Is my Heart Attack Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
In order for workers’ compensation to cover an injury or illness, it must have been caused by work. In some situations–for instance, falling off of a ladder while stocking shelves and breaking an ankle–it is clear that the injury is related to work. In other situations, such as with long-term illnesses like heart disease, or airborne illnesses, like Covid-19, it can be much harder to establish a causal connection between the illness and the workplace.
The When, Where, and Why
If an employee has a heart attack at work, it will have to be shown that it wasn’t purely chance that an unrelated heart attack happened at the office. There are over 10,000 heart attacks that happen in the workplace each year, so it’s increasingly common. The circumstances under which the cardiac event occurred are also relevant. If the employee was sitting down, composing an email when they suffered a heart attack, it may be more difficult to prove a connection to their job. Whereas if a warehouse employee had a heart attack while lifting a heavy cargo load onto a truck, the causal connection is more clear.
However, even if your heart attack was not associated with a single, strenuous work-related activity, there are still a number of ways that you may qualify for coverage. For instance, if you are a public safety employee.
Likewise, even if a heart attack does not occur at the workplace, it may still qualify for workers’ compensation coverage if it is the result of a work-related illness or occupational disease, such as heart disease. This type of case is typically only found compensable for public safety workers , such as for police officers and firefighters, because the causal connection between heart disease and their profession is presumed due to the high-stress nature of their jobs.
Unless you are a public safety employee, in order to succeed on a workers’ compensation claim for a heart attack, it must be shown that work-related factors acutely caused the heart attack more so than any external factors. An experienced Maryland Workers’ Compensation Lawyer will be prepared for this, and will know how to put forth the strongest possible version of your case, as well as to defend against any arguments by the prosecution.
Schedule a Consultation
If you suffered a heart attack as a result of your job or employment circumstances, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. However, a Maryland workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate this process and zealously advocate on your behalf. Contact Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby, LLP, and schedule a free consultation today.