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What you need to know if you suffer a work-related illness

Workers across North Carolina are typically eligible to pursue financial relief if they get hurt or develop an occupational disease through the course of their employment. This relief is workers' compensation, and it can be crucial for people to understand what these benefits are and how they can help workers who have gotten sick as a result of asbestos exposure.

Workers' compensation is employer-paid insurance that protects both the employee and the employer. By providing this coverage, the employer is generally protected from any legal claims by injured workers. Employees who have suffered a workplace illness can apply for and receive benefits without having to go through lengthy trials or trying to prove that anyone was negligent.

Many victims of asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma and asbestosis, are eligible to pursue workers' compensation benefits. In order to be eligible for these benefits, it must be shown that a worker's condition was suffered in connection to his or her employment.

In fact, the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act acknowledges dozens of illnesses that are caused by chemicals, including asbestos, and considers them occupational diseases.

If an employee is covered by this insurance and is able to support an application for benefits with medical records, he or she can be eligible to receive benefits. These benefits serve as a means for reimbursing workers for lost wages, medication, medical treatment and other similar expenses. A worker will generally not receive more than 66.66 percent of his or her weekly pay in benefits, but this money can provide crucial support during times when a worker is unable to work.

Any person who has developed an occupational illness has the right to explore options for benefits with the help of an attorney. Workers' compensation may be just one source of financial relief that could be available.

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