Virginia workers employed in industrial trades often find themselves exposed to toxic environmental hazards. Asbestos is one of the most common toxic substances with which a worker may come in contact. Many injured workers are unaware that they have been exposed to this irritant and are never informed that they have the right to file for Workers’ Compensation when injuries result from such hazard exposure. They also have the right to consult a Workers’ Compensation attorney in Richmond.
Workers’ Compensation claims are not just for sudden on-the-job injuries. In many cases workers develop diseases and health conditions due to their occupation. In the case of asbestos exposure, the health effects are usually noticed many years later when conditions such as Mesothelioma develop.
Workers’ Compensation Injuries: Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is a known carcinogen to humans and has been linked to many serious respiratory conditions. One of the most common diseases associated with long-term asbestos exposure is Mesothelioma, a type of cancer that develops in the lungs and can spread quickly to other body systems.
Asbestos exposure may also cause other diseases that could be considered Workers’ Compensation injuries such as:
- lung cancer;
- lung disease; and
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Some research also suggests that asbestos exposure may be linked to other cancers of the gastrointestinal system, gallbladder, and kidneys. There is also evidence to suggest that it can raise a worker’s overall risk of developing cancer later on in life.
When a worker develops any of these forms of respiratory disease, they can be life-altering. The long-term effects of these diseases often results in permanent disability for many employees who have been exposed to asbestos over long periods of time. Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that resists most treatments and can lead to cancer that disables other body systems.
Occupations with a High Risk of Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Certain workplaces are more prone to asbestos in use than others. Construction sites, older buildings, and industrial workplaces are all more apt to have asbestos than newer office buildings. Asbestos can be found both as a building material and as a component of certain industrial processes.
The construction trade is by far the most common occupation in which asbestos exposure can be of concern. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned asbestos use in the USA, there are still many older structures that may contain this toxic substance. Construction projects requiring the demolition of an older building containing asbestos may cause workers to inhale the particles and develop Mesothelioma over time.
When it is Time to talk to a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When a worker is diagnosed with Mesothelioma it’s almost immediate that they cite asbestos exposure as the cause. Developing Mesothelioma can be grounds for a Workers’ Compensation claim in Virginia, but only when a worker has the proper evidence to back up their claim.
If you or a loved one has developed Mesothelioma or any other respiratory conditions after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace, you will want to seek legal help for filing a Workers’ Compensation injury claim. A Virginia Workers’ Compensation attorney may be necessary to help identify proof that asbestos was present at your workplace and you developed Mesothelioma or other respiratory diseases due to that exposure.
Before you file your claim with your employer it is best to first consult with a Virginia Workers’ Compensation attorney. Workers’ Compensation benefits may not cover your needs for long-term care situations, or by filing a claim you could be waiving your right to filing a lawsuit for additional compensation against your employer. Your attorney can help you review your situation and make the best decision for your case so you can cover future medical care and needs.
Contact a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When you have difficulties paying for your medical care or returning to your job after Workers’ Compensation injuries, an attorney can bear some of your burden. To get back on your feet, whether it means getting back to work or getting the workers comp settlement amounts you deserve, order a copy of our free book, the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia, and contact a Virginia Workers’ Compensation attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm for a no-cost consultation – 877-755-7744.
About the Author: Injured Workers Law Firm
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia Workers’ Compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.