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California Occupational Diseases and Workers' Comp

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Definition of Occupational Diseases and Workers' Comp

Occupational diseases refer to health conditions or illnesses that are directly caused by workplace factors or occupational activities. These diseases can affect workers in various industries and can range from respiratory conditions like lung cancer to musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Types of Occupational Diseases

Contact dermatitis is the most important cause of occupational skin diseases, and accounts for 15 to 20 percent of all reported occupational diseases in the U.S. Contact dermatitis is caused by a wide array of physical, biological, or chemical agents. [1]

Types of Occupational Diseases

Private industry employers reported 2.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2021, a decrease of 1.8 percent from 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. [3]

Notifying Your Employer About an Occupational Disease

If you suspect you have an occupational disease, it is necessary to inform your employer.

If an individual already had the disease before joining the employer, their condition will not be eligible for workers’ compensation.

When notifying the employer, it is important to clearly show the connection between your disease and your work. Next, you should wait for your employer’s response. By law, employers are obligated to provide workers’ compensation benefits for occupational diseases. If the employer does not provide these benefits, it is advisable to seek assistance from a workers’ compensation lawyer.

What Benefits Can You Claim For An Occupational Disease?

If you have an occupational disease, you are eligible to receive all workers’ compensation benefits. These include medical expenses, lost wages, decreased earning potential, and non-economic damages.

Medical costs encompass the following:

One can claim the costs of medical care for the disease, including past, present, and future expenses.

If the disease prevents you from returning to work, you can also request compensation for lost wages. These are the wages you will be unable to earn as a result of your illness. If the disease causes a temporary or permanent inability to perform a specific type of work, one can pursue damages for lost earning capacity.

What Benefits Can You Claim For An Occupational Disease?

California Workers Compensation Lawyer

Goldberg & Loren understands the intricacies of the workers’ compensation system and will navigate the complex legal processes on your behalf. 

One of our primary roles is to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to under California law.

We are well-versed in the documentation and evidence required to support a claim and can effectively advocate for your rights before the workers’ compensation board or in court, if necessary.

If you are in need of representation regarding your occupational disease, contact our dedicated team of California workers’ compensation attorneys


[1] Foulis, M. (2020, October 22). 7 most common occupational diseases. Canadian Occupational Safety. https://www.thesafetymag.com/ca/topics/occupational-hygiene/7-most-common-occupational-diseases/236947

[2] Post, H. (2023, April 3). The Top 7 Occupational Diseases in Industry Workers. TRADESAFE. https://trdsf.com/blogs/news/the-top-7-occupational-diseases-in-industry-workers

[3] Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 2021 – 2021 A01 Results. (n.d.). https://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh.nr0.htm

George Goldberg

If you've suffered from an occupational disease or work-related illness in California, our experienced lawyers at Goldberg and Loren can offer the legal assistance you need. Don't hesitate to contact us today for the answers you're seeking. We're here to help!

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