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Occupational Disease

We help you through the Occupational Disease claims process, helping you get the compensation you deserve.

Claiming for occupational diseases

The nature of particular occupations, places or processes involved with a worker’s employment can cause or contribute to the development of an illness or disease or the aggravation or acceleration of a pre-existing disease.

If you have been diagnosed with a disease or illness that could be due to your workplace or working conditions, we suggest you seek legal advice.

Zaparas Lawyers understands the effects that a diagnosis of an illness or disease can have on not only you but your family. Our dedicated team of lawyers who specialise in occupational disease claims can assist you every step of the way. 

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Zaparas Lawyers have a dedicated team that can speak with you and advise you of your rights in regards to a range of occupational diseases including:


We get to know your story and understand your circumstances.

Home or hospital

If you can’t come to us, we can come to you.


We advocate for your rights and manage discussions with the insurance companies.

Keep you

Our team will regularly update you about the progress of your claim.

No Win,
No Fee

In the unlikely event that we don’t secure compensation for you, we will not charge you for any of our professional fees.

Why Zaparas Lawyers?

At Zaparas Lawyers, we have over 40 years of experience. Our Occupational Diseases Lawyers will be able to maximise the benefits you receive.

Every claim is important to us. Our dedicated team of Occupational Disease specialists will approach your claim with skill, knowledge, and care. Your file will be conducted by a lawyer who specialises and has experience in Occupational Disease claims.

Our dedicated Occupational Disease Lawyers can guide you through the process and help make a claim for a benefit at the time you need it most.

We are committed to doing everything in our power to make the legal process as straightforward and stress-free as possible and we will fight to get the best outcome.

We have offices all over Melbourne.

We’ve seen how traumatic and life-changing an injury can be, so we understand how important it is that you don’t have to worry about the financial side of your claim.

Learn More About No Win – No Fee

We are a family business – and we will treat you as one of our own.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation appointment.

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What are some common work-related diseases or illnesses?

Some common work-related diseases or illnesses include:

  • Cancers such as melanoma, mesothelioma and leukemia
  • Respiratory diseases including asthma, pneumoconiosis, and silicosis
  • Infectious and parasitic disease including Q-fever, Hendra virus, Salmonella, Anthrax and HIV
  • Cardiovascular disease which can result from various occupational exposures including carbon monoxide and methylene chloride

Currently there are 27 diseases, known as proclaimed diseases of which are deemed through Victorian Legislation to be automatically due the nature of a worker’s employment (for WorkCover purposes) given their association with a particular place, process or occupation.

What does ‘proclaimed disease’ mean?

Currently, there are also 27 diseases, known as proclaimed diseases which are deemed through Victorian legislation to be automatically due to the nature of a worker’s employment given their association with a particular place, process or occupation.

The list of proclaimed diseases includes those related to asbestosis, silicosis and poisoning from chemicals such as lead, mercury, copper, phosphorus and carbon monoxide.

If a worker has a proclaimed disease, that disease will be deemed to be due to the nature of employment unless the employer, authority or self-insurer proves that the worker’s employment did not contribute to or cause the worker’s disease.

Why was I not told of the risk of exposure?

Manufacturers, suppliers and employers have specific duties in relation to hazardous and carcinogenic substances used at workplaces to control and limit the risks associated with their use.

I think I may have been exposed to a hazardous substance at work, what should I do?

If you or someone you know has worked in an occupation in which there may have been exposure to a hazardous or carcinogenic substance or dust it is recommended that that person see their general practitioner or specialist to determine if they have any conditions or diseases due to the nature of their employment.

Given that the period between exposure and the onset of symptoms can be lengthy by decades for some diseases and illnesses, early preventative measures and detection is recommended.

We also recommend you contact our specialist team who can help support you through this process.

I have been diagnosed with an occupational disease. Can Zaparas Lawyer help?

If a worker has an illness or disease that is related to the nature of their employment, they may be able to receive compensation through the Victorian WorkCover system.

The Victorian WorkCover legislation provides that if there is caused to a worker an injury arising out of or in the course of any employment, the worker shall be entitled to compensation in the form of statutory benefits and for the more serious and permanent injuries where for example the employer was negligent, the worker may be entitled to common law damages.

Further, where a worker experienced an injury arising out of or in the course of their employment and that injury resulted in or materially contributed to the worker’s death, the worker’s dependents may be entitled to compensation.

Zaparas Lawyers have a team of lawyers who specialise in these types of claims. If you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease, call us now for an obligation and cost-free discussion.

What do I do if I have had more than one employer?

It is not uncommon that a worker suffering from an occupational-related disease or illness may have worked in the same or similar occupation but had been employed by a number of difficult employers during the course of their working life in that occupation.

The Victorian Workover legislation enables workers to seek statutory benefits compensation from the most recent employer in which the nature of that employment gave rise to a significantly greater risk of the worker contracting or developing the disease or illness than had the worker not been employed in employment of that nature, regardless of whether working for that particular employment actually contributed to their disease.

In order however to pursue common law damages, it must be proved that it is probable that the employer’s and/or another party’s negligent conduct was a cause of (or materially contributed to) the Plaintiff’s disease or illness.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

It is most beneficial that you bring all relevant documentation you have, such as completed claim forms, letters from the Insurer and your employer, medical reports, radiology investigations and any other documents that may be relevant.

English is my second language? Are you able to provide an interpreter?

Being specialists in personal injury claims, we know how hard it can be to navigate the legal process, but it can be even harder when English is your second language. That’s why we employ a diverse group of people who speak over 15 different languages to make the process as smooth as it possibly can be.

If we don’t have a lawyer who can speak your language, we also have access to a wide network of professional interpreters, meaning we’re here to help you every step of the way in a language that you understand.

How much will I pay in legal costs?

When an injury is sustained, it is not only a traumatic and often life changing experience, it often causes great financial strain to the injured party and their family. This is why for 40 years Zaparas Lawyers has fought cases on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that in the unlikely event that we don’t succeed in securing compensation for you, we will not charge you for any of our professional fees.

Could I be eligible for any other entitlements?

You may also be entitled to other claims such as:

  • Total and permanent disablement or permanent incapacity claims within your Superannuation Scheme;
  • Income protection claim; and
  • Incolink.

These schemes are dependant on your unique policy and they all hold various and specific requirements that need to be satisfied.

At Zaparas Lawyers, we have a dedicated Superannuation department who will be able to assist in exploring all your potential rights and entitlements.

I sustained an injury whilst volunteering, am I entitled to WorkCover?

WorkCover statutory benefits compensation is generally only available to workers. This means volunteers are not entitled to WorkCover compensation unless they are deemed a worker under an Act of Parliament.

If you are a volunteer or someone who assists a government agency in accordance with one of the below Acts of Parliament and are injured whilst carrying out relevant duties then you will be entitled to statutory WorkCover compensation:

  • Country Fire Authority Act 1958 (casual fire fighters, including volunteer officers and members and volunteer auxiliary workers)
  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (volunteer school workers or volunteer student workers)
  • Emergency Management Act 1986 (volunteer emergency workers)
  • Juries Act 2000 (jurors)
  • Police Assistance Compensation Act 1968 (PAC Act) ( volunteers assisting police officers)
  • Victoria State Emergency Services Act 2005 (voluntary registered and probationary members of the Victoria SES)

Volunteers in prisons and offenders working or participating in a program under a Correctional Order are deemed workers employed by the Crown and thereby entitled to statutory WorkCover compensation.

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