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Will workers' compensation cover a work-related stroke?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cerebrovascular accidents, or strokes, rank in the top five major causes of deaths and serious disabilities nationwide, including California. Various studies have indicated that working extended shifts could increase stroke risks. Those at risk might have questions about their chances of receiving workers' compensation benefits should they suffer strokes at work, or even at home, but as a result of long working hours.

CDC data shows that more than 790,000 strokes are suffered by people across the country each year. International researchers report that job strain, night shifts and other irregular work shifts cause unhealthy work conditions. Survey results showed that almost 30% of the participants who worked extended hours were at an increased risk of strokes. The percentage increased to 45% for employees who worked such hours for more than 10 years.

Workers in this high-risk group who learn to recognize the symptoms of stroke can seek prompt medical care. The telltale signs include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, affecting a leg, arm or the face. A stroke victim can also experience sudden confusion and trouble speaking or understanding speech, vision problems or severe headache without cause. Loss of balance and coordination, dizziness, and trouble walking can also be signs of a stroke.

If an employee in California suffers a stroke after working long hours for an extended period in unhealthy work conditions, he or she might be eligible for workers' compensation insurance benefits. The claims process could be daunting, especially if the stroke happened outside of the workplace. Proving it to be work-related could be challenging without the support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

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