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Can workers' comp cover a work-related heart attack?

Just another day on the job. Whether it's lifting heavy boxes in a warehouse or moving building materials on a construction site, workers across the country engage in strenuous activity every day. Until one day, chest pain or shortness of breath leave them down for the count.

According to the National Safety Council, roughly one-third of all workplace injuries stem from overexertion - making it the most common type of injury workers suffer. Lifting heavy objects and engaging in repetitive motions without enough rest often leads to muscle and tendon issues, but many forget about the impact these activities can have on the heart.

Keep reading to learn how workers' compensation can, in some cases, provide relief after a work-related traumatic heart event. 

Important factors considered for workers' comp eligibility

Determining whether a heart attack or stroke is covered by workers compensation depends on several factors, including:

  • The intensity of the work you were performing
  • How long you were engaged in those tasks prior to the heart attack
  • The timing of the traumatic heart event
  • Whether you engage in strenuous activity outside of work

Medical history and other risk factors also come into play. Then the case becomes a balancing test. As a New York court of appeals pointed out, if someone's work significantly contributes to a heart attack, an employer may be liable through workers' comp.

Every case is different

Like most workers' compensation cases, work-related heart trauma claims depend heavily on the details. Consulting with a workers' compensation attorney can help you determine whether a work injury, including a heart attack, might qualify you for benefits.

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