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Proving Strokes Are Work Related

Strokes are covered by Georgia workers’ compensation law, but there are special requirements for proving strokes are work related.  The 2015 Georgia Court of Appeals case Save-A-Lot Food Stores v. Amos discusses some of these special requirements.  In that particular case, the injured worker did not receive workers’ compensation benefits because he was unable to meet these special requirements.

Facts of the Court of Appeals case

Mr. Amos was unloading pallets of meat when he became flushed, dizzy, confused, and began losing his balance.  He went to the hospital and was admitted for three days.  His family doctor diagnosed him with a stroke which was contributed to by his job.  However, two other doctors founds that Mr. Amos did not suffer a stroke.  After a workers’ compensation hearing, the administrative law judge concluded that Mr. Amos had not suffered a stroke.  This decision was upheld by the Appellate Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation but was overturned by the Superior Court.

The Court of Appeals decision

The argument at the Court of Appeals focused on the administrative law judge’s statement that stroke cases required a higher standard of proof. Mr. Amos argued that this statement was wrong, but the Court of Appeals decided that it was not.

Stroke cases do require more proof than regular cases.  Stroke cases require that injured workers (or their attorneys) produce medical evidence to support their cases.  If you do not have medical evidence to prove a stroke, you automatically lose your case.

Mr. Amos actually had medical evidence since his family doctor testified that he had suffered a stroke which was caused by his job.  However, the judge chose to believe the other doctors who testified that Mr. Amos did not have a stroke.  That is why he lost his case.

Technically, most workers’ compensation cases do not require medical evidence.  However, it is almost always a bad idea to go to court without medical evidence to support your case.  Even if it is not legally required, it is almost always needed to win your case.

Questions about proving a stroke was caused by your job

Stroke and heart attack cases are complicated cases with special rules.  If you do not present the right type of evidence, you will automatically lose your case.  If your heart attack or stroke is being denied by the insurance company, it can be helpful to talk to an attorney to find out what you can do.  If you would like a free consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys, simply call the phone number or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families. To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

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Jason Perkins

Workers' Compensation Attorney

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