Normally, injured workers with heart or brain injuries have the “burden of proof.” This means they must prove their job most likely caused the injury. For example, if a construction worker has back pain, he must show evidence that the injury came from a work accident or exposure in order to receive NJ Workers' Compensation benefits. This is not true for first responders.
NJ Workers' Compensation law recognizes that first responders like firefighters, police officers, and EMTs have particularly dangerous jobs. When responding to emergencies, first responders risk their own safety to help others. If a first responder is injured or dies from a heart attack or brain injury during an emergency, the injury or death is automatically covered under NJ Workers' Comp law. First responders would then be eligible for fully paid medical care, pay for lost time at work, and permanent disability benefits. If the first responder dies as a result of the injury, his family can receive disability benefits.
In these situations, the burden of proof actually lies with the employer. The employer must prove that the injury is not work-related. This provides a legal advantage for both paid and volunteer first responders. They have earned this advantage through their service to their communities.
First responders who have work-related heart or brain injuries should consider hiring a Morris Plains workers' compensation lawyer. Manfred Ricciardelli has 20 years of experience handling NJ Workers' Compensation claims. He is also a volunteer firefighter with the Morris Township Fire Department. He understands your rights as an injured first responder and he will fight for you. Set up a free consultation today – just call 973-285-1100 or fill out our online contact form.