Cancer is one of the most serious conditions that you can be diagnosed with because, for many, it is fatal. While you can form many different types of cancer, the most common is skin cancer, although luckily it is the most curable. There is no debate about what the cause of skin cancer is, though. We already know. The sun will cause you cancer if your skin is exposed to it unprotected for years upon years. Unfortunately, while many work indoors safely away from the sun, there are many jobs that put worker’s right in its path. So if you are a worker that frequently works outside and develops skin cancer, can you get worker’s compensation to cover the treatment?
That question is actually a very tough one to answer for all the reasons you imagine it is. The biggest factor in a successful worker’s compensation case is that you can prove you were hurt at work and not off the clock in another incident. However, there probably isn’t anyone out there that is exposed to sun only at work. It is constantly there, and that is the problem.
You can’t pinpoint the exact hour of sun exposure that your skin cancer formed, so thus you can’t argue that it happened at work. However, don’t let that discourage you completely. There have been cases in other states where workers have won their worker’s compensation cases for skin cancer. While there have been no documented wins in Minnesota, you could be the very first and set a precedent that could help a lot of other workers.
Determining factors for winning or losing a worker’s compensation case for skin cancer would include:
- Medical opinions in terms of the cause of the cancer – You will visit a number of doctors and hear probably a lot of different opinions. However, if you are construction worker or a landscaper who goes home and just relaxes and watches TV indoors, there are a number of doctors who will provide strong claims that your job was the cause.
- Length of time worker – Obviously you probably won’t develop skin cancer in six months on your outdoor job, but 20 years? That is believable.
- Alternative factors – Unfortunately, if you are a smoker, have a family history of skin cancer, or are well-known to engage in sun-soaked hobbies, these will definitely hurt your case because you are somehow tempting cancer.
- Location of the cancer – Skin cancer typically forms in the area where the sun exposure occurred. If you develop skin cancer on your back, but your employer has never seen you work with your shirt off, they are probably going to blame it on outdoor hobby you have outside of work.
- Lack of available preventative measures – Currently, it is not the responsibility of your employer to provide you with protection from the sun. They don’t even need to provide you shade for when you are on your breaks, but maybe they should. If you have seen countless other workers develop skin cancer at your job, then that could be the bit of proof you need to make your worker’s compensation case solid.
If you have already developed skin cancer and are seeking worker’s compensation, then you have a long battle ahead of you. However, by sticking to it, you can not only cover your treatment, but you can make history. If you are in the Mankato area and want to talk your case over as well as see if there is some potential for you to win, contact us today. The Law Offices of Harvey and Carpenter are dedicated to fighting for your rights as an injured worker.
Contact A Mankato Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today
Contact the law office of Chesley, Harvey & Carpenter today at (507) 625-3000 for a free case review. We are located in Mankato, Minnesota.