Workers in Alabama can take some solace in the fact that if they are injured on the job, they can be covered for their medical bills and lost wages through workers' compensation. For many workers in high-risk fields, this is a large relief. Construction workers and industrial workers are often at an elevate risk for workplace injury due to the nature of their work, so knowing that they will be taken care of in the event of injury can be extremely reassuring.
However, it is really any employee that could be vulnerable to a work-related medical issue. Similarly, it is not only a catastrophic injury that can mean a worker is able to receive workers' compensation benefits in Alabama. Workers can sustain repetitive stress injuries, illnesses from toxic exposure and other issues that can prohibit the employee from being able to work for a period of time or indefinitely, necessitating workers' compensation benefits.
In an interesting case outside of Alabama, a project manager was recently awarded workers' compensation benefits when his legal counsel was able to successfully prove that the heart attack he suffered was directly related to the extremely stressful nature of his job. The worker that suffered the heart attack was responsible for juggling a few dozen projects at any given time, with a budget totaling as much as $18 million.
On top of the high level of responsibility of the project manager, the man regularly interacted with people that would lose their temper and yell at him. He was able to show his stress-induced heart attack resulted from the course of his employment.
While this case does not indicate that any employee that suffers a heart attack will be able to claim workers' compensation benefits in Alabama or elsewhere, it does illustrate the varied nature of claims, happenings and workers that could be cover under workers' compensation. In pursuit of such benefits, it is highly beneficial to retain experienced legal counsel that will advocate for a worker's necessary benefits.
Source: Risk & Insurance, "Project manager proves working conditions caused heart attack," Dec. 10, 2012