Having a heart attack can drastically change a person’s life. Many people have to adjust their diets, take new medications, quit bad habits, and attend cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack. Doctors usually recommend that patients take a few weeks to recover before returning to their regular activities. But, it can be difficult to make ends meet if you have to take several weeks off of work. For this reason, many people ask if they can recover workers’ compensation for a heart attack.
Heart Attacks & Workers’ Compensation
It is possible to recover workers’ compensation for a heart attack in some cases. Workers who are trying to obtain benefits after having a heart attack must be able to prove that the major cause of the heart attack was their job.
How can you prove that your job was the major cause of your heart attack? According to 85A OK Stat § 85A-14, this can be proven by showing that the level of exertion that caused the heart attack was extraordinary or unusual compared to the typical level of exertion that is required by the job. Basically, this means if it can be proven that the heart attack occurred after your body was put through extraordinary and unusual amounts of stress at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Many workers’ compensation claims involving heart attacks are filed by people who work in high-stress jobs. For example, a firefighter who is put through physical and mental stress while battling the largest fire in the city’s history may be compensated if he suffers a heart attack as a result of the extreme levels of exertion. However, an employee who works at a desk may not be eligible for workers’ compensation if she suffers a heart attack during a normal day at work. In this case, the heart attack was most likely caused by genetic or lifestyle factors, not the worker’s job.
It is important to use medical records and doctor’s statements to prove that the heart attack was caused by your job. Do not rely simply on explaining the stressful conditions that you were under at work at the time the heart attack occurred. This may help the insurance company understand why the heart attack occurred, but they won’t approve your claim unless you have other evidence to support your case.
If you have suffered a heart attack, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Tell our experienced team of attorneys about your case so we can determine if you qualify for these benefits. Please call Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced attorney