Sometimes, an employee can receive workers’ compensation for a heart condition. But even if you have strong evidence that the condition is heart-related, the insurance company may deny benefits.
Are Heart Conditions Compensable by Workers’ Comp?
In general, work injuries must arise out of your employment and occur in the course of the employment. People tend to think of broken bones, burns, or sprains as typical injuries. However, the law also recognizes internal injuries, occupational diseases and conditions such as PTSD as compensable.
A typical amount of stress and anxiety from work could make a heart condition worse. So could undergoing a negative annual review. But Minnesota workers cannot recover benefits for illnesses or conditions that arise from normal work events such as criticism, performance evaluations, or meeting deadlines. A heart condition arising from these types of events may not be compensable.
But people may get heart conditions due to other work causes, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, inadequate ventilation, or extraordinary stress. In those cases, the affected workers may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits because atypical work conditions directly contributed to the conditions.
Trouble Receiving Benefits for Heart Conditions
Because employees often struggle to show that heart conditions came from work, they may have trouble receiving benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance company. The best option if you are in this position is to get a lawyer as soon as possible. You should also seek out medical advice.
Your lawyer can establish your legal right to benefits through research, gathering evidence, and speaking to the insurance company. For instance, a worker may have received benefits for the same condition you have in the past. The lawyer can present this information to the insurance company to back up your claim. Further, your lawyer may suggest ways of gathering evidence to show the heart condition’s connection to work. This could include getting a doctor’s report.
The doctor you see for your heart condition can be an invaluable ally in seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Your doctor may agree to write a report that explains the basis for his or her diagnosis and, importantly, establishes the connection between the heart condition and your work. For example, the doctor may realize that the lack of ventilation in your workplace has caused you to inhale toxins that affect the heart. Or you might arrive at the doctor after having a heart attack at work triggered by an unusually stressful event such as an armed robbery. Your doctor’s medical opinion about the cause of the heart condition can really help your case for benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.