Firefighters are exposed to increased dangers, health hazards, and risks that other employees may not be exposed to while at work. For that reason, Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws make certain concessions for firefighters who suffer from one or more certain diseases or illnesses.
Pinder Plotkin represents firefighters who are injured on the job. We fight for full benefits and compensation for these brave men and women. Contact our office now for a free consultation with a Maryland workers’ comp attorney for firefighters.
Why Is High Blood Pressure Included as a Special Workers’ Comp Benefit for Firefighters?
When an employee is injured on the job, the workers’ compensation system provides benefits for the injured employee. Payment for medical care and compensation of some of a worker’s lost wages are two benefits that injured employees are entitled to receive under Maryland’s workers’ comp laws. However, a worker is also entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits if he or she develops an illness because of job-related conditions.
Firefighters are under a high degree of stress because of the dangers and responsibilities associated with their job. For that reason, many firefighters develop high blood pressure or hypertension during their career as a firefighter.
To receive compensation for a work-related illness, the employee must prove that the illness was a result of work conditions. However, because firefighters can be at a higher risk of developing hypertension because of their job, it is presumed that a diagnosis of high blood pressure is related to the firefighter’s employment. Therefore, it is up to the employer or the workers’ comp insurance carrier to fight the presumption.
Am I Automatically Entitled to Benefits for High Blood Pressure if I am a Firefighter?
While hypertension is presumed to be caused by your job, you must prove that your high blood pressure causes a disablement. You can only receive workers’ comp benefits for hypertension if it causes an impairment or disabling condition. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced Maryland workers’ comp attorney who understands the specific laws and requirements for filing a hypertension workers’ comp claim for firefighters.
What Are Some Complications That May Result from High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure should not be ignored. When diagnosed and treated properly, most cases of hypertension are manageable. However, some individuals may develop complications from high blood pressure. Some of the common complications that might result from hypertension include:
- Heart Failure
- Heart Attack
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Trouble with Comprehension or Memory
- Problems with Blood Vessels in the Kidneys or Eyes
It is very important that a person seek medical care if he or she has high blood pressure. Because firefighters may be at a higher risk of developing hypertension, it may be good to monitor blood pressure levels for early detection of a problem.
What Benefits Can I Receive for Hypertension?
The workers’ comp benefits you may receive for a claim depend on several factors. You can receive medical care for your condition by filing a workers’ comp claim. If you are unable to work because of the high blood pressure, you may also be entitled to additional benefits for temporary total disability. If your condition persists and you are unable to return to work, you may also be entitled to permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits.
The amount of your benefit depends on your average weekly wage before you were unable to work. It also depends on the severity of your impairment and the type of impairment. While the law may presume a diagnosis of hypertension is the result of your job as a firefighter, you must still prove that the hypertension resulted in an impairment that prevents you from working.
If you are diagnosed with a permanent impairment, you may be entitled to more money for your claim than the average worker would receive for a similar claim. Public safety employees have their claims for a permanent disability rated on a higher scale than the average worker. The result is an amount that may be double what the average worker may receive for a similar impairment.
Call Pinder Plotkin for a Free Case Review
If you believe you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits for hypertension, we want to help. We can help you apply for temporary benefits if you are out of work because of a work-related injury. We can also help you seek compensation for a permanent disability caused by a work-related illness or injury.
For a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney in Parkville, contact Pinder Plotkin LLC by calling 410-525-5337.