Any time a person’s work environment or job related responsibilities cause them to develop an illness, it is known as an occupational disease. This is something that you can get coverage for through a Greenville, South Carolina, workers’ compensation claim. However, it is not always an easy thing to prove, and some illnesses simply will not be eligible for coverage. In many cases of occupational disease, the employer will try to argue that a person’s illness is not related to their job or that it is ineligible for compensation because it could have happened anywhere else in a number of other ways.
Certain Illnesses Are Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina
Certain illnesses are not likely to be covered by workers’ compensation coverage in South Carolina, at least in most circumstances. Examples include mental illnesses, heart conditions, strokes, epilepsy, pulmonary illness, climate related illnesses, and contagious diseases. Contagious diseases or communicable illnesses are those that you can catch from someone else. Yet, even if you know that your illness was caused by a co-worker who had the same illness, you will not get workers’ compensation coverage for your illness. The reasoning is that the illness could have come from anywhere, even if you know where it came from. You could have caught the illness just as easily from a grocery store shopping cart, for example.
When it comes to things like mental illnesses, heart conditions, or idiopathic conditions (those that arise spontaneously without recognizable cause), a person will be entitled to workers’ compensation coverage only in certain circumstances where such injuries resulting from those conditions can be directly attributed to something at your work. For example, if a person has a seizure and hits their head on a work machine, then their head injury may be covered, even though the seizure medication they need to manage an ongoing condition would not be. Similarly, if a person had a heart attack while driving for work-related purposes, then their heart attack treatment probably would not be covered, but the auto accident injuries might be covered as being work-related.
You Can Get Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Greenville, South Carolina, for Some Illnesses in Some Circumstances
When it comes to occupational illnesses that are covered under certain circumstances, the most common involve mental health conditions. This is because many injuries can result in mental health conditions. Although, a person cannot seek coverage for a mental health condition like depression because their workplace is depressing, they can seek coverage for any mental health condition that is directly related to an occupational injury or illness. For instance, if a person gets into a work-related auto accident that results in post traumatic stress disorder, then their treatment for PTSD would be covered as being directly related to the occupational auto accident that they were injured in. If a person lost an arm or a leg in any kind of work accident, then they might have a variety of mental health effects from this event, including depression. In this case, the mental health treatment that they require would be covered by workers’ compensation.
Some Occupational Diseases will Result in Disability or Death
In the most serious cases of occupational disease in workers’ compensation claims, the victim could be permanently disabled or could even die. Some examples include asbestos exposure or exposure to other toxic or hazardous materials. When this happens, the person who is disabled could receive long term disability wage benefits in addition to their medical benefits. If the person passes away from an occupational disease, then their family and dependents may be able to recover death benefits from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This will cover the final medical expenses, wage benefits, and funeral and burial expenses. If you have lost a loved one to an occupational disease, contact the attorneys at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. to learn more.
When Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Your Greenville, South Carolina, Workers’ Compensation Claim
There are many people who end up with occupational diseases that are also related to pre-existing conditions. You may think that a pre-existing condition will prevent you from recovering workers’ compensation benefits, but this is not always true. In some cases, it may be true, but if your work conditions contributed to the pre-existing condition become worse, then you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, in spite of the fact that you had a pre-existing condition. For instance, if you have a mental health condition already and that condition is made worse by a work-related injury or illness, then you may still get coverage for the mental health treatment that you need. To be more specific, imagine that a person has depression. This is their pre-existing condition. Then, they are injured in such a way that they lose an arm or a leg at work. They may become even more depressed, and they may become severely impaired by this psychological illness. They should be able to get workers’ compensation medical benefits for the treatment that they need for that work-related depression.
Call David R. Price, Jr., P.A. to Schedule a Free Consultation in Greenville, South Carolina
Whenever someone is affected by an occupational disease in Greenville, South Carolina, the situation can be confusing and stressful. You may not be sure if your illness qualifies for coverage or how to go about proving that it is work-related. Contact David R. Price, Jr., P.A. to learn more about your rights and options.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.