Heart attacks are much more common than any of us would like to think about. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, heart related illnesses are the number one killer in the United States. If their statistics are correct, a person suffers a heart attack once every thirty four seconds. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s a terrifying number. Almost every single person knows someone who has had a heart attack, or has had one themselves. This brings about a very good question. Can you claim a heart attack under workers compensation?
In Ohio, that is exactly what one widow tried to do. A few years ago, the mayor of Toledo suffered a heart attack in February while he was driving and ended up crashing his sports utility vehicle into a pole. He had just delivered a statement to the public that, due to extreme winter conditions, they would be restricting vehicular movement on the roads in a couple of hours. The mayor then got back into his government owned vehicle and travelled to Costco, which was a person errand. It was also stated, however, that he would often take the long way home after these news conferences to check the state of the roads for himself. Once he crashed, he was taken to the hospital where he survived for five days before succumbing to his injuries.
Soon after his death, his widow applied for workers compensation, saying that he was acting in his duties. She also claimed that the heart attack he suffered was due to the stress of work. While her first claim was denied, she appealed it and won. This was then appealed and then denied again. She has since filed a lawsuit.
In North Carolina, for someone to claim that a heart attack is due to work, you must be able to show that extraordinary or unusual physical exertion was present, including strain or a causal connection between the exertion, strain, and heart attack. Your previous medical health must also be taken into account.
If you or someone you love has had a heart attack at work and you think it may be related, call Collier Law Firm for your free consultation and see what we can do to help you. After all, your main goal should be getting back to your old self.