Long-term exposure to asbestos at a workplace can result in a chronic lung disease called asbestosis. But this disease is not always apparent right away. According to Mayo Clinic, it can take up to 40 years for symptoms to occur.
This delayed appearance of symptoms makes it vital for an exposed worker to file a worker’s compensation claim within the timeframe allowed by the law. Thankfully, there are recent changes to the statute of limitations that benefit workers exposed to asbestos.
According to Safety+Health, a new law in Illinois eliminates the previous 25-year statute of limitations for workers who suffer from exposure to toxic substances. S.B. 1596 is an amendment that allows workers who suffer injuries and illnesses from certain substances to seek civil damages indefinitely. The law is now effective after passage by the Illinois House of Representatives and approval by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
The removal of the time limits is not only for workers who are exposed to asbestos but also radiation and beryllium.
Lawmakers believe this law to be necessary to protect workers. The previous law was not adequate in providing workers with enough time to seek compensation for work-related illnesses. Now, even if symptoms do not materialize for decades, workers can rightfully pursue monetary damages. The law exposes Illinois employers to unlimited liability for claims of occupational diseases due to toxic substances.
Employees no longer have to suffer in silence without the funds necessary to care for themselves. Workers who are suffering from asbestos generally find that filing a workers’ compensation claims to be a worthy pursuit.