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Work-Related Cancer? Here’s How to Ensure Your Claim Won’t Be Denied

Millions of workers are exposed to cancer-causing substances every day and it is important to establish this connection when pursuing a work-related cancer claim. Individuals who don’t make this connection risk having their workers’ compensation claims denied. When lives and financial futures are on the line, workers’ compensation lawyers, physicians, and expert witnesses can help prove conditions are work-related.

Cancer-Causing Substances at Work

Carcinogens abound in numerous workplace environments. They can be found in cleaning solutions, insulating materials, finishing materials, sealants, and other substances that can be inhaled, absorbed, or ingested. This includes many commonly known chemicals and agents such as asbestos or silica, and it also includes seemingly innocuous agents such as wood and grain dust.

Preventing Exposure

Employers have a duty of care to their employees to implement active measures to prevent potentially toxic exposures. This includes ensuring that chemicals and other agents are properly labeled, monitoring the status of these substances, limiting access to these materials, and ensuring that workers have both the training and appropriate safety equipment to protect themselves from harm.

However, there are instances where individuals can’t fully protect themselves. These include firefighters and other emergency responders who enter hazardous environments where control of such substances requires coming into contact with them. Not long ago, the law in Nevada finally granted these individuals protections, listing cancer as an occupational disease associated with the vital job they perform.

Proving Causation

Sometimes, it is easy to establish causation, for instance, a shipyard worker from the 1960’s developing mesothelioma. Other times, it’s not so easy, such as a nanny who develops cancer following years of using Johnson and Johnson baby powder on the babies in her care.

Establishing exposure requires identifying the causative substance and the points where the individual would have come into contact with the carcinogen. It must also be established that the offending substance is a known carcinogen that can cause individuals to develop cancer years, or even decades in the future. Finally, it needs to be established that there was no intervening cause that could also be at fault. Often, company’s and their insurers argue that while a worker may have had a work-related exposure, they also had further exposures outside their employment and that those are the exposures responsible for the cancer.

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

March 18, 2020 Udpate.

We have just been given notice that all Hearings and Appeals have been vacated and are off calendar by order the Senior Appeals Officer from the Nevada Department of Administration. It is unknown when the reset dates will occur.

March 17, 2020 Update.

As efforts concerning the containment of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continue to evolve here in the U.S. and around the world, we want to assure you that Jason D. Mills & Associates remains committed to three important priorities:

Our offices remain open for business; however, we encourage all existing clients to help us limit exposure and the potential spread of COVID-19 by avoiding in-office meetings. We remain open for business virtually during normally scheduled work hours (9:00 am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday). All email, fax, telephone, and other electronic communication will continue without interruption. If you have a scanner please scan documents and send to us in .PDF format. If you do not have a scanner, there are smart phone apps available such as: CamScanner, Adobe Scan and Genius Scan (and many others), that will turn your smart phone into a document scanner at zero or little cost.

Our local courts continue to update and modify their policies and procedures in response to the current COVID-19 situation as well, and we are monitoring those procedures to navigate the impact on your claims. So far, the Hearing and Appeals Office has halted all in-person hearings and is in the process of converting future hearings into telephonic hearings. As we learn more, we will provide updated information.

We also know that many of you have been personally impacted in a number of ways, and we apologize for any inconvenience these modifications may cause you but of course we are all experiencing this disruption together and will get through it together. We will resume normal operations as soon as the local, state and national governments give instructions that it is reasonable to do so. We appreciate your flexibility as we do our part to help bring this unprecedented situation under control.

Again, we are fully operational and are actively working on your claims. If there is anything you need, please feel free to contact our office (telephonically or electronically) during office hours so that we can direct your call and follow up accordingly.