Various types of illnesses and health conditions may be covered under workers’ compensation law. It will depend on whether the worker can show the condition was either an occupational disease or somehow work-related.
We tend to think of occupational diseases as being those such as mesothelioma (caused by exposure to asbestos) or silicosis (caused by exposure to silica dust) or other similar conditions. However, there is a growing area of case law that supports workers’ compensation claims for heart attacks and other heart-related conditions.In order for such an ailment to be compensable, the worker needs to show that, regardless of his or her physical condition prior to taking on the work, the illness arose in the course of and was related to his or her employment.
In some cases, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for a heart attack might require the worker to show abnormal or extremely stressful working conditions. In situations where the causal connection isn’t apparent or obvious, the worker is probably going to need to establish a connection via unequivocal medical testimony by a qualified medical expert. Just because a worker dies of a heart attack at work doesn’t mean it’s work-related. But similarly, just because a heart attack occurs at home doesn’t mean it isn’t work-related. There are many factors that must be taken into account. Continue reading