Chest diseases mainly include diseases or disorders of the lungs. However, they may also include heart conditions as well as other medical conditions.
The majority of chest diseases have symptoms including:
- Difficulty breathing;
- Sharp, temporary pains;
- Long, dull pains in the chest;
- Mucus or other fluids in the lungs; and
The term chest disease, in general, refers to internal conditions that are related to organs rather than to muscular or skeletal conditions. There are numerous different categories and classifications of chest diseases and illnesses.
What are Some Common Forms of Chest Disease?
Common forms of chest disease include:
Chest diseases may result from many different types of causes, including:
- Consumer products;
- Work-related factors; and
- Various other elements.
In addition, there are certain diseases that may be connected with other conditions, for example, throat conditions or other illnesses.
What is an Occupational Disease?
Some chest diseases may be occupational diseases. Occupational diseases, or industrial diseases, are injuries, illnesses, or medical conditions that a worker may get when they work at a specific job or in a certain industry.
Typically, a large group of workers from the same industry or job will all share similar symptoms of an illness, share the same injuries, or will be diagnosed with the same work-related disease. An occupational disease is often the result of working in unsafe working conditions.
Workers who suffer from occupational diseases often file workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits as a result of suffering from an occupational disease. There are certain laws that protect workers, including work-related disease laws and occupational exposure laws.
Regardless of an individual’s line of work, every worker has the right to work in a safe working environment. The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration may assist workers to better understand their legal rights and options if they believe they may have an occupational disease.
What are Examples of an Occupational Disease?
There are numerous different types of occupational diseases. Work-related diseases are more common in jobs which require repetitive movements or in working environments that have:
- Poor air quality;
- Hazardous chemicals; or
- Bad lighting.
An occupational disease may also result from long-term exposure to digital technology screens. Examples of industries that are commonly associated with occupational diseases may include:
- Factory assembly plants;
- Animal slaughterhouses;
- Textile factories;
- Hairdressing and nail salons.
Common forms of occupational diseases may include:
- Lung diseases including emphysema;
- Cancers or illnesses caused by chemicals like asbestos;
- Muscle strain, arthritis, and joint injuries from repetitive motions;
- Vision and hearing impairment;
- Skin conditions, including:
- burns; and
- blistering caused by contact with:
- chemicals; electricity; or
- Back and spine injuries from heavy lifting;
- Breathing problems like occupational asthma caused by poor air quality;
- Loss of limbs; and
- Head injuries, neck injuries, limb injuries, and various other injuries or medical conditions.
There are some types of occupational diseases that may be more severe in certain workers when compared with a coworker. A worker may not be aware that they have an occupational disease right away.
There are some forms of work-related diseases that may not be discovered until months or years after the worker has retired or left their job.
How Do I Know If I Have an Occupational Disease?
In order for an injury, illness, or disease to be classified as an occupational disease, the medical condition must have been caused directly by working in the worker’s industry or at their job. If the medical condition existed before the worker started working in a particular industry or if their injury or illness occurred mostly outside of work, it may not be an occupational disease.
It may be helpful to have the expert opinion of a medical doctor or an employer lawyer who can help an individual determine if their medical condition qualifies as an occupational disease.
Is it Possible to Recover Damages for Chest Disease Cases?
In many situations, it may be possible to recover damages for injuries and losses that are caused by chest diseases. For example, many chest diseases result from work-related factors.
These types of disease may be covered by workers’ compensation or other arrangements. Damages may be awarded to cover:
One of the main factors that must be shown to recover damages for a chest disease is causation. The plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant was directly responsible for the injuries of conditions that were experienced.
Many of these types of cases fall under the legal theory of negligence. One example of this is when a plaintiff is required to prove that a specific manufacturer was directly responsible for making a product that caused a chest disease.
Under federal and state laws, it may be possible if the manufacturer failed to include warnings about the risk of chest disease. In some cases, a chest disease claim may be filed as a class action toxic exposure lawsuit.
If it is determined that the worker has an occupational disease, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer for damages in court. The worker may also be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against their employer.
There are several factors which determine whether a worker’s occupational disease damages should be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit or as a workers’ compensation claim. These factors may vary based upon:
- The specific injuries the individual suffered at work;
- The industry that the individual works in; and
- The type of employer the individual works for.
Another issue to consider is the amount of damages that an individual requested be awarded by the court. A worker with an occupational disease may request damages for medical bills or for the loss of income.
There are some states that place limits on the amount of money that an individual is permitted to recover from their employer. Recovery limits may apply to the individual’s specific damages request for pain and suffering and emotional injuries that may have been caused by the occupational disease.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Chest Disease Claim?
A chest disease may be a very serious medical condition. These types of claims often involve highly technical legal and medical concepts.
It is likely in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need assistance filing a chest disease lawsuit. Your attorney can advise you regarding what must be shown in your case and the possible damages award you may receive.
Your lawyer will provide you with representation throughout your case. If your chest disease is a result of your employment, you will have to determine if you have an occupational disease and if that occupational disease is a direct result of your job.
There are many complicated steps and court filings involved in these types of cases. Your attorney can assist you with determining whether your claim is best handled as a workers’ compensation claim against your employer or as a personal injury lawsuit as well as how much in damages you should request.