Not everything workers are exposed to in the course of employment is good for their health. Being exposed to toxic and chemical hazards on the job may not produce visible harm until years or decades after the initial exposure.   

While employers are legally required to take all reasonable steps to protect their employees from hazardous exposures in the workplace, it does not always work that way. As a result, employees often suffer occupational exposure injuries when working in factories, plants, construction sites, offices, and other locations with hazards.  

Fortunately, health conditions resulting from occupational exposure are compensable under the workers’ compensation program in Montana. If you or your loved one was diagnosed with an injury or illness resulting from being exposed to hazardous chemicals, substances, or materials at work, contact Gerstner Adam Law. Our occupational exposure attorneys in Billings, Montana, can help you pursue the maximum benefits you deserve. Our law firm also serves clients in surrounding areas, including Glendive, Sidney, and Miles City.  

Common Occupational Exposure Injuries

The term “occupational exposure” refers to situations in which a worker is exposed to potentially hazardous physical, chemical, or biological agents in the course of doing their job. Some of the most common examples of injuries resulting from occupational exposure include: 

  • Cancer 

  • Mesothelioma 

  • Hearing loss 

  • Vision loss 

  • Burns 

  • Respiratory illnesses 

  • Repetitive stress injuries 

  • Musculoskeletal disorders 

  • Asbestos-related disease 

  • Infectious disease 

  • Mental disorders 

  • Damage to the central nervous system 

Generally, health conditions resulting from occupational exposure develop over time and may not have any visible symptoms for years or decades after the initial exposure, which makes it difficult to trace them back to workplace exposure.

Some occupations involve greater occupational exposure risks. These occupations include construction workers, firefighters, farm workers, miners, welders, and others. However, white-collar workers may also be at risk (e.g., prolonged exposure to toxic mold in poorly-vented offices). 



Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Occupational Exposure Injuries

Most occupational injuries and illnesses are covered by workers’ compensation, and health conditions resulting from occupational exposure are no exception. However, filing a workers’ compensation claim for occupational exposure injuries adds another level of complexity due to the fact that proving a link between the disease and employment may not always be easy.  

As mentioned earlier, symptoms of illnesses resulting from exposure to harmful substances, chemicals, or materials on the job may not show up until years or decades after the initial exposure. It is critical that you seek immediate medical attention to get a prompt diagnosis of your condition as soon as you begin to notice any symptoms. If you believe occupational exposure is to blame for your condition, you must report it to your employer. Under Montana law, employees must report any work-related injuries and illnesses within a year of the date they discovered or should have reasonably discovered the injury/illness.   

Our occupational exposure attorneys at Gerstner Adam Law in Billings, Montana, can guide you through every step of the process to ensure that you obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled under the law. Do not wait until it is too late to get legal counsel and file your claim.  

Why You Need an Occupational Exposure Attorney

Occupational exposure cases are not like other workers’ compensation cases. When a worker gets injured on the job, their injuries are often visible immediately or within hours/days after the workplace accident. The same cannot be said about health conditions caused by occupational exposure, which may begin to manifest the first symptoms years or even decades after the initial exposure. This makes it extremely difficult to prove the link between the worker’s health condition and their exposure to hazardous chemicals, substances, or materials at work to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Working with an experienced attorney can increase your chances of successfully proving your claim. Your attorney will gather the evidence necessary to build a strong and compelling case on your behalf.  


If you suspect that you may have a valid occupational exposure case, time is of the essence. Do not delay speaking with an attorney. Our occupational exposure attorneys at Gerstner Adam Law can review your case, investigate the facts of your unique situation, and pursue a claim for compensation. Contact our office in Billings, Montana, today to schedule your free consultation.