Just because an employee suffers an injury while at work does not necessarily mean the employee is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. To be compensable through workers’ compensation, the injury must not only occur in the course of employment but must arise out of the employment.
For example, an employee who suffers a heart attack while at work will only recover workers’ compensation benefits if the employee proves legal and medical causation.
To prove legal causation, the employee must prove that the stress in his employment life was greater than the stress in normal non-employment life—defined to be the sedentary life of the average non-worker.
Secondly—-and usually more challenging—-the employee must prove medical causation. The employee must prove through competent medical evidence that work-related activity actually caused or contributed to the heart attack.
Generally, a carrier seeking to terminate an injured employee’s benefits must request that the New Hampshire Department of Labor schedule a hearing that both the carrier and the employee must attend. Only if a Department of Labor Hearing Officer determines that the carrier has proven a change in the injured employee’s condition sufficient to warrant termination of benefits may the carrier stop paying disability benefits to the employee.
If you have questions regarding a workers’ compensation matter, please contact Benjamin T. King at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.