Workers who work around certain environmental and toxic conditions may suffer from permanent damage to their lungs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the name given to a variety of lung-related diseases, and all of them reduce your ability to work at a job and enjoy life. This type of workplace injury is different than your usual accident because of the way it occurs. Read on to find out more and get compensation for your COPD.
COPD and Work
This cluster of lung disorders can be known by names like bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, and others. In most cases, work-related instances of COPD are associated with long-term exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace. The damage can be gradual–so gradual that the worker may be unaware of the damage being done until it's too late to avoid permanent damage to the lungs. When you have a difficult time breathing, it can affect your every move, and you are not very likely to be able to work at your job. The potential to work at any job, in fact, may be affected by COPD.
Taking Action to Protect Your Financial Interests
You are entitled to be paid for the damage done to your lungs, as well as your ability to work at a job. Just imagine that the damage to your lungs is so great that your life is shortened, and your ability to earn a living has been decimated. That is why it's so important to take steps to protect your ability to be paid by workers' compensation insurance and more. With that in mind:
- As soon as you experience symptoms of breathing problems, seek medical care right away. You can damage the chances of a successful claim by delaying this step.
- As soon as you learn about the lung damage, let your employer know and file a workers' compensation claim. You cannot be paid befits without taking this step.
- Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer for support during the process. You will likely be determined to have a permanent condition, which entitles you to a lump-sum settlement from the workers' compensation insurance carrier that your employer uses. Never agree to a settlement without the advice of an attorney.
- A settlement needs to be enough to cover you until you reach retirement age, so having an attorney who understands what you are entitled to be paid is vital.
- Not only the amount of the settlement, but the way you get paid is entirely negotiable. For example, you may be offered a structured settlement, which could help you also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
- Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer as soon as you know you have COPD caused by working conditions.
To learn more, contact your local workers' compensation law attorney.