Clayton has been a successful salesman for many
years. Lately, his job has been getting more
stressful. There is more competition from overseas
and because of the internet. He is having difficulty
learning the new computer system at work. He is not
getting any younger and finds it more difficult to be
traveling and loading samples into his car. He has
been smoking more and working longer hours.
One morning, he starts to feel chest pain while driving to
a customer's business. As he is unloading his
samples, the pain gets sharper and he feels like he cannot
breathe. His customer takes one look at him and
calls for an ambulance.
Clayton has had a heart attack.
Clayton's Workers Compensation
The workers compensation insurance carrier for Clayton's
company refuses to pay his medical bills or time out of
hires a lawyer to help him prove his case.
heart doctor writes a report saying that job stress caused
the heart attack. The
doctor says in his report that Clayton's years of smoking
also contributed to the heart attack. The doctor
also tells Clayton to find a less stressful job.
insurance company sends Clayton to be examined by a heart
specialist sees Clayton for about five minutes. The specialist
writes a report saying that although Clayton's heart
attack happened while he was at work, the heart attack was
caused by pre-existing heart disease, which was made worse
by the smoking.
lawyer arranges for another heart specialist to examine
doctor spends more time with Clayton and gives him the
chance to explain how stressful his work had become.
At an informal hearing, the workers compensation
commissioner sends Clayton to be seen by another heart
doctor will get copies of the medical reports from all the
other doctors, will examine Clayton and will write a
report with his opinion about whether the heart attack is
The insurance company
continues to refuse to accept Clayton's workers
compensation case. His lawyer tells him they will
need to prove the case at a formal hearing before a
present Clayton’s workers compensation case as strongly
as possible, his lawyer has had to pay the doctors for
their time in writing reports and testifying at
depositions, which are interviews conducted under oath. The lawyer has had to
study Clayton's medical reports and to learn enough about
heart disease and heart attacks to present the case
helps Clayton and his wife prepare to testify at the
hearing about all the stress he was under at work.
Clayton's lawyer anticipates that the insurance
company may have Clayton's boss testify at the hearing
that nothing unusual had been going on at work. Clayton's lawyer
interviews the boss at a deposition to be ready to
effectively cross-examine him at the hearing.