Can a Stroke Be Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Stroke patients are people who experience the disturbance of the blood supply to the brain caused by blockage or hemorrhage, which keeps the affected area of the brain from functioning entirely. A stroke is an unpredictable illness that can strike any person at any time, and it can cause permanent neurological damage or even be silent, thereby damaging the brain without external symptoms
What are the Main Causes of Stroke?
Stroke arises out of certain risk factors like high blood pressure, old age, high cholesterol etc. Apart from these, you can suffer from stroke if you engage in labor-intensive activities, overexertion, and even too much job stress.
Some jobs are more labor-intensive than others. The level of intensity of each job depends on the type of work performed, the size of the company, and culture of the business. If you are an employee of a company that requires a higher level of productivity from workers and the company does not have adequate manpower, you are at higher risk of contracting a stroke due to the labor-intensive activity.
Can a Stroke be Work-Related?
A stroke can be job or work–related if overexertion or a lot of job stress causes it. Regardless of your previous state of health, if you work in an environment that increases your likelihood of getting a stroke, it could be regarded as a work-related illness.
A stroke needs to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to minimize brain damage, and the most effective way to prevent stroke is to live a healthy lifestyle with healthy and relaxed working conditions and also treat underlying conditions that could be risk factors.
Does a Stroke Patient Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. In situations in which workers suffer a stroke at work, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This depends on the specific facts of the case.
In certain circumstances in which the injury is not job-related, the worker should still be covered by a disability law. Irrespective of your previous health conditions, if your working conditions or requirements expose you to higher risks of stroke, you are entitled to workers’ compensation if you eventually suffer a stroke.
An example is a case in which an employee was required to carry heavy loads up stairs and use a jackhammer to remove slag from a furnace under a 100° room called the hot room; he suffered a stroke in the process.
The employee wore welding clothes under a fire suit and sweated profusely during the work, contributing to him suffering a stroke that paralyzed his left side and rendered him unable to work.
Although he had been treating high blood pressure for a long period, the judge rejected testimonies from both the other workers and the company’s medical expert witness. The judge awarded the employee $1.1 million for lost wages at the rate of $718 per week, which was 66% of his former weekly pay. Workers’ comp also covered his medical expenses.
How do You Get Compensation as a Stroke Patient?
If you suffer job-related injuries (stroke inclusive), you are required by law to report such injuries within 14 days to your employer in order to receive the benefits as soon as possible. The employer and its insurer have to carry out an investigation and can either deny the claim or start making the necessary payments.
An important document that must accompany your workers’ compensation claim is the doctor’s’ statement. The doctor’s’ statement will certify your claim of a stroke and show whether you are able to continue working or not.
New Jersey Workers’ Comp Attorneys Here to Help
If you suffered a stroke and suspect it was due to a work-related condition or negligence, the experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Craig A. Altman are ready to assist you in your time of need. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Call today at 856-327-8899 or fill out a quick contact form so a member of our legal team can schedule a meeting with you.