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Occupational Exposure Attorneys in Pueblo, Colorado

Enduring occupational exposure at work can be a distressing and life-altering experience. The physical toll it takes on your health, coupled with the emotional stress of uncertainty about your future, can be overwhelming. You might be left wondering if your condition is covered under workers' compensation. We're here to assure you that you're not alone in this struggle. 

At Johnston Law Firm, LLC, we're committed to serving Pueblo, Colorado, and its surrounding areas. Our mission is to help individuals like you navigate through the complex legal process associated with occupational exposure claims. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you rightly deserve for your hardships, so if you're in Colorado needing the support of a workers' comp attorney, reach out to us today for guidance.

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Common Occupational Exposure Injuries 

Occupational exposure can lead to a myriad of injuries and illnesses. The impact on your health can range from mild discomfort to severe, life-altering conditions. These may include: 

  • Respiratory Conditions: Frequent inhalation of harmful dust or fumes at the workplace can lead to serious respiratory diseases. For instance, silicosis is a condition caused by inhaling silica dust, leading to inflammation and scarring in the lungs. Similarly, coal workers might develop black lung disease due to prolonged exposure to coal dust. 

  • Asthma: Working environments with airborne irritants such as dust, mold, chemicals, or animal dander can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. Occupational asthma can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. 

  • Skin Diseases: Contact with hazardous materials can lead to various skin conditions. Dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin, is common among workers who regularly handle chemicals or other irritants. Serious burns can also occur from contact with corrosive substances or extreme heat. 

  • Hearing Loss: Exposure to loud noise in the workplace over time can result in noise-induced hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is usually gradual and permanent. It's common among construction workers, factory workers, or those in the music industry. 

  • Vision Impairment: Long-term exposure to bright lights, chemicals, or accidents that injure the face or eyes can lead to vision impairment or loss. This can have a profound impact on your ability to perform daily activities or continue in your current job. 

Each of these conditions not only impacts your physical health but can also affect your emotional well-being and financial stability. That's why it's crucial to understand your rights and take the necessary steps to protect them with the support of workers' compensation attorneys.  

Exposure Types 

Inhalation 

Inhalation of harmful substances is one of the most common types of occupational exposure. Dust, fumes, or gases can lead to serious respiratory issues and lung diseases. Prolonged exposure can result in chronic conditions that significantly impact your quality of life. 

Ingestion 

Ingestion of toxic substances is another form of occupational exposure. This could happen through contaminated food or water at your workplace. Consequences can range from gastrointestinal problems to severe organ damage, affecting your overall health and well-being. 

Skin Contact 

Skin contact with hazardous materials is also a common form of occupational exposure. It could result in various skin conditions, burns, or even absorption of harmful chemicals into your bloodstream. Such incidents can have long-term implications on your health. 

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Colorado 

The Process 

If you've suffered occupational exposure, you're likely eligible to file a workers' compensation claim. It's essential to notify your employer about your injury or illness promptly. They should provide you with the necessary forms to initiate the claim. Accurate documentation of your exposure is vital, including details such as date, time, location, and nature of the incident. 

What to Expect 

Once you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim, an investigation by your employer's insurance company will follow. They'll review your medical documentation and other evidence to determine the legitimacy of your claim. It's crucial to gather all relevant medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any other evidence that can support your claim. 

Time Limit to File 

In Colorado, the law stipulates specific time limits within which you must file a workers' compensation claim for occupational exposure. You have up to two years from the date of your injury or illness, or from the date you reasonably should have known that your condition was work-related, to file a claim.

However, it's worth noting that there are exceptions to this rule. If your employer had knowledge of your injury within the prescribed time period, or if you've been receiving treatment from your employer for your injury, the two-year limit might not apply. 

For these reasons, you'll want to work with a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney to determine your options for filing.  

Benefits You May Receive 

It's important to remember that each case is unique, and the benefits you may receive depend on the specifics of your situation. However, some of the most common include:   

  • Medical Expenses: Workers' compensation benefits cover all necessary and reasonable medical treatment related to your work injury. This can include hospital stays, surgeries, prescriptions, physical therapy, and necessary medical equipment. 

  • Wage Replacement: If your injury prevents you from working, you may receive temporary total disability benefits. These are designed to compensate for lost wages while you're recovering. If you can return to work but can't earn as much as before the injury, you may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits. 

  • Permanent Disability Benefits: If your vision loss or impairment is permanent and affects your ability to work, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. These benefits are calculated based on the severity of your impairment and its impact on your earning capacity. 

  • Vocational Rehabilitation: If your injury prevents you from returning to your previous job, you might be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. These services can include retraining, job placement assistance, and education to help you return to the workforce. 

  • Death Benefits: In tragic instances where a work-related injury results in death, the surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits. These benefits can help cover funeral expenses and provide financial support. 

Occupational Exposure Attorneys Serving Pueblo, Colorado

At Johnston Law Firm, LLC, we're dedicated to helping individuals in Pueblo, Colorado, who have faced occupational exposure. Our experienced attorneys understand Colorado's workers' compensation laws inside out and will guide you through every step of the legal process. We're committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring you receive the benefits you deserve.