Not all workers’ compensation claims in Pennsylvania stem directly from accidents at the job site. Workers can suffer indirect injuries as well that become workers’ compensation claims when the associated health problems begin to manifest later in life. The claims are not as simple as direct accident injuries, but they nonetheless can be claimed by assembling the necessary evidence to establish the connection to employment. Chief among these types of injuries are lung diseases that develop over time following exposure to harmful workplace environments.
Symptoms of lung disease
While lung diseases can differ significantly in name and diagnosis, they typically start showing similar signs of a problem. The most common symptom is coughing or wheezing while breathing, both under stress and in a natural manner. As a condition worsens, shortness of breath and quick physical exhaustion will also become part of the problem. All of these symptoms along with the medical diagnosis pinpointing the developing disease can be evidence for the workers’ compensation claim.
Medically diagnosing an occupational lung disease typically begins with testing the pulmonary function system of the worker. Biopsies can also be performed that indicate the presence of a dangerous material such as asbestos or coal dust. Asbestos can be contacted in a variety of ways, such as old pipe insulation that may have been used in factories and buildings. Coal dust is another harmful chemical that impairs breathing ability for those who have been exposed. Some workers develop industrial asthma due to inhalation of particles, fumes, or chemicals. A certified specialist Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can assemble all material facts for presentation to a workers’ comp judge for evaluation.