The laws concerning workers' compensation and exposure to asbestos can be somewhat confusing. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that has been linked to mesothelioma and many other types of cancer and upper respiratory ailments. Many claimants are finding out that their current health issues may stem from asbestos exposure that occurred decades ago. Understanding the laws that pertain to asbestos and workers' compensation is essential if you plan on filing a claim against your employer.
Getting Compensation Outside of the Courtroom
Filing a workers' compensation claim is the first step in getting the compensation you deserve to help cover your medical expenses and lost wages. In most states, filing a workers' compensation claim is referred to as an exclusive remedy. This means that once a claim has been filed through your employer's insurance, that is the only recourse you have and you will not be able to sue your employer in court. Workers' compensation is an informal process that takes place outside of the courtroom where attorneys may be present, but no actual court case is filed.
Know Who Your Employer Is
The general consensus is that the company or entity that signs your paycheck is your actual employer. Large corporations, however, may hire third-party contractors to supply manpower in their factories or specific locations. Be sure to know who is your employer as workers’ compensation claims can only be filed against them. You cannot file claims against a manufacturer or other entity unless you can prove they are your legal employer. If you are unsure of who your employer is, hiring a workers' compensation attorney may help you get the answers you need.
Who Is Liable for Secondary Asbestos Exposure?
Secondary asbestos exposure refers to mesothelioma or other types of asbestos-related conditions diagnosed in someone who has taken care of or lived with another person who was directly exposed to asbestos on a long term basis. Asbestos can attach to clothing, hair, and other items and easily be transported back to the person's home and family, leading to secondary exposure and increased cancer risk. Even though the person was indirectly exposed, the person may file a claim against the original person's employer.
Having a reputable workers' compensation attorney on your side is the best way to protect your rights. Gaylord & Nantais are workers' compensation attorneys who have years of experience assisting individuals dealing with both direct and secondary asbestos exposure related to their work. Schedule an appointment today to find out if our attorneys can help you!
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