Can I Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Occupational Diseases in Kirkwood, Missouri?

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In Kirkwood, Missouri, occupational diseases are defined as any ‘condition or illness caused by exposure in the workplace.’ Some common examples are repetitive motion injuries, loss of hearing or eyesight, and illnesses associated with exposure to chemicals or radiation. There are several other types of occupational diseases; however, not all illnesses are going to be covered by workers’ compensation. There are many cases where it is determined that an illness is not occupational in nature. There are also cases where an occupational disease that should be covered is not approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company or the employer.

If you encounter any resistance or complications with your workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease, please contact an experienced Kirkwood workers’ compensation attorney at Walton Telken, Injury Attorneys. Retaining a skilled lawyer can make all the difference in a difficult workers’ compensation case.

What Kinds of Illnesses Are Not Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Kirkwood, Missouri?

There are many cases where an employee believes that they have a valid workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease

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when they actually do not. Before you attempt to fight the denial of your claim, you should be aware of how these things are determined. You can get more details and answers to your specific questions with a Kirkwood workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced lawyer will also be able to explain why your claim may have been correctly denied.

For instance, if you are suffering from a communicable disease, meaning one that is contagious from one person to another, you may or may not be able to establish that it came from a co-worker. However, even if you can somehow prove that your co-worker exposed you to the illness, you may not be able to establish that it is occupational in nature. Contagious illnesses which could have been picked up in any kind of environment outside of work are not covered, even if they were caused at work. In a case where you become ill because of a hazard that is not directly tied to your occupation, your illness is not going to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Another example is found in illnesses that arise from climate conditions. If you get frostbite from working in cold weather, this may not likely be considered as an occupational illness. It could have happened just as easily by going on a long walk outside of your work related duties. Further, if you work in cold conditions, you likely have safety gear available to you and may even be required to use it, such as thick gloves and boots. If you get an illness that is caused by failure to use the appropriate safety gear, then this is also not likely to be covered. In many cases, you can find out the answer to whether or not your claim was rightfully denied by asking yourself if you could have become just as ill outside of work.

There are many other examples of this kind of situation where an illness is not covered. For instance, you may have heart problems or circulatory problems. If you have a heart attack while working at a job that requires demanding physical labor, you may not be able to link the physical labor as the cause of the heart attack. Rather, you may have to look at your own physical health and understand that your propensity to have a heart attack may not be related to your occupation. The same is true for pulmonary conditions and conditions such as arthritis. These are illnesses that anyone could get, but that could cause problems whether you are at work or at home or at the grocery store. If you aren’t sure if your illness should be covered by workers’ compensation in Kirkwood, Missouri, call Walton Telken Injury Attorneys to learn more.

Some Occupational Diseases in Kirkwood, Missouri, Can Lead to Long Term Disability

Once you have established that your occupational disease should rightfully be covered by the Missouri workers’ compensation system, you need to consider how your life is going to be affected and what sort of benefits you are entitled to. You may be eligible for temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, or permanent total disability benefits. This will all depend on whether you can return to your former occupation once you heal, whether you can return to a light duty position, and whether you are able to physically work in other occupations. For example, you may get an occupational disease that is related to repetitive motion. This could prevent you from returning to your former occupation or even a similar occupation. The best thing you can do to make sure that no stone is left unturned is to retain an experienced Kirkwood workers’ compensation lawyer at Walton Telken Injury Attorneys to learn more.


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