Skip to navigation
Accessible, Personalized Representation Schedule a Free Consultation

Occupational Exposure Attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky 

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system to protect employees from injuries and illnesses occurring because of workplace conditions. Injuries can come in many forms: slips and falls, being struck by an object, suffering cuts or burns, or even from repetitive motion and stress. Illnesses generally must be attributed to exposure to chemicals or particles that cause illness. If you catch the flu from a coworker, that is not covered by workers’ compensation. 

Some occupations are more prone to exposure. Miners, for instance, are exposed to harmful dust particles containing silica. Construction workers likewise are often exposed to silica. Exposure to diesel fumes can lead to cancer and increase the risk of heart and respiratory diseases. Aerospace workers can absorb or inhale beryllium, a light metal used in manufacturing airplanes, satellites, and missiles. 

However, even office workers can be exposed and fall ill to toxic mold. Even using some solvents, which are considered ototoxic, can cause hearing loss, as can loud, persistent noise in the work environment. 

If you or a loved one has fallen ill or suffered debilitating effects from chemical or other exposure at your place of work in or around Louisville, Kentucky, contact the Slechter Law Firm, PLLC, for help with launching a workers’ compensation claim. Mr. Slechter and Mrs. Slechter have helped countless others in your situation provide the documentation and proof necessary to obtain the benefits due to them under workers’ compensation. They also serve clients in Lexington and throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

Ready to Speak With an Attorney?


Common Occupational Exposure Illnesses and Conditions

Asbestos and mesothelioma are probably the most common injuries that result from toxic workplace exposure. In fact, asbestos has risen into a category of its own and, though still covered by workers’ compensation, it has carved out its own legal niche to allow for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, which usually aren’t possible when workers’ compensation is available. 

Outside of asbestos, however, there are plenty of other sources that can cause workplace injury and illness. In addition to some of the sources listed above—silica, beryllium, diesel fumes, ototoxic cleaning agents, persistent loud noise, and toxic mold—other occupations and their inherent toxic fumes or chemicals can lead to disease.  

  • Welding, for instance, involves working with molten metal, which produces toxic fumes. Manganese used in welding rods is particularly harmful and can cause a Parkinson’s-like disease. Even farm or grain workers can develop what is called farmer’s lung, an asthma-like condition that springs from exposure to mold spores or bacteria found in crops, especially in hay. 

  • Exposure to dust from unprocessed cotton, flax, or hemp can cause a lung disease called byssinosis, or brown lung. Brown lung is an asthma-like condition that results in chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing. Long-term exposure can lead to permanent lung damage. 

  • Flock worker’s lung disease can result from working with nylon that is cut into small strands known as flock. Flock is used in making carpets, upholstery, and blankets. Flock worker’s lung results in inflammation and scarring in the lungs, leading to chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath.  

  • Popcorn lung, or bronchiolitis obliterans, can result from working with flavorings, such as those used on popcorn in microwave popcorn plants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, warns that there are more than one thousand flavoring ingredients that can lead to popcorn lung disease. 

  • Pesticides, paints, solvents, and acids can lead to illness or injury as well, wherever they are used. 

Types of Exposure

Those who work around toxic substances will often wear personal protective equipment (PPE), which can include items as simple as goggles, gloves, or face masks all the way up to hazmat body suits.  Exhaust fans and eyewash stations should be available for these workers as well.  

Diseases and other unhealthy effects can result from skin contact, breathing the fumes, or accidentally ingesting even a small amount of a toxic chemical. Exposure can lead to burns, rashes, and throat or lung diseases, but nerve and brain damage are also common. 

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

The sooner you act after exposure, the better you will be both in terms of caring for your health and in terms of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Occupational exposure claims can be challenging. It’s best to assemble the most thorough and convincing package of evidence possible when you initiate your claim. As soon as you feel you have been exposed, you need to get a physician to examine you and propose a treatment regimen if needed, and you also need to notify your supervisor/employer immediately.  

The first step in filing a workers’ compensation claim is to communicate your illness/injury to your employer through the proper chain, whether supervisor, human relations personnel, or the actual employer. You must then complete what is called a First Report of Injury form. You will also need to sign a Medical Waiver and Consent Form and a Designated Physician Form.  

In doing so, you will need to select a physician from the list of preapproved providers. You can change your “gatekeeper” physician only once going forward. Specialists are not considered gatekeepers, so you may see more than one specialist. You will also be given a temporary prescription card to cover any medicines you are prescribed. 

All this may sound easy enough, but insurance companies being for-profit institutions, you can expect your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer to do its best to challenge your claim and make sure your illness or condition is a result of your work and not from a pre-existing condition or something you did on your own. 

They may even order you to undergo what is called an independent medical examination (IME) by a physician or group of their choosing, which means they’re on the insurer’s payroll and thus inclined to favor the insurance company. 

Be prepared to provide as much evidence as possible, including even testimony from co-workers as to the cause of your condition. You must also obtain as much evidence and documentation from your own physician as well to serve as further justification for your claim. To increase your chances of receiving the full benefits you deserve, team up with the workers’ comp attorneys at Slechter Law Firm, PLLC. 

Occupational Exposure Attorneys Serving

Louisville, Kentucky 

If you or a loved one wants to make a workers’ compensation exposure claim in or around Louisville, Kentucky, contact the husband-wife team at the Slechter Law Firm, PLLC. They will help you gather together a strong array of documentary and medical evidence needed to support your claim, and if you need to appeal a decision down the road, they’ll be there for you then, too.