One thing I love about my job and really life in general is that you always learn something new. Anyone who thinks that they know it all is not my type of person.
A few weeks back I learned something new while talking to a couple of doctors. I love to do this because I can pick their brains on rare injuries that I see in my law practice. I always learn something new from those conversations.
This time what I learned was surprising because it wasn’t about any clients of mine, but about the job risks of being a doctor. One of the physicians is a cardiologist. You’d think that is a pretty risk free job when it comes to injuries, right? It turns out that there is a really high rate of cancer in his field. Apparently he is exposed to radiation during approximately 40% of his day. He told me that during most of the day he’s wearing some form of lead protection, but the risks are really high.
The other doctor I spoke with is a vascular surgeon and he said that the same risks are there in his area of practice. He told me about a colleague of his who always worked in a way where the radiation exposure was on the left side of his body. He ended up with three different cancers in three different places, all on the left side of the body.
Other than surprise because I never really considered this, the first thing that popped in to my head was that if you are a doctor, nurse or other medical professional who gets cancer, you may have an Illinois workers’ compensation case, assuming like my two friends that you are commonly exposed to radiation.
A case like this would be similar to any other repetitive trauma claim where we’d have to prove through testimony of a doctor (likely your oncologist) that the radiation exposure played a role in the problem developing. It’s not as simple as showing a back injury happened after years of heavy lifting, but a case like the doctor with three left sided cancers has enough circumstantial evidence to likely be a winner.
If you do have a case, like any other injured worker in Illinois you’d get all of your medical bills paid, your time off work paid and a settlement.
If you’d like to know if you may have a case we’d be happy to talk to you. Call us for free at (312) 346-5578 or fill out the form to the right and we’ll call you.