worker experiencing cardiac chest pain
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Is It Possible To Hurt Your Heart At Work?

As Valentines Day draws near images of hearts can be seen all over New York. For many, hearts conjure feelings of joy and happiness but for others, thinking about the heart brings memories of physical pain and hospital stays.

While it’s easy to assume that most cardiac injuries are caused by blocked arteries and heart attacks, the reality is that the heart can be damaged during a work accident, putting an accident victim in real danger.

Accidents Can Cause Traumatic Injuries To The Heart

Despite the fact that the heart is protected by the ribs and the sternum, a powerful force can damage it. Examples of accidents that may result in damage to the heart include:

Car Accidents

Any worker who gets behind the wheel of a car, such as truck drivers, delivery drivers, and ambulance drivers is at risk of being involved in a car accident. The force of a crash can send drivers and their passengers flying throughout the interior of the vehicle or even out of the vehicle entirely, striking hard objects.  

Falls

It’s no secret that many New York workers are expected to do their jobs at great heights. Often, the scaffolding and platforms that are being used have safety issues which cause workers to fall. The force of landing on a hard surface after a fall from a height can damage the heart.

Accidents Where The Victim Is Crushedheartbeat on a monitor

When working with heavy machinery sometimes workers get sucked up into gears or crushed below heavy objects that have been dropped.

Assaults

Sadly there is a lot of violence in this world and workers are often assaulted by both complete strangers and those that they know well.

Blows To The Chest

If a tool is being swung and comes into contact with the chest the impact can cause a serious injury.

How Can The Heart Be Damaged?

Blunt force trauma can result in:

Pericardial Injury

Either a high-energy impact or an extreme increase in abdominal pressure can injure the pericardium, which is the membrane that surrounds the heart. If the pressure is high enough, this membrane can actually rupture. This can put a strain on the muscles and vessels of the heart and cause a heart attack. The only way to correct this injury is to perform surgery.

Coronary Artery Injury

Although rare, this type of injury is possible. When the coronary artery is damaged, it can result in arrhythmias, clots, heart attack, or a rupture of one of the heart’s chambers.

Chamber Rupture

If a chamber rupture isn’t diagnosed in a very short period of time it is often fatal. Most patients present with extreme hypotension.

Cardiac Contusion

This is literally a bruising of the heart which can interfere with the heart’s ability to pump blood properly.

External Puncture

If the worker lands on or is hit with a sharp object it may pierce the chest wall and then go into the heart. Even a tiny puncture can be life-threatening.

Cardiac Arrest

Even if the heart is healthy, if the blow occurs during a certain part of the heartbeat, it can actually stop the beat and put the heart into cardiac arrest.

Ultimately, however, the heart was damaged, if it happened at work the resulting medical expenses should be covered by workers’ compensation.

American Heart Month

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Can I Claim A Heart Attack Caused By Stress?

Given the fact that strenuous exercise or extreme emotional and mental stress can result in a heart attack, it may be possible for a worker to claim workers’ compensation. However, proving heart attack was caused by working conditions can be quite difficult and it’s unlikely that an approval will be given without the help of an experienced lawyer who has handled similar claims in the past.

How Do I Begin The Workers Comp Process?

Not only will your workers’ comp claim require the necessary evidence needed to prove that the claim is valid, but the paperwork is often time sensitive. To give yourself the best chance of obtaining coverage, you should:

  1. First seek medical care: When you are physically suffering and your life is at risk, everything else can wait. Get the medical care you need immediately.
  2. Notify your employer about your injury: You should give your employer written notification about the accident and all injuries you sustained as a result.
  3. File the workers’ comp claim paperwork: Although paperwork may not seem like a big deal you should have an attorney look it over because even a tiny mistake on these forms can result in a denial.
  4. Have your doctor fill out a preliminary report: This form, the C-4, should be completed within 48 hours of the accident by your physician and copies mailed to the District Office, you, and your insurer.

If you’ve already gone through this process and have had your claim denied, our legal team can still help by guiding you through the appeals process and representing you before the Workers’ Comp Board.

My Family Member Died From Their Cardiac Injury

Sadly, due to the fact that the heart is a vital organ, damage to the heart often takes the life of a worker leaving their worker experiencing cardiac chest painloved ones to not only deal with the sudden loss but to often struggle financially. However, they may be able to recover financial help through workers’ compensation death benefits.

Under workers’ comp, the surviving loved ones of the deceased, such as their spouses and children, can collect death benefits in the form of weekly payments. These payments are based on the salary of the deceased. However, just like with regular workers’ comp claims, insurance companies frequently deny claims for death benefits or miscalculate the amount owed to the applicants.

Let our legal team shoulder the burden of fighting for compensation while you take the time you need to mourn your loved one.

What Happens If I Can’t Go Back To Work?

If the heart isn’t pumping correctly it can be physically impossible for the patient to work. In these cases, the worker may apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security isn’t just for those who are retired, the fund also provides financial assistance to those who are unable to work. In order to be eligible for these benefits, an injured employee must:

  • Have worked for at least 20/40 quarters.
  • Have a physical or emotional condition which is severe enough to prevent them from working.
  • Provide evidence to prove that this medical condition prevents them from returning to work.

The problem is that it’s even more difficult to obtain benefits from Social Security than it is to get a workers’ comp claim approved. But as with workers’ comp claims, The Disability Guys are here to help.

Our lawyers have been at the forefront of employment law since 1933 and we are even celebrating our 85th year of helping injured and disabled workers! We truly want to do everything we can to assist you in getting the compensation that you need.

When a client comes to us we identify all possible forms of compensation that they are eligible for and we then guide them through the entire process from start to finish. We pride ourselves on our excellent communication and are prepared to answer all of your questions.

Contact us now – don’t wait.

Ask The Disability Guys

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