Exposure to Toxic Substances
In many cases in which a person is injured at work, the injury is obvious from the moment that it occurs. While injuries to muscles and bones are apparent shortly after a traumatic event, injuries caused by exposure to toxic substances or chemicals may take months or years to become evident. If you seek workers’ compensation benefits for an injury caused by exposure to a dangerous substance months or years after the exposure, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer may argue that you did not pursue benefits in a timely manner. As a result, you should seek the assistance of an experienced Orange County work injury lawyer to aid you in pursuing benefits if you are suffering from an illness caused by exposure to chemicals or toxic substances in the course of your employment.
At Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to anticipate many obstacles to your recovery of benefits. Our primary office is in Orange County, and we have a secondary office in Riverside County. We represent injured employees in recovering workers’ compensation benefits throughout Southern California.Dangerous Chemicals and Substances
There is an ever-increasing list of chemicals and substances that can cause harm or death to employees. If you suffered an injury or illness due to exposure to toxic substances in the workplace, you are entitled to recover benefits regardless of whether your employer took precautions to protect you from harm. While exposure to some substances can be safe in certain amounts, other chemicals can cause injuries or death through a single exposure. Additionally, repeated exposure to toxic chemicals over time may cause an injury or illness. Asbestos is a well-known toxic substance that causes conditions such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Other harmful substances include benzene, silica, formaldehyde, and lead.Types of Harm Caused by Exposure to Toxic Substances
Toxic substances can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, or contact with the skin or eyes. Depending on the amount and type of chemical to which an individual is exposed, he or she may suffer an acute or chronic injury.
An acute injury is an injury that occurs shortly after exposure to a toxic substance. In many cases, an acute injury is caused by exposure to a higher amount of a harmful substance. The injury caused by the substance may be minor, such as skin or eye irritation, or it may be severe, such as damage to the lungs or other internal organs. In an acute injury, the relationship between the exposure to the toxic substance and the resulting harm is usually easily identifiable, since the employee is able to pinpoint both the date of the exposure and the onset of symptoms.
In cases involving a chronic injury, it may be more difficult to show that your injury was caused by workplace exposure to a harmful substance. A chronic injury often arises months or years after exposure to harmful chemicals. Additionally, chronic injuries are frequently caused by repeated exposure to toxic substances in small doses. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney may have the knowledge to assist you in establishing whether your injury was caused by conditions to which you were exposed in your workplace, which may enable you to recover the benefits to which you may be entitled.Benefits That You May Recover
If you suffer an injury due to exposure to toxic substances in the workplace, you should notify your employer as soon as your injury is apparent. The benefits that you may be entitled to recover depend on the nature and extent of your harm. You may be entitled to recover the cost of any medical treatment, including physical and occupational therapy, assistive devices, and prescriptions. If you are partially or totally disabled, you may recover disability benefits as well. The duration of time that you receive disability benefits will depend on whether your disability is temporary or permanent.
If your spouse died following an illness due to exposure to toxic substances in the workplace, you may be entitled to recover benefits due to the loss of his or her services and companionship. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand which benefits you may be entitled to recover and assist you in obtaining the full amount of benefits that you may be owed.Consult a Work Injury Lawyer in Orange County to Understand Your Options
The attorneys at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. have the knowledge and experience necessary to assist you in obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits that you may be entitled to recover. We have offices in Orange County and Riverside County and represent injured workers in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Irvine, Moreno Valley, Corona, Temecula, El Centro, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Diego. We also represent people in other cities in Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Contact us at (844) 562-2667 or via our online form to set up a consultation.