Our blog has spent a lot of time discussing workplace injuries and how they can affect not only an individual’s ability to work, but also to maintain financial stability. While many Californians find themselves in this situation, where they are overwhelmed by their lost wages and unexpected medical expenses, many others find themselves in just as dire of a condition, perhaps even worse, when they are hit by a workplace illness.
One devastating medical condition that can be contracted in the workplace is cancer. Cancer is diagnosed in nearly 13 million people each year, and the number is expected to grow as it continues to be the number one killer in developed countries. Although cancer can develop under any number of circumstances, one key factor is the environment in which an individual works. If he or she is exposed to cancer-causing agents while at work, then he or she may be more likely to contract the oftentimes fatal disease.
What makes this scary is that, although many American workers contract occupational cancer, less than two percent of all components used in manufacturing and processing have been tested for carcinogens. If these agents were more carefully analyzed, then the estimated three to six percent of all cancer that is caused by exposure to carcinogens in the workplace would be greatly reduced.
However, while we wait for federal and state governments and agencies to take the steps necessary to protect workers, those suffering from cancer contracted from the workplace need to find a way to get by financially as they focus on their health. The best way to do this is to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Although the benefits received from this program can be a true lifesaver, they can also be difficult to obtain, as many claims are denied. Therefore, those who are considering pursuing a workers’ compensation claim should think about discussing their case with a qualified legal professional.