Many workers’ compensation claims are filed for an injury that resulted from a single incident, such as a slip and fall or explosion. However, some claims are filed because an injury/medical condition develops over time. These claims are often challenging to prove because it is difficult to determine when symptoms began and how they are connected to an employee’s work.
Below, learn more about common symptoms of an occupational disease. Employees should keep an eye out for any of these symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible. A documented history of treatment can help strengthen a workers’ compensation claim. If you suspect pain or other symptoms are connected to your work, make sure you inform your doctor.
If you have questions about an occupational disease claim, call the experienced Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyers at Berry, Smith & Bartell. The consultation is free and comes with no obligation to take legal action. We have decades of combined experienced and a proven history of recovering compensation for our clients.
Common Occupational Diseases and Symptoms
There are many occupational diseases that could develop as a result of doing your job. Here are some common examples:
- Back injuries – Pain is often one of the first indicators of many occupational diseases, particularly back injuries. Other possible symptoms of a work-related back injury include limited mobility, tingling or numbness in your hands, fingers or toes. Watch for pain that shoots down your leg and pain that gets worse when doing things like lifting, standing, walking or lifting.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – If you do a lot of typing or other repetitive movements with your hands, you may be at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is characterized by tingling, numbness and/or pain in the hand or arm. Victims often struggle moving their fingers or hand because of the pain.
- Dermatitis – While the symptoms of some occupational diseases may not be visible, dermatitis can be seen. Common symptoms include a red rash, bumps and/or blisters that may ooze and have crusting. Victims may also experience itching, swelling, tenderness and burning.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – This condition affects breathing and may result in wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and a chronic cough that may produce mucus.
- Asthma – Do you breathe heavier after work or have more frequent asthma attacks? You may be able to seek compensation if your job causes your existing asthma to worsen. Some of the symptoms are like the COPD symptoms listed above. It is important to be aware of any changes or worsening of your asthma symptoms and link them to your job.
- Lead poisoning – If you work in an old building, you may have been exposed to lead, such as lead paint. Often, symptoms do not present themselves until you have a dangerous amount of lead in your symptom. You may develop high blood pressure, headaches, stomach pain, joint pain and loss of memory.
- Nerve damage – Common symptoms include pain, burning, sensitivity, numbness and lightheadedness.
- Silicosis – This disease develops when people breathe in tiny bits of silica into their lungs. This can result in permanent lung scarring that makes it harder to breathe. Coughing and shortness of breath are some of the common symptoms. Other symptoms may include a slowly developing cough.
It is important to be proactive with illnesses like these, not only for the sake of your health but also your potential workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you have a preexisting illness, it is important to seek treatment on a regular basis. This creates a record of your illness to compare to treatment records after receiving the diagnosis of your occupational disease.
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We are here to answer your questions and discuss your legal options. Whether you have already filed a claim, or your claim has been denied, we are prepared to help you.
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