American diagnosed with heart conditions, such as chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, and arrhythmia, may be at risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes if they experience high stress or aggravation at their workplace. Sometimes, when people develop heart conditions while employed, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation and disability benefits. According to Illinois workers’ compensation laws, when workers contract a disease or sustain an injury directly related to their employment, they may file a claim for benefits. Because employers and their insurers may challenge these types of legal claims to either deny claims or minimize payments, workers may need to protect their legal rights by seeking legal representation. The Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys at Therman Law Offices are proud of their consistent and effective legal representation of workers, and have been serving Cook County with more than three decades of combined experience.Heart Conditions and Workers’ Compensation Under Illinois Law
The Workers’ Compensation Act sets forth rules and procedures for securing compensation following on-the-job injuries and disability. A successful claim for benefits usually provides costs for medical care and disability payments for time away from work during recovery. For all workers’ compensation claims, medical professionals must evaluate the injury and document their medical findings. It is important to note that proving fault is not necessary for a successful claim because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of benefits.
Does workers’ compensation cover heart conditions caused by or exacerbated at work? The law makes clear that to receive benefits for a heart condition, the worker must prove the condition was caused by a work circumstance or a work-related condition. In many cases, this includes demonstrating that the activity the employee engaged in at their workplace was the primary contributor to developing or worsening the heart condition. If, at the time of the injury, the employee was performing strenuous work, not usual and ordinary, this may support a finding that their disability was work-related. Seeking a consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand the strength of your claim.Fighting Employer Denial of Workers' Compensation Claims for Heart Conditions
Employers may attempt to deny claims for compensation when a worker’s heart condition develops or worsens during their period of employment. Simply because a worker suffered a heart attack or exacerbated heart condition at work does not mean it was work-related. Employers may contend that dietary habits or overall physical condition led to the injury or condition.
However, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act holds that workers with pre-existing conditions will not be prevented from securing compensation if they suffer an aggravation or worsening of their condition. By holding employers legally accountable for their disabled employees, the rationale is that the employer takes their employee as they are, in their current state.
Again, to show that a primary contributor caused the workers’ disability, the worker must show tasks or conditions above the normal level of stress aggravated their condition. Legally, compensation will likely be denied when the employee’s disability is due to exertion at work that is no greater than to be expected by the general public. For example, sitting at a desk or walking around the work premises may not rise to a level that will be recognized as cognizable. Additionally, the court often requires that a worker show their heart condition was traceable to a specific incident at work.Speak With an Experienced Attorney in Wheaton or Schaumburg
It can be challenging to determine what your workplace injury claim is worth or what amount may be appropriate to settle for if you have endured a heart condition. In some cases, you may be awarded permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, wage loss differential, or vocational training. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to seek the maximum level of benefits to which you are entitled. At Therman Law Offices, we have extensive experience handling workers’ compensation claims and are here to assist through all stages of your case. We can be reached by calling 773-545-8849 or through our online form. We have offices in Schaumburg and Wheaton to service clients in the communities of Hoffman Estates, Bartlett, Arlington Heights, Streamwood, Bensenville, Hanover Park, and Elgin, Bloomingdale, Roselle, and Wood Dale.