If you have suffered a workplace injury while pregnant, contact an experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer to understand your rights.
From the moment a woman finds out she is pregnant, she knows a miracle is happening in her body. A human being is growing inside her womb, evolving from a tiny cell to a full-sized baby in just nine months. Understandably, the health of your baby is your top priority during this period.
If you are fortunate, then pregnancy can be a beautiful experience. However, some mothers-to-be develop a life-threatening condition known as preeclampsia. What is it, how do you treat it, and should you hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to help you file for benefits?
What You Need to Know about Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, is a complication marked by high blood pressure that is more common during the first pregnancy. While a history of chronic hypertension is a risk factor, most women that develop this condition didn’t experience high blood pressure before. If left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to severe (sometimes fatal) complications in both the mother and the baby.
The problem with preeclampsia is that it doesn’t give any warning signs before it manifests itself. That is why monitoring your blood pressure is paramount as hypertension is the first symptom of this complication.
Other warning signs include:
- Severe headaches
- Sensitivity to light, blurred vision or loss of vision altogether
- Abdominal pain
- High levels of protein in your urine
- Swelling of hands and feet
Do I Qualify for Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation law in Missouri states that an employee must suffer an injury during work to qualify for benefits. Likewise, if the work duties exacerbated a preexisting condition, then he can also get compensation for his suffering.
When it comes to preeclampsia, doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes it. Poor nutrition and obesity might play a role in the onset of the condition, as well as genetics and insufficient blood flow to the uterus. As such, because there is no correlation between your work activity and preeclampsia, you can’t qualify for workers compensation.
FMLA Leave for Pregnancy and Childbirth
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a law that enables employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for health reasons. Pregnancy disabilities as well as caring for a newborn qualify too. While the leave is unpaid, you can use your sick time or vacation days to cover at least part of this period.
Once FMLA ends, you can return to your former position and receive the same pay and work benefits.
Other Reasons to Contact a Work Comp Lawyer
While preeclampsia is not a condition that can be caused or brought about by a work accident or work environment, other situations may warrant the need to speak with a workers compensation lawyer. When a pregnant employee is injured on the job, it is important that she receive the proper medical treatment immediately.
If you have suffered a workplace injury while pregnant, contact an experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer to understand your rights. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form.