Cramer and Martinez

Free Consultation408-848-1113

7459 Monterey St., Suite A, Gilroy, CA 95020

Gilroy, CA Workers' Compensation Attorneys for Occupational Diseases

Gilroy CA occupational illness attorneys

Lawyers For Employees With Work-Related Health Conditions in Santa Clara County and San Benito County

In California, employees who are injured at work can take comfort in the fact that their employer is legally required to have a workers' compensation plan that provides benefits covering medical care and, in many cases, a portion of the employee's wages lost due to the injury. These benefits also extend to occupational diseases and health conditions, provided that they develop due to an employee's job responsibilities or work environment.

An occupational disease can have serious long-term effects on your life and health, and it is not always easy to demonstrate to your employer that your condition is work-related in order to secure the benefits you need. Hiring a workers' compensation attorney can help, and at Cramer & Martinez, LLP, we bring more than 20 years of combined experience to advise you on the best approach to your claim and represent you throughout the process.

Common Forms of Occupational Diseases

Occupational illnesses differ from many other injuries covered by workers' compensation in that they almost always develop due to repetitive exposure to something harmful in the work environment, rather than as a result of a one-time occurrence. Some of the most common types of work-related diseases include:

  • Skin conditions: A skin disease like dermatitis may result from direct exposure to a hazardous chemical in a spill or accident, but more often, it comes about due to exposure to small amounts of an irritating substance over time. Possible irritants include cleaning supplies, pesticides, chemical solvents, and materials like latex that may cause an allergic reaction.
  • Respiratory conditions: Lung diseases and other respiratory ailments are common among employees who are regularly exposed to particles or fumes in the air. Conditions that may develop include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Construction workers, farm workers, and employees in the mining or energy industries can be especially susceptible.
  • Hearing and vision loss: For employees exposed to bright lights, high noise levels, and other forms of eye and ear strain, vision and hearing may degenerate over time. Exposure to some toxic substances can also affect vision and hearing.
  • Infectious diseases: Health care employees are often at risk of contracting a contagious disease due to their contact with patients. Tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV are some of the most common infectious diseases reported in workers' compensation claims. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees across all industries may also be eligible for workers' compensation benefits if they contract the coronavirus at work.
  • Mental health conditions: Some psychiatric conditions may be covered by workers' compensation, especially if they develop as a result of a traumatic work-related injury. Examples include depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Cancer: Some employees are exposed to carcinogens that can cause cancer, even when they are present in the work environment in small amounts. One common form of occupational cancer is mesothelioma, which is related to asbestos exposure commonly experienced by building and construction workers. Lung cancer, skin cancer, and bladder cancer are all also commonly associated with an employee's working conditions.

How Do I Demonstrate That My Condition is Work-Related?

Many employees suffering from occupational diseases find it challenging to obtain workers' compensation benefits due to skepticism on the part of the claims administrator that the condition did, in fact, develop as a result of the employee's work. The administrator may argue that other factors in the employee's life contributed more significantly to the development of the disease, or even that there is no connection between the disease and the employee's job responsibilities. If your claim is denied, your attorney can help you file a petition with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and prepare evidence for a hearing or settlement conference. Testimony from medical experts is especially beneficial in these cases.

Contact a Morgan Hill Occupational Illness Lawyer

For assistance with the complicated process of obtaining benefits for your work-related disease, contact us today at 408-848-1113 for a free consultation. We serve employees in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Jose, Hollister, Salinas, Los Banos, Watsonville, and throughout Santa Clara County, San Benito County, Monterey County, Merced County, Santa Cruz County, and the surrounding areas.

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