Richmond work injury attorneys see on-the-job accident cases every day. Some types of accidents are more common than others. Illness and injuries from dangerous chemicals may not be as common as some types of injuries, but they can be extremely serious and life altering.
Many workers (construction workers, plant workers, sanitation employees, and others) may come into contact with hazardous chemicals as part of their jobs. Among the substances that may cause harm are benzene, radium, asbestos, and silica.
When in contact with the body, these chemicals may attack cells and tissues, causing lasting damage that may affect the worker’s ability to hold down a job, pay their bills, and enjoy their life.
Companies that require employees to work with or around dangerous chemicals are required to provide training to help employees understand the proper uses of the substances, the appropriate safety measures to take when working around them, and the first aid methods to use in the event of an accident.
Many workers are under the impression that they’re safe when handling and working near these substances as long as they’re following safety precautions, but this isn’t always the case. While most workplaces take the required precautions to protect their employees from harm, some fail to do so, or their efforts are not fully effective.
Types of Injuries and Claims for Dangerous Chemical Accidents
The specific types of physical illnesses and injuries suffered after exposure to chemicals are varied and depend on the type and amount of chemical, the duration of contact, and how soon the victim received medical help.
There are also two basic kinds of reactions to hazardous chemical exposure: acute and chronic. Acute reactions include things like burns, immediate respiratory distress, and eye damage/blindness. Chronic illnesses may include continuing respiratory problems and many types of cancer.
When you’ve been injured or made sick by dangerous chemicals on the job, your Richmond work injury attorney will evaluate your case and advise you regarding your best course of action.
If your employer provides Workers’ Compensation, you may file a claim. Ideally, receiving Workers’ Compensation shouldn’t be very complicated, but it may be in some cases. It’s best to have legal guidance on your side to ensure that your rights are recognized.
There are cases in which you may file a personal injury suit when hurt on the job. You may be able to pursue a claim against the company that made faulty machinery or equipment that lead to your accident, or against some other individual or business that contributed to your injuries in some way.
As with any other personal injury claim, you will need to present evidence that the accident was due to the negligence of another party, and that the illness is a direct result of that negligence.
When it comes to illnesses with delayed symptoms, it may be difficult to trace the condition to your work. This can be a challenge when filing any type of claim. That’s why workers who are suffering from these types of injuries often have to fight for their right to compensation.
There are statutes of limitations on both Workers’ Compensation and personal injury claims in Virginia, so it’s important to act quickly. If you work with dangerous chemicals and you have any troubling symptoms at all, seek medical care as soon as possible so any harm or illness may be detected early.
If a loved one worked with harmful substances and died from an illness associated with exposure to the substances, you may be able to file for a Workers’ Compensation death benefit claim. This benefit is paid over a long period of time, and can help you pay for burial costs and other necessities.
Contacting a Richmond Work Injury Attorney
The process of filing for Workers’ Compensation can be more complicated than it seems on the surface. If you’ve been injured in an on-the-job accident, call 804-775-7755 and speak with an experienced attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm. Our focus is on people who have been hurt at work. We know all the ins and outs of Workers’ Compensation law. Get our free book, Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation, today and see how we may be able to help you.