HEART ATTACKS & WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS
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Unfortunately, working long hours and working harder are the norm for today’s workers. The stress of making deadlines and increasing profits are more important that an employee’s safety and health. Just like any injury, a heart attack can happen at work. It can happen because of a work accident, such as being electrocuted or from a car accident while on a business trip. It can also be the result of the stress of dealing with an abusive co-worker or a boss who has a violent temper. You can receive workers’ compensation benefits for a heart attack – however, receiving workers’ compensation benefits for a heart attack can be difficult.
A heart attack is considered a work-related illness. To be compensated, the claimant must prove “legal causation,” in that he or she was subjected to an event or was forced to put forth an unusual amount of work effort during his or her employment. Also, the claimant must show “medical causation,” proving the heart attack (or death as a result of a heart attack) was medically caused by an event or an unusual amount of work effort at his or her workplace. If you have a pre-existing heart condition, you must prove what triggered a heart attack.
Strokes Can be Work Related Too
According to the National Stroke Association, strokes are the leading disability for adults in the United States. And, like a heart attack, proving a stroke was the result of stress can be a challenge. A stroke happens when blood flow is cut off to the brain, depriving blood cells of oxygen. When the blood cells die, they cause permanent damage. There are two main types of stroke:
- Ischemic: This is the most common type of stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel gets blocked by a blood clot that has traveled from another part of the body (e.g. the heart).
- Hemorrhagic: This is the more serious of the two because it can lead to death. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel bursts, which can damage tissue.
There is also a transient ischemic attack (also called a “mini” stroke) where a person can suffer stroke-like symptoms for a short amount of time. There are a number of stroke symptoms – such as weakness or numbness on one side of the body, abrupt loss of vision, strength of speech, brief loss of consciousness and sudden falls. Most stroke patients fully recover. But, for those who are left with a permanent or partial paralysis, their lives will never be the same. This is why it is crucial that you seek a work-related injury lawyer who has access to cardiac and neurologic specialists, who can show how your heart attack or stroke was caused.
When it comes to proving an injury that is not obvious, our attorneys know the tactics insurance companies will use to try to prove your stroke or heart attack was not work related. You can expect the insurance company to deny your claim from the start. At Saffren & Weinberg, we fight for workers’ rights every day and go up against insurance companies who try to bully to our clients.
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