Exposure to Carcinogens
Schaumberg and Wheaton Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims
Any work environment in Illinois has the potential to be dangerous. However, the hazard is elevated in workplaces that store, use, produce, or deal with harmful toxins or chemicals. If you suffer from an occupational illness or injury due to exposure to carcinogens, consult a skilled Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation lawyer who can help. At Therman Law Offices, our goal is to provide efficient and compassionate legal representation to employees who have been hurt on the job. You can rest assured that we understand how to handle even the most complex workers’ compensation cases.
The Dangers of Carcinogens
According to the American cancer society, more than 1,600,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2014. Thousands of workers in Illinois become temporarily or permanently disabled due to an occupational illness such as cancer. In many cases, the illness can be traced back to workplace conditions.
Employers are supposed to limit the level of exposure their employees have to dangerous chemicals, including carcinogens. A carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue. Exposure to carcinogens can come from physical touch or even inhalation. In some cases, the chemicals may be intentionally released in an unsafe manner. Exposure to carcinogens can have devastating effects on the body, potentially leading to organ toxicity, cancer, and even death.
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for Your Illness
Employees who have been exposed to carcinogens that contribute to illness or disease may have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, and an experienced work injury lawyer can help you assert your rights. The burden of proof in workers’ compensation cases is on the injured worker to establish that an occupational illness was directly linked to harmful conditions at work. In short, the worker must show that exposure to a carcinogen was a direct cause of his or her illness. Some work related injuries, such as broken bones, are relatively simple to diagnose. With illnesses like cancer, however, seeking workers’ compensation can be a lot more complex. This is because making the link between cancer and workplace conditions can be tough since cancer often takes a while to develop (unlike a broken bone), and recovery is not clear-cut because every case is different.
It is important to note that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act has recently revised the laws to say that for certain employees who suffer from occupational illnesses, such as firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs, it will be assumed that the illness was caused by exposure to hazardous substances in the line of duty.
Third Party Lawsuits
An employee who was injured on the job generally cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer. In most cases, an injured worker’s sole legal remedy is a workers’ compensation claim, though there are some exceptions. One of the more common exceptions will come into play if a third party who is not your employer caused the injuries or occupational illnesses. In those situations there may be grounds for pursuing personal injury claims in a civil court. This is separate and apart from a workers’ compensation claim. The benefit of a personal injury claim is that an individual can recover damages that are not available through a workers’ compensation claim. Compensation for pain and suffering is one example. These claims can be extremely complicated to navigate, and sometimes have implications for your workers’ compensation claim. For instance, if you win a personal injury claim, you may have to pay back money that you already received from workers’ compensation. Given the complexity of these cases, it is in your best interest to have an experienced lawyer assess your case.
Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Serving Wheaton and Schaumburg
Exposure to carcinogens in the workplace can lead to serious illnesses, some of which can lead to death. If you or someone close to you sustained an illness from being exposed to carcinogens at work, you may be entitled to benefits. At Therman Law Offices, our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys will evaluate the facts of your case and help you understand your rights and options. We represent clients from Schaumburg and Wheaton, as well as Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Elgin, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Bensenville, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale, Roselle, and other communities. Please call us at 312-588-1900 for a free consultation or contact us online.