Work accidents can happen at any time and in any job in Louisiana. Workers’ compensation benefits are integral for an injured worker to have medical expenses covered and to receive pay while recovering. While workplace injuries are often clear and obvious, other kinds of issues that stem from work can be more complicated. Workers’ compensation is especially important when workers suffer an occupational disease. Since an occupational disease can be more difficult to discern when the case is assessed, knowing the rules is critical.

There are important facts that every worker should understand when seeking workers’ compensation for an occupational disease. Knowing these can avoid any issues regarding the benefits. When the injury occurs or an occupational disease is diagnosed, it must be reported to the employer immediately. This is true even in cases where the victim initially believes that the issue is a minor one.

For those who have an occupational disease, the claim will be barred if the employee fails to report it within one year of the following situations: the disease has manifested itself; the employee is deemed to be disabled because of it; and the employee knows or reasonably believes that the disease is due to the job. If the worker has died, the claims from a dependent must be made within one year of the person dying or the date at which the person had a reasonable belief that the occupational disease led to the death.

Any worker can be confronted with an illness from the work they were doing. It does not necessarily need to be the kind of work that is obvious for the risk of suffering an occupational disease. For those who have become ill and the families who have lost a loved one, understanding the necessary steps to get workers’ compensation benefits and other forms of compensation is crucial. Contacting a lawyer that specializes in workers’ compensation cases can help.