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.