Every state has workers’ compensation benefits that cover the medical bills and a portion of lost wages of injured workers. Sometimes, the injury is obvious and is caused by your work; a slip leads to a sprained ankle, or a fall from a ladder causes a broken bone. What about other injuries that could happen on the job, like a heart attack?
Injuries covered by workers’ compensation insurance must show that they arose out of and in the course of employment. Proving that your heart attack was caused by your job is difficult but not impossible. There are two types of injuries that are covered under workers’ compensation benefits:
- Specific injuries related to the job, such as a traumatic event like a construction accident or exposure to toxic chemicals or substances.
- Injuries that can accumulate over time and are caused by work-related repetitions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some injuries that can accumulate over time are heart disease, strokes, hypertension, and heart attacks, all of which can be caused by emotional stress and tension in the workplace.
Although your employer and insurance companies may argue that your heart attack was due to outside-of-work issues, like poor diet, pre-existing conditions or genetics, there are ways you can prove your heart attack was caused by work. Your first step is to hire an experienced attorney to help you with your claim:
- Medical records: If your medical records show that you do not have a history of heart disease, you can make the connection between your heart attack and the stressors of your job. Furthermore, your medical records may show you have health issues such as high blood pressure or sleep issues, which could have worsened during your time of employment.
- Pre-existing conditions: Even if you have a pre-existing condition, you may still be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits, as your job may have aggravated your pre-existing condition and resulted in a heart attack.
- Working conditions: Many industries involve workers in conditions that can cause a heart attack or aggravate a related condition. Health issues like heat exhaustion or excessive labor, often found in jobs like construction, agriculture, or health care, can contribute to heart problems. Other issues like high stress, harassment, tight deadlines, or long hours can also be stressors.
Heart disease accounts for about one-quarter of all deaths in the country. In fact, according to the CDC, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States. Yet, having a heart attack at work is not immediately covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Each workers’ compensation case involving a heart attack is determined on a case-by-case basis. Many insurance companies consider different factors when determining what is and what is not covered; factors such as the worker’s job duties, their medical history, as well as their lifestyle outside of the workplace. Contacting a workers’ compensation lawyer to go over each detail of your case and collect evidence to support your claim is the best option.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Injured Workers
Among the many injuries that could occur in the workplace, suffering a heart attack is one that could require extensive medical treatment and time off from work. Our West Chester workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can help you with your claim. Call us today at 610-594-1600 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.