A previous post on this blog talked about how employers in Portland and the rest of Oregon have an obligation to protect their workers from exposure to chemicals and other toxic substances. When toxins have to be used in the course of a business’s trade, then an employer has to take appropriate safety precautions and provide the equipment workers need to keep themselves from getting sick.
Because it is a no-fault system, it should in theory be easy for a worker who has been sickened by toxic chemicals while on the job to get benefits for lost wages and medical bills, the two big ticket items that Oregon’s workers’ compensation system is designed to cover.
Unfortunately, though, employers and their insurance companies can and do sometimes dispute an employee’s claim for benefits based on toxic exposure. Alternatively, they may argue about the true extent of an employee’s illness in an effort to not have to pay as much in benefits.
In these sorts of situations, the skilled advocates at our law office have helped Oregon workers get the full benefits they deserve from Oregon’s workers’ compensation system. The process of obtaining benefits can be complicated, but we understand the system and are experienced with handling contested claims. We will investigate our client’s case fully and advocate for their interests.
Furthermore, there may be situations in which an injured Portland worker can also file a separate personal injury claim against a third party, like the manufacturer of the toxic product that made them ill. Our office will help workers evaluate this option and, if one is available, pursue a legal remedy for them. The end result may be additional compensation that a worker will likely need.