Mental and Psychological Workplace Injuries

When you sustain a physical injury at work, whether it is a back injury from a slip and fall accident or a serious head injury from a construction accidentWorkers’ Compensation will likely cover the medical costs, as well as lost wages and other benefits. When you suffer a mental injury, like stress-induced depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), these injuries may also be covered. However, it can be difficult to prove that these types of injuries were a direct result of your job. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer in Maryland can help you navigate the claims process and obtain the compensation you deserve.

In today’s fast-paced world, many employees experience high levels of work-induced stress due to long hours, low pay, unappreciative bosses, and lengthy commutes. According to recent studies, close to 66 percent of doctor visits are a result of stress and the effect it has on the body, including heart conditions and serious digestive issues. In more extreme cases, an employee could develop PTSD after witnessing a traumatic event at work. In order to file a successful Workers’ Compensation claim for a mental injury, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be diagnosed with a mental condition that is determined to be the cause of the disability.
  • You must have worked for the employer for a minimum of six months.
  • The employee must be able to prove that the injury is a direct result of the work environment. Specifically, you will have to prove that personal issues were not the cause of your mental injuries. As a result, the insurance company will look closely at your private life, including family issues, financial troubles, drug or alcohol abuse, and whether you have a history of mental illness.

Categories of Mental Injury Claims

Workers’ Compensation claims for mental injuries generally fall under three categories, including:

  • Physical/Mental Claim: This type of claim is a psychological injury that results from a physical injury or occupational illness, such as an employee developing PTSD after being severely injured in a work accident.
  • Mental/Physical Claim: This type of claim is a psychological injury that causes a physical injury or illness. For example, if an employee sustains a mental injury from a sudden noise or flash at a worksite, and the stress causes the employee to have a heart attack, this is the type of claim that would be filed.
  • Mental/Mental Claim: This type of claim is when a psychological incident occurs during the workday, which leads to a psychological injury or illness. For example, if an employee witnessed a traumatic accident at work involving a coworker who was severely injured by a piece of equipment, and as a result is unable to operate the equipment, this would quality as a mental/mental claim.

How to Manage Workplace Stress

Certain levels of stress are unavoidable, especially in the workplace, where unpredictable situations can happen on any given day. Downsizing can threaten an employee’s job. Moreover, unrealistic deadlines that require long hours put undue stress on workers, which can cause a number of stress-related health issues. In extreme cases, workplace violence can cause irreparable psychological damage. There are steps an employer can take to provide the support needed to recover from mental injuries.

  • Responding to Trauma: When a traumatic event occurs at work, some people handle the stress better than others. For those who suffer more extreme, long-term effects from the incident, it is crucial to seek help and support from a professional. Check what resources your employer has that can help you recover.
  • Avoid Mental Injuries Following Physical Injuries: Be proactive about learning how to manage any pre-existing mental issues that could be worsened by a potential physical injury. Recognize that physical injuries are a source of stress because it can lead to lost wages and other stressors.
  • Psychiatric Well-Being: Decrease any work-induced stress. Set realistic goals for yourself and notify your manager of any troublesome situations.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Employees with Mental Injuries

 If you suffer from a mental illness or injury and you believe that it is directly related to your job, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We take injuries of this nature very seriously and we will do everything in our power to secure the benefits to which you are entitled. For a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. We have office locations throughout the state of Maryland including BaltimoreColumbiaGlen Burnie, and Towson.