The California workers’ compensation program provides wage replacement and medical benefits to people who are hurt on the job. While not every accident or illness in the workplace is covered under workers’ compensation, most are. The claimant must be able to prove that the injury or illness for which benefits are sought was caused by their job to qualify for benefits. In some cases, the connection is obvious; in other cases, the link is more difficult. In particular, employees with job-related heart conditions may sometimes encounter resistance when filing a claim. If you need assistance asserting your right to benefits, the knowledgeable Orange County workers’ compensation lawyers at Howard Law, P.C., can help you aggressively pursue the benefits to which you may be entitled under state law.Proving that a Heart Condition Was Work-Related Under California Law
Under California law, employees may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in either of two ways: a one-time event at work or repeated exposures at work. A “one-time event” might include a fall, a burn, or injuries in a car accident while making a delivery for the company. “Repeated exposures” may include repetitive motion injuries, loss of hearing, and stress-related illnesses. Heart conditions, when compensable, are usually in the nature of repeated exposures to stressful conditions. California Labor Code § 3212 specifically addresses heart attacks for certain employees, including certain law enforcement officers, firefighters, and others. For these workers, heart trouble is presumed to arise out of and in the course of their employment, although the employer may dispute the presumption in some cases.
The essential question in a workers’ compensation case is whether the claimant’s employment was a substantial contributing cause of the injury or illness for which they are seeking benefits. If the answer is yes, the employee may receive reasonable and necessary medical care, temporary disability benefits, vocational retraining, or permanent disability benefits. Each case is unique, and the amount that the worker is entitled to receive may vary greatly, depending upon their age, wages, training, post-injury disability rating, and other factors.
If an employee dies as a result of a work-related heart condition, their family may file a claim for burial expenses of up to $10,000 (for deaths occurring in 2013 or later) and death benefits for dependents. Typically, death benefits are paid to totally dependent children until they reach the age of 18. In situations in which a deceased employee’s child suffers from physical or mental incapacitation, death benefits may continue for the remainder of the child’s life.Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Claim with an Orange County Lawyer
A person whose stressful work conditions have caused them to suffer from a heart condition should receive fair compensation under California’s workers’ compensation laws. The dedicated Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys at Howard Law, P.C., are here to zealously advocate for the rights of injured workers and their families. For a free, confidential appointment to discuss your case, call us now at (800) 872-5925 or contact us online. Our job injury lawyers represent people throughout Southern California, including in Anaheim, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Long Beach, Pomona, and Riverside, as well as other cities in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.