When Your Job Causes Breathing Problems

You may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits if you suffer from a pulmonary disease that was triggered or exacerbated by activities or conditions on the job. Perhaps you had a pre-existing, mild asthmatic condition. Through your work around chemicals such as paint fumes, solvents or adhesives at your workplace, the condition worsened considerably. Even though the underlying lung disease was present before you were exposed to benzene, diacetyl vapors, exhaust or dust, if you became sicker because of your job, you likely have a valid workers' compensation claim.

Asthma, or reactive airway disease, can begin or be worsened by environmental conditions in the workplace. Work-related asthma is a growing problem in Pennsylvania, as it is nationwide. Hundreds of irritants on the job, including latex, can cause serious respiratory symptoms in workers. At Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo, we have handled numerous work-related asthma claims, and we will do everything we possibly can to maximize your entitlement to benefits, as a result of asthma caused by working conditions.

Asthma Can Result From Prolonged Or Singular Exposure To Irritants

In Pennsylvania, work-related asthma is usually defined as either a work aggravation of pre-existing asthma or a new onset of asthma, induced by occupational exposure.

Asthma symptoms can vary depending on the severity of an exposure, and can include:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Sometimes symptoms of asthma are "latent," meaning they do not appear right away. Rather, repeated work-related exposure over a long period of time to an irritating substance or an allergen that is followed by sensitization can eventually result in exposure-induced asthma. In other cases of nonallergic asthma, an irritant at work such as chemical fumes can cause an immediate asthma attack. The nonallergic form of asthma is also known as Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS).

The Pennsylvania workers' comp attorneys at Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo have extensive experience handling claims for all types of work-related injuries and bringing appeals against employers and their workers' compensation insurance carriers. When you need a lawyer with experience, you want a lawyer from Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo.

Occupational Asthma Injuries

Many kinds of industries create conditions in which an occupational asthma injury can develop or worsen, including:

  • Chemical plants
  • Paper mills
  • Construction
  • Coal mines
  • Gas stations
  • Airlines

Asthma can result from or be aggravated by exposure to paint fumes, detergents, cleaners, mold, cigarette secondary smoke or perfumes.

What If I Already Had Asthma?

While a pre-existing condition can sometimes mean that you cannot apply for workers' compensation, in the case of asthma you need only to prove that your condition was previously under control, and has been aggravated by your work.

For example: you were diagnosed with asthma as a child but you have been able to control it with occasional use of an inhaler. You went to work for a company where you were exposed to certain chemicals. As you worked around these chemicals, you started to have more and more asthma attacks, and it got increasingly difficult to control. You have a workers' compensation claim.

If you have developed an occupational asthma injury as a result of chemical or toxic exposure, or if your pre-existing condition of asthma has worsened as a result of exposure to chemicals or mold in the workplace, you may have a workers' compensation claim.

Anticipate The Insurance Company's Defense

You may have developed silicosis, reactive airway disease, dermatitis or other maladies because your workplace had a malfunctioning heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. We recommend that you consult with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as early as possible in such a case. We can advise you on reasons for a workers' compensation insurance company's doctor to question the source of your occupational lung disease. For example, we will likely advise you to:

  • Stop smoking, if applicable.
  • Examine the environment of your home to see whether pets, carpeting, ventilation systems or new paint may have exacerbated your condition.
  • Consult with a specialist such as an allergist to request tests to help determine a possible connection between what you are exposed to at work and what you are suffering from now.

Speak With An Occupational Lung Disease Lawyer

We are ready to listen and share valuable insights regarding your black lung disease or other on-the-job pulmonary disease case. We can provide you with the guidance you need to maximize your chances of obtaining workers' compensation benefits if your lung disease is work-related. Email us or call us at 215-310-0001, or at 877-794-2396 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced attorney in Philadelphia or in locations throughout Pennsylvania.

All workers' compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis. We only get paid if we win or prevent the insurance company from stopping or altering your benefits, or if you settle your case.