Emphysema is a type of obstructive lung condition that affects the breathing and airways. This lung condition destroys the alveoli, or air sacs, slowly. The alveoli swell, and then rupture. An individual then begins to experience shortness of breath. 

What Causes Emphysema?

Emphysema develops because of the lungs are continuous irritated by some kind of chemical. The chemicals may come from:

  • Air pollution
  • Dust and occupational chemicals in the workplace
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Age

What Are Emphysema Symptoms?

The common symptoms of emphysema are:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain/tightness
  • Pursed-lipped breathing

Can Emphysema Be a Work Injury?

Yes, it can be a work injury, depending on the circumstances. A work injury is a type of injury that occurs or develops while an individual works at a specific job. The injury happens because the worker is required to do some task that leads to the injury. The term “work” injury also refers to any injury that happens during employment hours or while the employee is on their employer’s premises. These injuries include respiratory and other illnesses, which are commonly called “industrial diseases.”

Can I Get Workers’ Compensation for My Industrial Disease?

Yes, you typically can receive workers’ compensation for your industrial disease. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program mandated by each state. It provides compensation to employees who experience a workplace injury, such as compensation to cover cardiothoracic surgery bills. The insurance program guarantees compensation benefits, regardless of who is at fault.

Can I Sue and Receive Workers’ Compensation?

No. In exchange for receiving workers’ compensation, a worker gives up their right to sue the employer in civil court for the injuries sustained on the job.

What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Benefits associated with workers’ compensation vary according to the type and degree of the injury, but generally include:

  • Paying medical expenses
  • Replacement income
  • Covering rehabilitation costs
  • Temporary or permanent disability

Do I Need to Discuss My Emphysema Illness with a Lawyer?

Emphysema is a long-lasting illness that can severely impact your ability to fully function at work and enjoy a normal quality of life. If you have contracted emphysema as a result of your job, you should contact an employment lawyer. They can aid you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and help you get adequate compensation for your industrial disease.