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New Jersey workers’ compensation and heart attacks: Do I qualify?

New Jersey state law provides for workers' compensation to cover heart attacks, in certain situations.

Workers' comp is designed to benefit both the worker and the employer - the worker receives compensation in a much timelier manner than would result from going through a traditional courtroom lawsuit while the employer usually avoids the cost of additional claims outside of the workers' compensation system. Thus, an injured worker is eligible to receive compensation after an on-the-job accident. However, the injured party must first establish that he or she qualifies for the benefits.

Some injuries are more obvious than others. A worker injured after he or she falls through a hole at a construction site is most likely covered, an employee delivering flowers in a company owned flower truck who suffers injuries in a car accident is likely covered, but a worker that suffers from a stroke or heart attack while on-the-job may not have as clear of a case.

Heart attacks and New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law

New Jersey Workers' Compensation law provides coverage in the event of injury or death connected to cardiovascular causes, like a heart attack. In order to qualify, the law states the following:

Claimant shall prove by a preponderance of the credible evidence that the injury or death was produced by the work effort or strain involving a substantial condition, event or happening in excess of the wear and tear of the claimant's daily living and in reasonable medical probability caused in a material degree the cardiovascular or cerebral vascular injury or death resulting there from

Essentially, this means the worker who suffers the heart attack must establish that it was caused by exertion at work. If it were not for the work that the victim was doing, he or she would not have suffered from the heart attack.

Workers' comp insurance providers will likely argue that the heart attack was unrelated to work, that the cardiac arrest would have occurred regardless of the victim's situation at work. The claimant will need to provide evidence to overcome these arguments.

Legal counsel can help victims get workers' comp benefits for heart attacks

Overcoming these arguments may be challenging, particularly when you or a loved one is recovering from a serious medical event. As a result, it is wise for victims and their families to seek legal assistance. An experienced workers' compensation attorney will advocate for your rights, working to better ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Keywords: workers' compensation on-the-job accident