Firefighters and cancer. If you or someone you love is a firefighter, you are probably well aware of the risks and statistics of this valued profession.
But did you know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a study on firefighter cancer rates, found that firefighters are more likely to be diagnosed with cancers of the respiratory, urinary and digestive systems than non-firefighters?
While the exact reasons aren’t clear, some say it’s because firefighters are exposed to chemicals, contaminants and substances that are believed to cause cancer while simply doing their jobs – putting out fires.
Also, mesothelioma – a cancer that has ties to asbestos exposure – is more common in firefighters than non-firefighters.
Several states, including Ohio, have laws that are aimed at protecting firefighters – and some mandate that employers cover the cost of care and treatment. However, that care isn’t guaranteed. If you are a firefighter who is facing cancer, here are three reasons you need an attorney.
The law isn’t always on your side
In Ohio, firefighters who develop cancer do have some legal protections under the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The law, passed two years ago, recognizes cancer as a work-related condition for firefighters. That means, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation. But it isn’t always clear and a good attorney can help you figure out if you are eligible.
You need legal expertise
Like any legal claim, it helps to have someone on your side who understands the system, can make sure your forms and paperwork is done correctly and filed in a timely manner and who you can trust to advise you on what you can expect in the legal process. An experienced attorney will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Connor, Kimmet & Hafenstein, LLP
If you, or someone you love, is a firefighter who has cancer, please give our legal experts a call. We can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system so you get the benefits – and care – you deserve.