A heart attack or stroke can happen anywhere and at any time, including at work. Proving that your sudden medical event is worthy of receiving workers’ compensation, however, is difficult.
In most cases, suffering a heart attack or stroke while working is not enough to qualify for benefits in Georgia. The insurance companies will argue that the “injury” was not work-related but linked to a prior health condition such as obesity or high blood pressure; therefore, they do not have to cover the employee’s medical bills and lost wages.
But there are exceptions.
Every Workers’ Comp Case Is Unique
A lawyer should examine your circumstances and the facts of the case to determine whether or not you can file for workers’ compensation after a stroke or heart attack. There are two ways you may be able to gain workers’ comp benefits after such an event:
- The injury was caused by physical or overexertion, heat exhaustion or excessive cold, workplace stress, or some other unusual event or activity during the course and scope of employment.
- During the heart attack or stroke at work, you suffered secondary injuries, such as falling from scaffolding or being crushed by equipment.
In Georgia, a workers’ compensation attorney can gather evidence to help prove that your employment duties or circumstances caused or contributed to your condition or additional injuries.
Medical Records Are Critical
Extensive medical documentation by the treating doctor after a heart attack or stroke can significantly improve your workers’ compensation claim’s chances of being approved.
The insurance company or your employer may argue that lifestyle and genetic risk factors such as family history, smoking, diabetes, and other issues mean they don’t have to provide workers’ compensation. But whether you have pre-existing conditions or lead a moderate, healthy lifestyle, if you can show that your job duties negatively impacted your health, then you deserve to be compensated.
Witness testimony from co-workers, bystanders, and others who were present before or during your medical emergency can also help support your case.
Consult With an Experienced Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you suffered a heart attack or stroke at work, workers’ compensation may cover your medical costs and other losses if your duties caused your injury or additional injuries (i.e., a concussion, lacerations, broken bones, etc.) during the medical event.
To protect your claim and build a strong case, talk to our expert workers’ compensation attorneys at Gary Martin Hays & Associates. Consultations are free and confidential.