nager romaine & schneiberg attorneys

Injury vs. Occupational Disease

In the world of Workers' Compensation an injury is an incident or event that causes harm to an individual in the scope of someone's work activities. For instance, someone at work lifts a box and sustains an injury to his back. There is an incident, the lifting of the box, and there is an injury or harm to the person's back. There can also be an injury that occurs over time. For example, if someone's job is to lift many boxes every day and, over a period of days, this person develops back pain, this can be considered an injury. It's important to know that to have an allowable injury in a Workers' Compensation claim there must be a diagnosis from a physician.

A claim cannot be allowed for pain. The Industrial Commission considers pain a symptom of an injury but not an allowable injury. It is also important to realize that a Workers' Compensation claim cannot be allowed for a degenerative process. In general, degenerative substantial aggravation of a degenerative condition can be allowed in a claim if it can be shown that an injury caused a substantial aggravation of an underlying degenerative process. There are also instances where post traumatic arthritis can be allowed in a claim if it can be shown that the trauma or the injury caused the arthritis to set in. It is very important to have clear medical evidence from the doctor that documents the injury.

An occupational disease usually is caused by some harmful exposure. This exposure can be in many forms. For instance, a person that is exposed to certain chemicals at his place of employment may develop a chemical bronchitis. A firefighter who is exposed to smoke may develop a lung disease or heart disease. A person who performs repetitive activities, such as working constantly on a computer keyboard, and is exposed to excessive use of his hands may develop the occupational disease of carpal tunnel syndrome. Again, as in injury claims there needs to a definitive diagnosis by a physician and a clear causal relation statement that links the exposure to the diagnosis

If an injury occurs on the job or if there is a harmful exposure the most important things to do are report it to the employer right away, seek immediate medical treatment. Are you looking for an Ohio comp lawyer who will work for you? Contact the law firm of Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co.,L.P.A.

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