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Georgia Stroke at Work Attorney

Had a stroke at work? Call Spillers Law Firm today

Strokes are caused by a lack of oxygen-carrying blood in the brain and are often the result of a blocked blood vessel or hemorrhage. The cell death caused by a lack of oxygen can quickly cause permanent brain damage or disability, so receiving medical attention as soon as possible is critical for stroke victims. Even after a person has been treated, however, he or she may still suffer from the effects of the stroke, requiring specialized medical equipment and assistive devices. All of these medical expenses can quickly add up, making it difficult for the injured party and his or her family to stay financially afloat. While strokes are not always covered by workers’ compensation, it is possible to collect benefits for those who can provide medical evidence that their condition can be attributed to the performance of work-related duties. This can be a difficult standard to meet, so if you or a loved one suffered a stroke while at work, it is critical to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you file a claim.

Types of Strokes

There are two main types of strokes, which are known as ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. The former are caused by the blockage of a blood vessel in the brain by a blood clot, while the latter are the result of blood vessel breakages that cause bleeding in the brain. Both types of strokes lead to a lack of blood flow in the brain, which causes the following symptoms:

  • Confusion or a sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech;
  • Unexplained vision loss in one or both eyes;
  • Difficulty walking;
  • Loss of balance and coordination;
  • Dizziness;
  • Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg; and
  • Unexplained severe headaches.

Without immediate medical attention, strokes can cause permanent brain damage, resulting in paralysis, mental impairment, and a loss of speech or vision.

Medical Evidence

In Georgia, employers with more than three employees are required to provide workers’ compensation to compensate victims in the event of a workplace accident. Unfortunately, strokes are not considered compensable injuries, even when a worker suffered a stroke while on the job. There is an exception, however, for those who can provide medical evidence proving that their work environment or certain parts of their job either caused or contributed to their stroke. This means that a stroke victim could collect workers’ compensation benefits if there is evidence of certain job-related risks, including:

  • Physical exertion;
  • Strenuous work activities;
  • Extreme temperatures; and
  • Emotional stress.

This does not require a demonstration that the physical exertion in question was somehow unusual or excessive. Instead, a doctor’s assertion that lifting heavy objects or operating heavy equipment caused or contributed to an employee’s stroke could be enough to justify an award of benefits.

In order to convince the State Board of Workers’ Compensation of the connection between an employee’s stroke and his or her job, the injured party will need to provide the treating physician with specific information, including:

  • What activities the employee was participating in at the time of the stroke;
  • Whether there were any hazardous conditions present at the worksite, including dangerous chemicals or gases;
  • Whether the employee was working in extreme temperatures when the stroke occurred;
  • The employee’ level of exertion immediately preceding the stroke;
  • The typical duties required of the employee’s job description; and
  • Whether the employee suffered from telltale symptoms immediately before the stroke.

Gathering this information can be difficult in cases where the employee is unable to communicate following the stroke and there were no other co-workers at the scene when it occurred. The testimony of fellow employees can still be crucial, however, especially if the injured employee did not usually work alone and others were well aware of his or her regular schedule and work duties. The testimony of co-workers who were present at the time of the stroke can also prove critical in demonstrating whether an employee’s job duties caused the stroke.

Without proof of a strenuous activity, extreme temperature, or emotional stress, it will be difficult for an injured party to link his or her stroke to job-related activities. This is doubly true when an employee had a history of any of the following problems:

  • High blood pressure;
  • Smoking;
  • High cholesterol;
  • Diabetes; or
  • Obesity.

Although the existence of these types of medical problems does not necessarily preclude a person from collecting workers’ compensation, it can make it much more difficult to convince the Board that a stroke was in fact caused by the injured party’s job and not by his or her lifestyle choices.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Employees who are able to establish that their stroke arose out of and in the course of employment will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which includes medical coverage of the following expenses:

  • Hospital bills;
  • Physical therapy;
  • Prescription medications;
  • Travel expenses; and
  • Doctor’s bills.

An injured worker can receive these benefits for up to 400 weeks after an injury. The injured party will also be entitled to weekly income benefits in an amount equal to two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage. In the event that a person is able to return to work, but can only secure a lower paying job as a result of the injury, he or she will still be able to receive a reduced weekly wage to help make up the difference in income. If an injury causes permanent disability, the injured worker will receive an impairment rating from his or her physician, which will then be used to determine how much and for how long the employee is entitled to receive wages.

​For a free workers compensation case evaluation, contact Charles Spillers now.

Having the advice and guidance of an experienced Georgia workers compensation attorney can make all the difference in whether an employee who suffered a stroke on the job is able to collect benefits through workers’ compensation, so if you suffered a stroke while at work, please contact Spillers Law Firm by calling (678) 208-0800 to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can explain your legal options.

Meet Charles L. Spillers

Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney

At Spillers Law Firm, we never lose sight of our number one goal — to obtain maximum compensation for you. Whether your case requires litigation, negotiation or simply waiting for the best settlement offer, we know how to achieve the best possible results for you and your family.

These settlement amounts are more than just money. They are a means of regaining the peace of mind, safety and security that was taken from you when you were injured.

Our clients often express just how much they truly appreciate the genuine concern and compassion shown by our staff. They also appreciate our attorneys’ willingness to wait for a better settlement or for an opportunity to litigate. This means that he does not settle for the first offer that comes along. The goal is maximum compensation for our clients.

​For a FREE case evaluation from a Georgia workers compensation attorney, contact Charles Spillers today.

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