Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Laws Make It Difficult for Those with Occupation Related Diseases to Recover

Why is it difficult to win an occupation related illness claim in Pennsylvania?

It is some times the case that work related injuries and diseases are easy to identify.  For example, if someone falls off a faulty ladder at work and breaks an arm, it is pretty clear that this person’s injuries were a result of his or her work related activities.  But, other work related ailments reveal themselves years, even decades later.  Can you still receive workers’ compensation for these injuries?  The answer is yes but it is a conditional one.  The State of Pennsylvania makes it hard for those withwork related diseases to recover from the workers’ compensation system.

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation claims have to be filed no later than three hundred weeks after the claimant’s last exposure to the hazardous substance.  It is important to note that the deadline does not run from the time when the claimant first becomes aware of his or her illness.  Therefore, if the illness does not reveal itself within the time period, the claimant is left without recourse in the workers’ compensation system and must file a traditional civil lawsuit instead. 

Another aspect of workers’ compensation that makes it difficult for Pennsylvania claimants to recover for work related diseases it the evidentiary standard placed on the claimants.  In this system, the claimants are responsible for proving by a preponderance of the evidence that workplace exposure was more likely than not the cause of their illness.  This means that the majority of the evidence has to show that the injury was work related.  Although this is the standard traditionally used in civil cases, it is not an easy one to meet in these types of cases.

If you have a work related disease, you need an attorney by your side.  The Montgomery and Bucks County, Pennsylvania attorneys at Louis P. Lombardi, III & Associates are ready to fight for you.  Contact us by calling (610) 239-7600 to discuss your case today. 

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