the disease.” In workers’ compensation death benefit cases, in which a worker’s family claims the worker’s death was caused by an occupational disease, the family must be able to prove that the death occurred within 350 weeks of exposure to the toxin or substance.
The reason this is so important is that occupational diseases tend to be slow-moving. Unlike a work-related injury involving a sprained ankle, broken bone, or pulled muscle, occupational diseases are progressive in nature, which means they often develop along with other conditions and diseases caused by outside factors, such as other types of injuries and even the aging process.
We Represent Employers and Insurance Companies
Occupational disease claims frequently involve a complicated intersection of medical, legal, and administrative factors. Our lawyers work closely with employers and insurance companies to effectively and efficiently defend against workers’ compensation claims related to exposure and occupational disease. When appropriate, we negotiate settlements through a variety of case management techniques, including mediation and arbitration. We also vigorously defend our clients’ interests at trial when necessary.
Wyland & Tadros, LLP: Exposure and Occupational Disease Defense
The exposure and occupational disease defense lawyers at Wyland & Tadros, LLP represent employers and insurance companies in all 67 Florida counties. Call today to discuss your case with one of our experienced West Palm Beach exposure and occupational disease defense lawyers. Call 561-275-2990.