An aerosol is a suspension of tiny particles or droplets of dusts, mists, or fumes in the air. It is common in many different types of workplaces, including factories, mines, fire fighting, construction sites, and demolition sites. The tiny particles may be absorbed into a worker’s skin or inhaled and cause serious health effects like black lung or silicosis. Larger particles may irritate upper airways. If you suffer health problems due to aerosol exposure in your workplace, the experienced Boston workers’ compensation attorneys at Pulgini & Norton may be able to help you obtain the benefits that you need.Seeking Benefits for Illnesses Caused by Aerosol Exposure
You may file a workers' compensation claim in Massachusetts if you have become sick due to aerosol exposure. All Massachusetts employers with employees who work more than 16 hours on a weekly basis are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Employees who suffer from a work-related illness may receive income and medical benefits while trying to recuperate from the illness.
If you become aware that you were made sick due to workplace aerosol exposure, you should immediately notify your boss in writing. The written notification should include the details of when and where you were harmed, which sort of illness (or injury) you suffered, and any witnesses. A failure to report the illness in a timely fashion may result in losing the right to benefits.
If your illness makes you unable to work for five partial or full days or requires you to get medical care, the employer is supposed to file a Form 101, an Employer's First Report of Injury or Fatality, with its insurer. It should do so within seven days of your reporting the illness. The days of loss need not be consecutive days.
You should also obtain medical care. If you suffer injuries or illness from an acute aerosol exposure, and you do not need to take time off from work for five or more calendar days, it is a medical-only claim, and it need not be reported to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), although it must still be reported to the insurer.
You should be aware that your employer is entitled to choose the physician whom you initially see. However, your treating physician after that point may be of your choosing. You should make sure that the physician knows that your illness is work-related so that the physician understands that they will need to bill a workers' compensation insurer and that certain guidelines may apply to your treatment.
Once an insurer receives the form from your employer, it has 14 calendar days to pay benefits or send a notification of denial. The insurer may pay the claim for up to 180 days immediately after the initial injury or illness without accepting liability in what is called a pay without prejudice period. During that time, the insurer may give you seven days’ notice if it plans to stop or modify the payments. After the first 180-day period passes, the insurer may stop payment only for reasons outlined by the workers' compensation law.Retain an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney in the Boston Area
If you suffer an illness or injury due to workplace aerosol exposure, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. At Pulgini & Norton, our experienced Boston workers’ compensation lawyers may be able to represent you in the challenging process of seeking these benefits. We assist injured people in Lowell, Somerville, and New Bedford, among other Massachusetts communities. Contact Pulgini & Norton at 781-843-2200 or through our online form for a free consultation with a workplace accident attorney.