Are environmental injuries covered by workers compensation?

Information on lung problems, hearing loss, allergies and other environmental conditions that can be developed on the job

Your job may expose you to environmental conditions that cause injury. It’s possible to develop hearing loss, trouble breathing, weather-related injuries and allergic reactions. Below we’ve provided information to help you understand your Michigan workers compensation rights after a serious environmental injury.

You can speak directly with a work comp lawyer by calling (855) 221-2667, or by filling out our free contact form. There’s no fee or obligation.

Q. Will workers comp pay for environmental injuries?
A. Yes. You can collect workers compensation benefits for your injury caused by exposure to environmental conditions. This include any medical treatment that’s necessary to relieve your environmental injury. Environmental injuries can include hearing loss, trouble breathing, allergic reactions, weather-related injuries and even blindness. You should also get wage loss benefits if you cannot work or have a reduction in your ability to earn maximum wages.

Q. Is hearing loss an environmental injury?
A. Hearing loss is a common work-related condition and it is considered an environmental injury.

You may develop tinnitus which is a ringing or buzzing in the ears. Employers and insurance companies frequently dispute these claims because hearing problems are often the result of old age. But if you are exposed to loud noises at work, it’s a good bet that your employment had something to do with your hearing problems.

It’s very important to find a doctor who specializes in hearing loss to diagnose your condition and determine if it is work-related. Workers compensation should pay for hearing aids and medications.

We represented a man from Monroe, Michigan who lost his hearing at a young age. It was determined that he would need hearing aids for the rest of his life. His employer did not believe that his condition was work-related and his work comp benefits were denied. We filed a workers compensation lawsuit and took the deposition of his doctor. His employer ultimately agreed to pay a settlement that would cover hearing aids for his lifetime.

Q. Are lung problems considered an environmental injury?
A. Yes. Some people develop lung problems from their work. This usually results from exposure to fumes or other chemicals. They will have trouble breathing and cannot perform their job. You can be diagnosed with asthma or other lung conditions. Some lung problems, such as mesothelioma, are only caused by exposure to asbestos.

Insurance companies will blame your lung problems on smoking or other non-occupational factors. It is important to challenge any decision that denies your workers compensation benefits.

Q. What about allergies?
A. You can also develop allergies related to your employment. Conditions such as contact dermatitis are compensable under workers compensation. This is when you become sensitized to certain substances that cause you to have an allergic reaction. People react differently but you may experience symptoms of skin irritation and pain.

If you cannot do your job because of a work-related allergic reaction, you may be entitled to wage loss benefits.

Q. What kind of environmental conditions are caused by weather?
A. The weather can cause many environmental injuries. For instance, heat stroke can be a very dangerous condition. It can be brought on by high temperatures and strenuous physical activity. You can suffer brain damage, organ failure and even death. Watch out for signals that indicate a problem and seek immediate medical care.

Sometimes the cold weather can cause a condition known as frostbite. This is when skin and tissue freeze. Frostbite is a serious injury that can lead to amputation.

Have questions about environmental injuries and Michigan work comp?

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our work comp lawyers now. Or you can fill out our free consultation form. The call and the advice are free.
Our attorneys have been protecting injured workers like you for more than 35 years. We’re here to answer all of your questions, so you can recover.

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