When you have been exposed to something hazardous at work, one of the first things you should do is report it to your supervisor and go to a doctor immediately to get any necessary health checks. However, one of the more controversial and dangerous substances that you can be exposed to at work is asbestos. There are different laws regarding employer responsibility for your asbestos exposure depending on the state you work in, but a good attorney, like a workers’ comp attorney from Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen, P.C., can sit down with you and discuss what your legal options are when you have been exposed and if you are facing any medical complications from the exposure. The two most common options for pursuing compensation after exposure are through workers’ compensation and lawsuits. If you know you have been exposed to asbestos at work, please call a law office now to get started.
Can you pursue workers’ compensation?
When you know that you have been exposed to asbestos through your work, you should speak with your attorney about workers’ compensation to see if this is the best approach. If you choose to pursue workers’ compensation after exposure to asbestos and any related illnesses or symptoms, it is important to know that while you can typically recover compensation with this approach, you are unable to then sue your employer. Additionally, when you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are filing specifically against your employer. If your exposure to asbestos is because of a third party—like a product manufacturer or a contractor—you would not be able to pursue workers’ compensation.
Determining Who Is Liable
This is one of the most important aspects of asbestos exposure/illness cases. When you are pursuing compensation, you need to know who the liable party is, which is not always easy. Typically, you can determine who your employer is by who signs your paystub. This is important because many times the people who are most at risk for asbestos exposure are contractors.
Which jobs are at a higher risk for asbestos exposure?
There are certain jobs that come with a higher risk of exposing their employees to asbestos. Even decades after experts have determined that asbestos was harmful when inhaled, many products are still in buildings and textiles that contain asbestos and can cause harm if disrupted. Some of the most common occupations that put their employees at risk of being exposed to asbestos are:
- Heating or Cooling Repair
- Janitorial Jobs
I was exposed to asbestos decades ago. When would I start showing symptoms?
Unfortunately, asbestos-related illnesses often don’t creep up for years or even decades after the initial exposure. This means that while you may have been exposed 20 years ago, you may just now be seeing symptoms like:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Lung inflammation
- Bowel problems
If you are suffering from symptoms of an asbestos-related illness, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible so he or she can begin working on your case and help get you the compensation you deserve.