After years of working as a welder, Nancy was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was never a smoker, so her diagnosis was surprising. As she looked for what caused her illness, she wondered if her working conditions might have contributed. If this is true, she needs to learn whether her lung cancer is covered by workers’ comp.
Workers at Risk for Lung Cancer
People who work in certain industries or under certain conditions may be more likely to develop lung cancer, including:
- Aluminum production, asbestos, ceramics, coke, coal and coke, glasswork, metalwork, and rubber production workers;
- Miners, including coal and uranium workers;
- Chemists and lab workers;
- Painters and printers;
- Masons and sandblasters;
- Truck drivers; and
- Entertainment industry workers, including bartenders and casino workers.
Just working at a job with environmental hazards does not mean lung cancer will be covered by workers’ comp. The injury has to meet standards set by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
As a welder, Nancy was exposed to toxic chemicals and hazardous smoke throughout her career. Since she felt her lung cancer was caused by her work environment, she considered filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Qualifying for Workers’ Comp
The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to provide compensation to people who have an injury or condition that happened as a result of their occupation. Some people think only injuries caused by an accident are covered by workers’ comp, but chronic conditions (like lung cancer) caused by exposure may qualify also.
As with any other work-related injury or condition, it’s necessary to:
- Notify the employer of the exposure as soon as you learn of it.
- Notify the employer of the medical diagnosis.
- Submit an application for workers’ compensation if the employer or its insurance company deny benefits, delay benefits, or minimize compensation.
Of course, Nancy will have to provide medical evidence that she has lung cancer. She also may have to submit to an examination by a doctor chosen by her employer or its insurer. Still, it will be worth the time and effort to get the workers’ comp benefits she deserves.
Speak with an Experienced Illinois Workers’ Comp Attorney
With over 20 years’ experience, Osvaldo Rodriguez has the skills to handle your case from start to finish. To schedule your free initial consultation, or just ask a question, call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the form on the Contact Us page.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Cook, DuPage, Will, and Kane Counties.