Archive for November, 2022

Nov 2022

Work Injuries & Illnesses from Hazardous Chemical Exposure

worker wearing protective mask, goggles, hard hat looks at containers of hazardous chemicals inside a factory.

Some of the most common work-related injuries and illnesses involve exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Each year, an estimated 13 million workers nationwide get sick or injured due to exposure to hazardous chemicals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In many cases, sick or injured workers are often eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits while recovering from a hazardous chemical exposure injury or illness. However, getting such benefits can be much harder than many realize.

Employees must understand why and how these work-related illnesses or injuries happen on the job. They should also know their potential legal options if they were exposed to hazardous chemicals at work and need help recovering their losses. That’s why the Rhode Island workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl want to meet with you. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.

Common workplace hazardous chemicals

Injuries and illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace can involve a wide range of chemicals, including:

  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Zinc

Many other chemicals can cause severe injuries or illnesses depending on the type of chemical, the amount involved, and how long someone was exposed to it. This is why sick or injured workers need immediate medical attention if they suspect they have come into contact with dangerous chemicals. You can never be too careful when it comes to your health.

Why workplace hazardous chemical injuries occur

Most work-related injuries or illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals occur in one of three ways:

  • Breathing in a hazardous chemical.
  • The hazardous chemical comes into direct contact with the skin.
  • Exposure to a hazardous chemical for a long time over many years.

Injuries and illnesses due to hazardous chemical exposure

Common, severe illnesses and injuries caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals include:

  • Brain injuries, including brain damage, often due to long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals over many years.
  • Breathing disorders, including asthma, due to lung damage.
  • Cancer, including lung cancer and leukemia.
  • Neurological disorders (damage to the central nervous system), including Parkinson’s disease.
  • Skin conditions, including rashes, burns, and other injuries caused by dangerous chemicals coming into direct contact with the skin.
  • Vision-related injuries, including partial or total blindness.

How negligence can play a role

Many work-related injuries and illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals occur due to negligence in the workplace. This includes:

  • Improper ventilation in the workplace results in dangerous chemicals not being removed from the air in a workspace.
  • Improperly storing hazardous chemicals.
  • Not providing employees with proper protective equipment, including masks, gloves, and more advanced personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Not providing workers with the proper training to safely handle hazardous chemicals.

How a Rhode Island workers’ compensation attorney can help

Workers’ compensation claims involving hazardous chemicals often become complicated legal cases. In addition, sick or injured workers might be able to obtain additional financial compensation in addition to workers’ comp benefits (in certain circumstances).

This is why it’s critical that sick or injured workers talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer right away. The knowledgeable legal team at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl has been helping people get the benefits they deserve for years in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. When you have us on your side, you can put yourself in a position to recover the money you deserve.

Learn more about your legal rights. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a Rhode Island workers’ compensation attorney you can trust to put your best interests first. We have three offices conveniently located in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and handle workplace injury claims in both states.

Nov 2022

Is There Workers’ Comp for Defective Machinery Injuries?

Factory worker engineer working in factory using tablet computer to check maintenance boiler water pipe in factory.

You shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for a work accident.

Faulty and defective machinery may be a bigger source of workplace injuries than most people realize.

According to a global study, defective machinery and equipment accidents may cause almost 20 percent of workplace accidents reported annually. A piece of work machinery may become defective for many reasons, including:

  • Cheap or faulty parts.
  • Poor maintenance.
  • Normal wear-and-tear.
  • Misuse.
  • Machinery modifications.
  • Improper installation.

Types of defective machinery injuries

Defective machinery accidents don’t always cause an injury, but when they do, they are usually severe or fatal. Employees can be crushed, wounded, struck, scalded, or compressed by malfunctioning equipment. These injuries can be disabling and deadly.

Defective equipment accidents can cause employee injuries like:

  • Broken bones.
  • Burns.
  • Electric shock.
  • Traumatic brain damage
  • Spine and back injuries.

Nerve damage that impairs mobility or decreases brain function can also result from defective equipment injuries. Amputations, as well as vision and hearing loss, are common, too.

Workers’ compensation for defective machinery injuries

Employees injured at work and the families of fatal workplace accident victims are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The program offers compensation for work-injury medical expenses, recovery, and lost wages.

However, getting all of the benefits a worker deserves is not simple. Some employers reject claims. And insurance companies will use any justification to undervalue an accident victim’s medical costs, wages, and agony.

If you were injured in a work accident or developed a work-related illness in southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, schedule a free case consultation with The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl to learn more about your potential legal options.

Defective parts third-party lawsuit

Typically, you cannot sue your employer after a defective machinery accident because workers’ comp is a no-fault system. That’s why it’s important for workers injured by malfunctioning equipment to understand the full range of their legal options.

In addition to claiming workers comp, an injured worker may have a strong third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective equipment. But there may be others who are liable, too. For example, they may have a case against an outside maintenance vendor, the company that installed the equipment, the property owner (if the employer is renting space), or those who trained employees to use the equipment.

A lawyer can help identify all liable parties and pursue maximum compensation after a work accident or related illness.

When it comes to workers’ compensation, experience matters

Founded in the 1980s, The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl has encountered every trick and tactic used against injured workers to reduce or reject their claims. Our defective machinery accident attorneys know how to break down these obstacles. They have developed the skills to investigate and build strong claims for defective machinery injury compensation.

If you were injured in a defective machinery accident at work in southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, we can help. For more information about your legal options and to get a claim estimate, contact us for a free case evaluation.

We have offices in Fall River, Foxborough, and Providence. But if you can’t come to us, we can come to you.

Do not wait. Successful workers’ compensation applications and injury lawsuits must meet strict legal deadlines. Contact us today for your free case evaluation; We are ready to hear from you now.