Can a heart attack be a work injury?

Illinois law says that workers who suffer a job-related injury are entitled to benefits (medical coverage, payment for lost wages, etc.) But what is meant by “job related?” If you are a construction worker and you fall from a ladder at the job site, the link is fairly obvious. But what if you have a heart attack on the job? Simply being at work at the time of the injury is not enough to be covered under workers’ compensation.

The difference is whether your job caused or contributed to your injury. If you can show this, you should be covered. In cases like heart attacks, the cause may be extreme work conditions, such as very hot or very cold weather, heavy lifting, long hours, etc. The problem is that there are a lot of other things that can cause a heart attack.

That said, we’ve seen many cases where a worker is able to prove that their job caused their heart attack and obtain full benefits. There are even cases where the heart attack occurred at home, after work hours, and the worker was still covered under workers’ comp.

The bottom line is that even if you have other factors that tend to contribute to heart attacks, if your job was a contributing factor, you can still get benefits. The key is to work with an experienced attorney, as well as a cardiologist, who can evaluate your entire situation.

We are workers' compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys.  Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.

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