What is an Occupational Exposure claim?
There are two typical ways in which injuries arise as a result of a worker’s employment. The easiest to identify occurs as the result of a workplace accident. The less vivid (but no less valid) way injuries occur at work result in “occupational exposure” claims. What that means, is the injury develops as a result of the conditions of employment. Some exposures are passive, for example being exposed to a condition of the employment environment which causes a work injury (asbestos or other chemical exposure). However, most occupational exposure claims are “active” and result from repetitive bending and lifting activities or repetitive motion activities. An example of this is developing back pain from work over a long period. In New Jersey, a “compensable occupational disease” includes all diseases or injuries which are “due in a material degree to causes and conditions . . . characteristic of or peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process or place of employment.” N.J.S.A 34:15-31(a). The successful claimant is entitled to the same benefits as one who suffers a work injury as the result of an accident.
If you feel you have developed an injury or condition because of employment conditions or activities, call us to review the viability of filing an occupational exposure claim. The complexity of these types of claims makes it even more crucial to hire a workers’ compensation attorney who is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as are Mr. DeNafo and Mr. Walcoff.
If you have a question about a Workers’ Compensation claim, contact us.