It can seem like a relatively simple matter to prove that the injury was related to work—a worker slipped and fell at a job site or sustained a back injury while moving heavy equipment. But how exactly do you prove that an illness is related to work?
Work-related illnesses, also known as occupational diseases, are generally any illness or condition that is developed, contracted, or aggravated on the job. They can be caused because of a variety of different factors, including:
Workplace Exposure Laws in Georgia
Each state has its own laws regarding how work-related illnesses are treated. In Georgia, workers’ compensation covers not just injuries but certain occupational diseases as well. To be considered an “occupational disease,” the illness or condition must meet four general criteria:
The disease was caused by conditions specific to the particular occupation
The disease’s origin was a work-related risk and the progression/development of the disease was a natural consequence of exposure to that risk
The disease is not one that the affected employee was substantially exposed to or could have been substantially exposed to outside of work
The disease is “ordinary disease of life” to which anyone in the general public could have been exposed to
Linking Your Illness to Your Job
In order to then pursue benefits for your occupational disease, there must be a direct link between your particular job and your particular illness. In other words, you must prove that your job increases the risk of that illness and you, in fact, developed that illness.
There can also be cases where an ordinary disease of life is deemed an occupational disease. For example, a coal miner is exposed at work to substances that increase their risk of lung cancer. Even though anyone in the general public can develop lung cancer, this worker’s illness can be directly linked to the nature of their work conditions.
Helping You Pursue Benefits
If you contracted a disease or developed an illness from work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Georgia law. Proving that your illness is related to your job can be challenging by yourself.
At The Law Offices of Nathanial F. Hansford, our attorneys are dedicated to providing you with an effective and strategic legal solution. We will be here to guide you throughout the legal process each step of the way and work hard so you obtain maximum benefits.
Contact The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford at (770) 629-9321 to get started on your Georgia workers’ comp case.