Collapses at Work
Has dizziness, fatigue, exhaustion, or overheating ever caused you to collapse at work?
A number of work environments are hot, humid, tiring, and stressful. Other jobs require long hours and few breaks from physical activity. These factors can cause an individual to feel lightheaded or faint. In certain instances, these conditions may exacerbate a preexisting condition or even be the sole reason an employee collapses at the workplace.
Fainting or collapsing at work can be a momentary event, but it will have additional medical repercussions. Examination by a medical professional for cause and other health conditions is required and the event could necessitate time away from work until an underlying cause for collapsing is identified. Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover costs and losses after collapsing on the job.
Potential Injury from a Collapse
Passing out, losing consciousness, or collapsing at work can be the catalyst for a number of other injuries that require medical attention. Many of the injuries that may result from fainting at work are similar to a fall, such as:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Bruises and contusions
- Spinal injuries
- Stroke and
Alternatively, fainting or collapsing could signal an internal medical condition previously unknown to the individual. Collapsing appears to be a momentary condition. For this reason, a number of individuals do not report a collapse to their direct supervisor or human resources department. However, investigating the underlying cause of an employee passing out or collapsing is important.
To receive workers’ compensation for doctor’s appointments or other medical attention after a collapse it is essential an employee inform management of the incident.
Determining Workers’ Compensation from a Collapse
Unlike other injuries in the workplace, collapsing or passing out is often the sign of a preexisting medical condition that is exacerbated by a work-related activity. Some of these underlying health conditions could include:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Low iron
- Sleep deprivation
- Nutrient deficiency
- Low blood sugar, and
- Heart disease.
These health conditions should not prevent an employee from filing a workers’ compensation claim. The law in New Jersey requires that workers’ compensation insurance cover medical costs arising from a collapse that happened at the workplace or during a work-related activity. This is regardless of preexisting conditions.
However, when an employee collapses due in part to non-work health conditions or illnesses, it complicates the workers’ compensation determination and process. Insurance companies can use this for leverage to lower settlement of a claim, and it is much easier for an insurance company to argue that the injury was not work-related at all.
A lawyer who previously represented similarly situated employees becomes important to recovery of medical costs and disability benefits, including loss wages.
Discuss With a Lawyer
If you fainted, passed out, or collapsed at work and are uncertain if your health condition or injury is covered by workers’ compensation in New Jersey, the best way to find out is speaking with a lawyer. Your injury must be job-related, which can be a difficult determination when it comes to collapses and fainting. For legal advice and representation of your specific situation, contact Albert J. Talone Esq. at (856)-234-4023.