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Work-Related Lung Disease Claims in Virginia


Work-related lung diseases are a major concern for employees in certain industries across Virginia. Prolonged exposure to lung irritants and toxins on the job can have devastating health consequences over time. If you have developed a serious lung condition like asbestosis, silicosis, COPD, or asthma due to hazardous workplace exposures, you may have a right to workers’ compensation benefits under Virginia law. 

At Slominski Law, Attorney Jaleh Slominski has over 30 years of experience helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve after suffering work-related lung disease. She understands these cases inside and out, and will fight to get you maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.

This general guide from Slominski Law covers what you need to know about filing successful work-related lung disease claims in Virginia. For legal guidance specific to your situation, don’t hesitate to consult with us for free. Call (434) 384-9400 (Lynchburg) or (540) 554-3762 (Roanoke) to set up your consultation.

What Qualifies as Work-Related Lung Disease in Virginia?

There are several types of serious lung conditions that may entitle you to workers’ comp if caused by your job:

    • Asbestosis – Lung scarring from inhaling asbestos fibers on the job over a long period. Common in construction, shipyard work and other trades.
    • Silicosis – Lung damage caused by extended exposure to silica dust. Occurs frequently in mining, foundry work, sandblasting, and masonry jobs.
    • COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by shortness of breath. Can result from chemical irritants, dust, or fumes in the workplace.
    • Occupational Asthma – Asthma caused or triggered by substances encountered on the job rather than hereditary factors.
    • Lung Cancer – Malignant lung tumors caused by asbestos, radon gas, diesel exhaust, or other workplace carcinogens.
    • Pulmonary Fibrosis – Scarring of lung tissue from inhaling metal, wood, or mineral dusts on the job over time.
  • Black lung disease – Medically called coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), this is lung scarring due to long-term inhalation of coal dust.

Generally, a lung disease may be compensable if it developed during and because of your work. In Virginia, the key is proving your lung illness was caused or aggravated by repeated hazardous exposures at work over an extended period.

Time Limits for Filing Your Lung Disease Claim

It’s important to take action on your work-related lung disease case sooner rather than later. In Virginia, strict statutes of limitations apply:

  • You must file your claim within two years from the date you were first diagnosed with the lung disease.
  • For occupational diseases with long latency periods like asbestosis or lung cancer, you may file your claim within five years of your last exposure to the disease-causing condition at work.

Other deadlines may apply, depending on the circumstances. The experienced occupational lung disease attorney Jaleh Slominski can start working immediately to build your case and get it filed on time.

Proving Your Lung Illness is Work-Related

While hazardous workplace exposures clearly cause serious lung disease, it isn’t always easy proving that connection. Virginia has intricate rules, procedures, and evidentiary standards for establishing your occupational illness claim. With an experienced lung disease lawyer on your side, you can navigate this complex process successfully.

When you work with Attorney Jaleh Slominski, she will work closely with your pulmonologist to show how exposures on the job led directly to your lung disease. Some key evidence she may use includes:

  • Medical records documenting your diagnosis, treatment, lung function test results, etc. These must confirm you suffer from an accepted occupational lung disease.
  • Work history details outlining all the hazardous substances, fumes, or dusts you worked around over the years at your job.
  • Statement from your doctor giving a medical opinion that relates your lung illness specifically to your work exposures over time.
  • Supporting documentation like safety audits showing dangerous exposure levels at your workplace.

Virginia law states that absolute proof is not required in workers’ compensation cases. But you do need persuasive evidence in these key areas to show it is “reasonably probable” that your hazardous work conditions caused your lung disease.

Types of Benefits Available in Virginia

If your lung disease claim is accepted, you may recover considerable compensation under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Benefits available include:

  • Full coverage of all medical costs related to your lung disease, including treatments, hospital stays, medications, and breathing aids if required.
  • Temporary total disability for periods your lung disease prevents you from working. Pays 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage.
  • Permanent partial or total disability if your illness causes lasting impairment that reduces earning capacity.
  • Death benefits for dependents if complications from your advanced lung disease prove fatal. May include burial costs.
  • Mileage reimbursement for all medical appointments and treatment travel.

The experienced work-related lung disease attorney Jaleh Slominski will fight tirelessly to recover full compensation for every covered loss resulting from your occupational illness.

Why Hire an Occupational Disease Lawyer?

Trying to handle a work-related lung disease claim on your own is extremely difficult. Aside from the complexity of Virginia’s workers’ compensation system, insurers often deny valid occupational illness claims or try to lowball settlements. With Attorney Jaleh Slominski as your fierce advocate, you can focus on your health while she handles every aspect of your Virginia claim.

Slominski Law helps injured workers statewide obtain the lung disease compensation they deserve. Ms. Slominski offers injured clients:

  • Free case review. At no charge, she will examine your work history and medical records to assess the strength of your potential claim.
  • Contingency-based representation. You pay nothing upfront or out-of-pocket for her services. Her lawyer fee will only be a fraction of any compensation she helps you claim.
  • Hands-on legal guidance through every step of the claims process.
  • Aggressive claim investigation to build an ironclad case proving your work-related lung disease.
  • Tough negotiations with insurers seeking maximum settlement value for your losses.
  • Litigation prowess with years of trial experience if your claim gets denied.

Don’t go it alone against Virginia workers’ compensation insurers. With over 30 years of legal experience, Jaleh Slominski has the expertise to make insurers pay for your catastrophic work-related lung illness.

Warning Signs Your Lung Problems are Work-Related

Many hazardous jobs involve daily exposure to lung irritants like chemicals, dusts, or toxic fumes. Over months or years, this can cause serious occupational lung disease. Be alert for these common signs your breathing problems might be work-related:

  • Chronic dry cough or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath even with mild exertion
  • Tight feeling in your chest
  • Decreased stamina and fatigue
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Coughing up blood or phlegm.

Don’t ignore symptoms that worsen, affect your quality of life, or prevent normal activity. Be upfront with your doctor about your hazardous work exposures so they can explore whether an occupational lung condition is developing. The earlier treatment starts, the better your prognosis.

High-Risk Jobs Linked to Lung Disease in Virginia

Many jobs in Virginia involve daily exposure to caustic dusts, fumes, or fibers that can destroy delicate lung tissue over time.These higher-risk work sectors frequently see occupational lung disease:

  • Construction – Asbestos, silica dust, diesel fumes, toxic solvents
  • Shipbuilding or Repair – Asbestos, welding fumes, paint mists, abrasive blasting grit
  • Mining – Silica dust, diesel exhaust, blasting fumes, coal dust
  • Manufacturing – Metal dusts, chemical fumes, asbestos, grain dust
  • Agriculture – Organic dusts from crops or livestock, molds, chemical pesticides
  • Firefighting – Smoke inhalation, diesel exhaust, asbestos in old buildings
  • Healthcare – Infectious diseases, sterilizing chemicals, latex allergies.

Be extra cautious with your respiratory health in these fields. Wear all recommended protective gear and have regular checkups to catch any lung issues early. If you do develop serious lung problems from work exposures over time, the experienced occupational lung disease attorney Jaleh Slominski will fight to get you every penny of compensation you deserve.

FAQs About Work-Related Lung Disease Claims

If you suffer from a serious lung condition caused by your job, you likely have many pressing questions. Here, Slominski Law answers some frequently asked questions about work-related lung disease claims in Virginia

Do I need a lawyer to file a work-related lung disease claim?

It is not required by law to have a lawyer for your occupational lung disease claim. But with intricate rules and procedures in Virginia’s system, having a skilled work-related lung disease attorney on your side can be crucial. Stakes are high in such cases, and the 

insurance company will likely dispute your claim. They may assert, for instance, that your lung illness is not job-related, or that only select treatments can be covered.

Disputes like these are so common in Virginia workers’ comp that many claimants end up with much lower benefits than they need and deserve. Get the help of Attorney Jaleh Slominski, who has over 30 years’ experience getting injured workers their rightful compensation. She offers a free case review to each worker as well.

What evidence should I gather to prove my claim?

It’s critical to extensively document your work history and hazardous exposures on the job over time. Track down old workplace safety audits showing dangerous respiratory toxins. Get statements from coworkers confirming unsafe levels of dusts, fumes, or chemicals. Details like this help prove your lung disease is directly work-related. If you are unsure how to access evidence, Slominski Law is ready to help.

Can my lung illness claim still be approved if I smoked at some point?

Yes, it is possible. Even if you were a smoker, if extended hazardous exposures at work substantially contributed to your lung disease, your claim remains valid. Be honest to your doctor and attorney about your smoking history but understand it does not automatically disqualify your work-related claim.

What if my employer disputes my lung illness is work-related?

Unfortunately, insurance carriers often dispute legitimate work-related lung disease claims, hiring “experts” to try and deny connections to hazardous workplace exposures. This is why having your own attorney is crucial. A competent lawyer should advocate for you using legal know-how and real-world experience facing insurers.

With her deep litigation experience, Attorney Jaleh Slominski is the go-to workers’ comp attorney for many Virginian workers. She can fight aggressively to get your claim approved.

How much compensation might my lung disease claim be worth?

There is no average or pre-set award for work-related lung disease claims. The value depends entirely on your medical costs, lost income, disability rating, dependents and other individual claim details. Consult with an experienced lung disease lawyer to explore how you can maximize your claim.


Don’t see your lung disease question here? Contact Slominski Law at (434) 384-9400 (Lynchburg office) or (540) 554-3762 (Roanoke office) to discuss other workers’ compensation issues related to your serious occupational illness.

Get Compensation Benefits For Your Asbestosis, Black Lung Disease, or Other Work-Related Respiratory Illness. Contact an Experienced Virginia Occupational Disease Lawyer.

If you have developed a serious, chronic lung condition after years working around hazardous dusts, fumes or chemicals on the job, you may deserve substantial workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia. Don’t wait to act as strict deadlines apply for filing work-related lung disease claims. 

To explore your options with an experienced work-related lung disease attorney at no risk. Contact Slominski Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation on your claim details and prospects. With three decades of experience, Attorney Jaleh Slominski offers compassionate guidance and tough, strategic advocacy. She works on a contingency basis as well, so you pay nothing upfront for her services.

Call Slominski Law today at (434) 384-9400 (Lynchburg office) or (540) 554-3762 (Roanoke office) to set up your free consultation.