Pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and byssinosis are all common forms of occupational lung diseases that are also all exceptionally serious. These are work-related diseases that progress over time, which can make obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled through workers’ compensation that much more difficult. Just compensation, however, is critical to your recovery, which makes working closely with an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney paramount.
Lung diseases like pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and byssinosis are closely associated with the following kinds of jobs:
Pneumoconiosis is a disease that is commonly called black lung, which is caused by the inhalation of dust and is marked by inflammation, fibrosis, and severe coughing. The principal cause of pneumoconiosis is exposure in the workplace (exposure in the environment is very rare).
Silicosis is a pulmonary fibrosis that is caused by exposure to crystalline silica in the air, which is a byproduct of drilling, grinding, chipping, cutting, and/or grinding soil, granite, sand, and other minerals. Those whose jobs require tunnel work, stone cutting, or glass manufacturing are most at risk.
Byssinosis is a rare lung disease that results in occupational asthma and is sometimes called brown lung disease. Symptoms include tightness in the chest and shortness of breath, and it’s caused by the inhalation of cotton, flax, and hemp over an extended period of time. Employees in the textile industries are at the greatest risk of acquiring byssinosis.
These serious occupational lung diseases are generally acquired after being exposed to the precipitating cause over a considerable length of time. Often these diseases present with flu-like symptoms that fail to abate. A common sign that the illness is actually an occupational lung disease is that the sick employee stops responding to treatment. If an illness with any of the signs common to these serious diseases lasts longer than two weeks, it’s time for further testing. Diagnosis often requires an x-ray, biopsy, or another kind of technical testing. When diagnosed early, there are more treatment options available.
If you are suffering from pneumoconiosis, silicosis, or byssinosis, it is a long-term ailment that is likely to require extensive and ongoing medical treatment. Further, because these illnesses are caused by the environment you work in, you will not be able to return to your position. In other words, the medical expenses and lost earnings you are up against are likely to be extensive and should be carefully addressed in your workers’ compensation claim.
Danielle Pinkston at Pinkston Law Group, P.C., in Joliet, Illinois, is a resourceful workers’ compensation attorney who understands the severity of your illness and who is committed to skillfully pursuing your claim’s best possible resolution. For more information, please don’t wait to contact us today.
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