When Every Breath Counts: Black Lung Disease And Workers' Comp

Law Blog

For workers in the coal industry, the presence of coal dust is a fact of life. It's everywhere in the workplace and it can even affect nearby towns. The mountainous terrain around coal mines doesn't help, since it can trap the dust near the surface and make it nearly impossible to avoid breathing it in. This dust does permanent damage to your lungs, and it is probably not to late to seek compensation, even if the damage was done many years ago. You have rights when it comes to the awful effects that this dust has on your lungs, so read on to learn more about black lung disease and how to be compensated for it:

The Disease Begins

Our bodies have an amazing ability to fight off enemies that would harm our health, and in most cases, we recover from infections, parasites, and other medical conditions that might lead to our deaths. In some cases, the body's reaction to a foreign invader causes more problems. As you inhale those microscopic coal dust particles, the lungs quickly form protective scar tissue around those particles that lodge in the lungs.

As time goes on, the scar tissue builds up more and more, and eventually the scar tissue itself becomes the problem. As the scar tissue blocks your ability to breathe in and out, you may begin to feel the effects of the coal dust and your body's response to it. At first, you may just assume that you have a bad cold or flu, since the initial signs of this disorder can be a dry, hacking cough, shortness of breath, and a lack of energy.

Getting Medical Treatment

To have a confirmed diagnosis, you will need to seek medical care and let the doctor know about your career in the coal industry. Various breathing tests will be done to evaluate the level of damage already done to your lungs, such as arterial blood gas tests, pulmonary function tests, and chest x-rays. These tests basically measure how well you are able to take oxygen in and expel carbon dioxide. Be sure to keep careful records of all of your medical treatments, such as receipts and diagnostic test results.

Begin the Compensation Process

It is not enough to know you have black lung disease, you must also inform your supervisor about your diagnosis so that the proper workers' comp claim forms may be submitted. No matter how long ago this damage began, you have the right to be compensated. You may request that your work position is changed to one with less potential for exposure to coal dust, and you are eligible for your full medical costs to be paid. Additionally, you may need to stay home until you are strong enough to work again, and workers' comp will cover a portion of your salary while you do so.

For more information on choosing a workers' compensation lawyer, find out more here.


30 August 2017

Car Accident Clues

It can be hard to know what to do to protect yourself legally in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. You’re liable to be disoriented or in shock, you may be injured, and you’re surely worried about your passenger or the other driver. At least, that’s how I felt. The thing is, the things you say and do in the immediate aftermath of an accident may affect a legal case later. Depending on who’s at fault and what the laws are in your state, you may want to sue the other driver for damages, or you may find yourself being sued. My blog is designed to give you tips for a car accident lawsuit, no matter which side you find yourself on.