Occupational illnesses are often very difficult to prove in most cases, and workers’ compensation requires that the burden of proof rest with the injured employee. It is difficult to prove, for example, that hypertension was caused by the work an employee does because the cause of that hypertension could have so many other factors, such as the food the employee consumes, their genetics, and other environmental conditions and lifestyle habits. However, if you are a firefighter in Maryland, receiving workers’ compensation benefits for some diseases and types of cancer is much simpler. Some diseases, such as hypertension, are presumed to have occurred on the job when the employee passed an initial assessment in a condition of good health. This is because enough proof has been compiled to assert that a strong correlation exists between being a firefighter and developing these specific illnesses. In fact, a recent meta analysis (Cancer Risk Among Firefighters: A Review and Meta-analysis of 32 Studies) found that the risk of developing certain cancers and being a firefighter was great.
For Certain Illnesses, The Occupation of Being a Firefighter is Presumed to Be The Leading Cause
According to Maryland Code Title 9 Workers’ Compensation, heart disease, hypertension, and lung disease are presumed to have occurred on the job if the employee is a:
- Paid firefighter;
- Paid fire fighting instructor;
- Paid rescue squad member;
- Paid advanced life support unit member; or
- Sworn member of the Office of the State Fire Marshall who is employed by an airport authority, a county, a fire control district, a municipality, or by the state.
Volunteer Firefighters are Covered Too
Certain volunteer employees are presumed to have become sick in the line of duty if they initially met a suitable standard of physical examination before becoming a:
- Volunteer firefighter;
- Volunteer firefighting instructor;
- Volunteer rescue squad member; or
- Volunteer advanced life support unit member who is a covered employee.
Certain Types of Cancers are Presumed to Have Occurred On the Line of Duty
Similarly, assuming that 10 years of service has been performed, all of the employees who hold the occupations listed above, including volunteer firefighters if they passed an initial physical examination, are presumed to have become ill within the line of duty if they are diagnosed with any of the following types of cancer and are no longer able to perform their duties:
- Pancreatic cancer;
- Prostate cancer;
- Rectal cancer; and
- Throat cancer.
Call an Experienced Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today With Frame and Frame Law
Whether you are a firefighter that was injured on the job, developed one of the aforementioned illnesses or cancers, or developed a different illness or cancer, do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys of Frame & Frame at your soonest availability. Call us at 410-255-0373 today.