A Workers Comp Attorney in Melbourne FL may be called upon to help with cases involving occupational contact dermatitis, or an inflammatory skin allergy caused by a substance in the workplace. This tends to be most common in health care or industrial and food production settings. An employer may dispute the relationship of the job to the allergic reaction, especially if there is evidence the worker previously had any type of dermatitis, such as atopic eczema. Atopic eczema is not connected with an allergic reaction. Claim denial can be difficult to overturn without the assistance of a legal professional.
Lawyers will need documentation from the client’s physician verifying the individual is allergic to the substance he or she had been working with. Patch or skin-prick testing by an allergist can confirm the sensitivity. A Workers Comp Attorney in Melbourne FL also may gather research and statistics about the connection between contact dermatitis and various types of employment. For example, one study has found that health care workers have the most problems with this skin condition, with about 16 percent of claims made for occupational contact dermatitis in this category of employees. Janitorial staff members, who often work with harsh chemicals, also showed a high rate of this skin issue at 13 percent of claimants. Jobs that keep hands wet most of the time are risk factors as well.
Employers will be concerned about whether the employee can return to work if chronic dermatitis is a risk. The individual may be able to protect skin with gloves and other shielding devices. Unfortunately, many people continue to experience dermatitis and can no longer work at their previous jobs. One study found that nearly 70 percent of workers who had been diagnosed with occupational contact dermatitis had not been able to return to that same job after six months had passed. The organization may have other opportunities or workers comp benefits may provide compensation for a certain amount of retraining. Attorneys with a law firm such as Matheson Horowitz & Devonmille can answer questions the individual has about appealing a claim denial and what to do if returning to the same job is probably not an option.