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Lung Diseases and Workers’ Compensation: What You Should Know

The respiratory system is critical for a person’s health and, unfortunately, many work environments put this delicate part of the body at risk for sustaining injuries. The consequences of these injuries can range anywhere from minor to serious or fatal. If you believe you suffered a lung disease as a result of your job duties or work environment, you need to obtain skilled legal representation as soon as possible to ensure you are able to receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

Receiving Compensation for Lung Injuries

Several different types of work environments present a variety of hazardous substances that can potentially affect a worker’s lungs. Some of the common hazardous substances that a worker might come into contact with, which could harm the respiratory system include:

  • Gases
  • Fumes
  • Vapors
  • Dust
  • A combination of gases, dust, fumes, and vapors

Respiratory tract injuries are lung conditions that can be attributed to an employee’s work environment. Some of these work-related diseases include asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, fibrosis, and cancer. Additionally, respiratory injuries can also be sustained through trauma. For example, if a worker was involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered a blow to the throat during the accident, this would impact the respiratory tract.

Symptoms of respiratory tract injuries include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Hypoxia, which is a decrease in the amount of oxygen in certain parts of the body

More serious respiratory injuries can be caused by minerals and dust that can scar the lungs and cause pneumococcus. Some of the most common mineral dust workers can be exposed to include silica, coal, talc, asbestos, hard metal, and beryllium.

Does an Industrial Lung Disease Have to be Completely Work-Related to Pursue a Claim?

In short, no. According to California workers’ compensation law, there is no requirement that states the industrial exposure must be the sole cause of the injury. If the exposure was a contributory factor that aggravated or accelerated a worker’s disease, the claim could still be considered industrial and the worker would still have a right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Sacramento

At Smolich and Smolich in Sacramento, our team of workers’ compensation attorneys is dedicated to fighting on behalf of injured workers. If you suffered a respiratory injury due to your job or its environment, you need to hire a skilled workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to ensure every step is handled appropriately and you are able to secure the benefits you deserve.

Get started on your workers’ compensation case today and reach out to our law firm at (916) 571-0400 to request your free initial case evaluation. If we cannot win your case you will not owe us any legal fees.