Alabama Heart and Lung Act Cases
What is the Alabama Heart and Lung Act?
Like many other states, Alabama has set aside special compensation for peace officers, firefighters, and rescue squad members who are injured or killed “during the course of employment,” or as the result of a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary edema. Alabama Code § 36-30-1 through § 36-30-7 is known as the Alabama Heart and Lung Act.
If you get hurt on the job or suffer complications with your heart or lungs while working as a first responder, you may be entitled to compensation from the state Board of Adjustment. Family members of deceased peace officers, firefighters, or rescue squad members may also be eligible. Our Birmingham-based team at Burrell & McCants, LLC can help you file an Alabama Heart and Lung Act claim and recover the resources you need during this difficult time.
Call us at (205) 547-3042 to get started with a FREE initial consultation today!
Who Is Eligible for Compensation Under Alabama’s Heart and Lung Act?
Firefighters, peace officers, rescue squad members, and their dependents are eligible for compensation under the Alabama Heart and Lung Act. Firefighters include any member of a paid or volunteer fire department in any town, city, county, or other subdivision of the state, including:
- Assistant chiefs
- All other officers and employees who engage in fire fighting or render first aid
Wildland firefighters are also eligible for compensation under the Alabama Heart and Lung Act.
The term, “peace officer,” refers to all sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables, municipal police officers, state and town marshals, state troopers, members of the highway patrol, and all other enforcement officers in the state of Alabama. Law enforcement agents of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Division, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Forestry Commission, the Department of Agriculture and Industries, the State Board of Health, and the State Capitol are all eligible, as well.
Rescue Squad Members
Rescue squad members are all commanders, officers, and members of organized rescue squads that are members of the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and other parties that administer first aid, treatment, or transport of the sick or injured are all considered rescue squad members in Alabama and are thus eligible for compensation.
If any of the first responders listed above dies as a result of their occupation, or any heart attack, stroke, or excess fluid in the lungs, their dependents will be entitled to the compensation. Dependents include the spouse, minor children, and dependent family members of the peace officer, firefighter, or rescue squad member.
First responders who do not have surviving dependents can be compensated via their estate.
If you wish to pursue a claim for yourself or on behalf of a deceased firefighter, peace officer, or rescue squad member, our Birmingham attorneys can help.
Claims for Death or Total Disability
Under the Alabama Heart and Lung Act, there are two (2) types of claims. If a first responder is killed or dies due to injuries sustained at work, their dependents are entitled to $100,000 from the Alabama Board of Adjustment. The Alabama Heart and Lung Act also considers heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary edema workplace injuries if they happen within 24 hours of an emergency.
Even if the firefighter, peace officer, or rescue squad member survives the injury in question, they are entitled to $100,000 if they anticipate being disabled for more than 12 months from the date of their injury. A first responder is disabled if they cannot complete the duties of their occupation, so a peace officer who could no longer handle stress due to a heart attack or a firefighter who could no longer extinguish fires due to pulmonary edema would both be eligible for compensation.
Both losing a loved one and losing your occupation are devastating events for first responders and their family members. Burrell & McCants, LLC can help you apply for the state benefit, so the loss does not have to be financially devastating, as well.
Are Alabama Heart and Lung Act Cases Different from Workers’ Compensation?
Yes. Alabama Heart and Lung cases are not workers’ compensation claims, nor do they interfere with your ability to access workers’ compensation insurance. Alabama Heart and Lung claims do not interfere with your right to file a civil lawsuit, either. Alabama Code § 36-30-1 through § 36-30-7 simply establishes a state benefit for those who protect and serve the state and their family members.
Still, handling a claim with the Alabama Board of Adjustment can be difficult, especially after a recent loss. To make things easier, you can choose to have a lawyer represent you through the process.
At Burrell & McCants, LLC, we take a customer-service-based approach to helping our clients. We will be in communication with you about your case, and we aim to solve your problems and achieve your goals.
Our firm has a history of successful outcomes, and we want to help you recover the benefits you are entitled to under state law.
Tell us about your case during a free consultation and help us help you. Call us at (205) 547-3042 or contact us online to file your Alabama Heart and Lung Act claim today.
Got the charges dismissed, thanks for your help.- Darryl
Focused on actually listening to the clients' needs!- Ed
Best lawyer ever.- Antoinette
I am glad they are representing me.- Cheryl
Him and his staff had been amazing.- Candance