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Holland & Usry, P.A.

Workers’ Compensation for Mental, Emotional, and Psychological Injuries

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No one wants to look like a whiner.

For a dedicated employee, one of the hardest things to admit is that he’s struggling with emotional or psychological problems from an incident at work. But that’s exactly why work injuries like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be so incredibly damaging—too many people suffer in silence when help may be within reach. While you try in vain to corral thoughts and emotions breaking loose on you, your family suffers. Work falls off. You lose control of your life.

You don’t have to.

There’s Hope

If your mental or emotional harm is tied to work or a work injury, you might qualify for benefits including medical care—but there are conditions you must satisfy.

What you’ve got to prove depends on how you sustained psychological harm. You’ll need to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you see the problem and the solution clearly, and to speak up for you if you can’t.

Here’s how the most common work accident emotional damage gets benefits.

How To Qualify

There are two primary ways to qualify for psychological injury benefits. You’ve got to prove your mental injury was caused by either…

  • Physical injury (This is called “physical—mental injury” in workers’ comp lingo), or
  • Unusual or extraordinary job conditions compared to what’s normal for your job (This is called a “mental-mental injury”).

Let’s break that down a little more, because it’s complex. Proving cause requires medical evidence. You don’t get care or other benefits just by saying you’re nervous, afraid, depressed, or can’t control your thoughts, no matter how big these problems seem to you. If your condition is not presented in exactly the right way, you can lose your right to all benefits. You need a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to do it right.

The Special Challenges of “Mental–Mental” Injuries

Mental–mental injuries require proof of unusually stressful or disturbing conditions at work compared to others with the same job. For instance, the South Carolina Supreme Court denied benefits to a deputy sheriff who shot and killed a suspect that attacked him, because using deadly force is within the normal work of a deputy sheriff.

Also, there’s no coverage for injuries from certain personnel actions unless they’re done in an unusual or extraordinary way. Routine personnel actions that don’t usually qualify for workers’ compensation benefits include…

·       Disciplinary actions like reprimands or write-ups.

·       Job evaluations.

·       Transfers.

·       Promotions or demotions.

·       Salary reviews.

·       Firing.

Don’t Give Up

Left unchecked, psychological injuries can destroy not just your life, but your family members’ lives as well. It takes a strong person to admit they need this kind of help. Don’t let a work injury ruin your life. Seek help, EVEN IF YOU THINK IT WON’T BE COVERED, and make sure your rights are protected. Call a workers’ compensation lawyer.

If you have questions about these injuries or any others, you can start an email or live chat with us right where you are, and an experienced lawyer will respond to answer your questions for free.

 

Rob Usry
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Rob is a South Carolina personal injury and criminal defense lawyer.
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