Is A Heart Attack A Compensable Injury Under PA Workers’ Compensation Act

An individual may potentially recover under the PA Workers’ Compensation Act for a heart attack. There is a multitude of cases involving situations of worker’s compensation and heart attacks. The cases cover a range of scenarios from heart attacks that occurred at work, on a person’s way home from work, after a person has been terminated from employment, etc.

Employer Liability for Compensation for Personal Injury

Pursuant to the PA’s Workers’ Compensation Act, employers are liable for compensation for personal injury to, or the death of each employee, by an injury in the course of their employment.

How is “Injury” Defined?

“Injury” is defined as an injury to an employee, regardless of their previous physical condition, arising in the course of, and related to, their employment. Further, an “injury arising in the course of employment,” includes all injuries sustained while the employee is actually engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer.

Elements of Recovery

Two elements must be met for recovery:

  1. Sufferance of an objectively verifiable physical injury
  2. The injury arose in the course of, and related to, the employment.


In situations where the employee is deceased, the individual who files the workers compensation claim bears the burden of proving that the decedent sustained an injury in the course and scope of the employment and that the death was causally related to that work injury.

Work Related Heart Attacks

Work related heart attacks are compensable under the PA Act regardless of the employee’s previous physical condition. However, depending on the facts of the specific situation it may be necessary for an individual to prove abnormal working conditions.

In heart attack cases, where the causal connection between an individual’s work and heart attack is not obvious, the connection must be established by unequivocal medical testimony. This medical testimony will require the claimant to engage the services of a qualified medical expert.

Contact Buzgon Davis Law Offices

To gain a better understanding of your rights under the PA Workers’ Compensation Act, contact one of our workers compensation attorneys at Buzgon Davis Law Offices at 717-923-5598.

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