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Does Workers’ Compensation Law Cover Mental Illnesses?February 12, 2020 0 Comment Category: Workers' Compensation
Workers’ compensation refers to the system that is designed by lawmakers to cover the damages of employees who are injured at the workplace or while performing any kind of work-related duties. Under California workers’ compensation laws, employees are entitled to claim medical expenses, lost wages, disability payments, and costs associated with therapy and rehabilitation. However, there are certain limitations to which types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation.
In general, you must have sustained the injury or illness during the course of your employment to be eligible to file a lawsuit. The workplace injury or illness must be severe enough to have needed professional medical assistance as opposed to first aid. When you file a lawsuit under workers’ compensation laws, you will need to have notified your employer about the injury or illness as soon as you discovered it. Your employer may ask you to undergo a physical examination in order to verify the injury or illness. Then your employer will redirect your claim to the workers’ compensation insurance provider for further action.
You can file a workplace injury lawsuit for slip and fall accidents, electrocution, injuries by machinery, or any other accident that led to a physical injury. Aside from that, you can also claim for workplace illnesses caused due to exposure to harmful gases, chemicals, or other unsafe pollutants. Injuries caused because of repetitive motion at work may also be qualified for a workers’ compensation claim.
Mental Health Claims
Depending on local laws, a workplace injury may not be limited to physical illness or injury. Psychiatric injuries such as stress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD may be considered workplace injuries. These mental injuries may also be covered under the workers’ compensation laws. However, the amount that you can claim for these conditions can vary from state to state. Therefore, a reliable California injury lawyer may be needed to understand how to proceed with your case.
California workers’ compensation laws cover mental traumas caused by single traumatic events such as PTSD as well as psychological conditions that develop over time like depression and anxiety. Despite this coverage, proving mental illnesses for a workers’ compensation claim can be much more difficult than proving physical injuries caused by a workplace accident. You will need to establish that the mental illness happened because of job-related factors or during the course of your employment at the company. This means that you will need to show evidence of scenarios that led to the mental illness and prove a link between your job and the mental illness.
The state workers’ compensation laws will require evidence for your workplace injury or illness claims. For example, if you are experiencing stress and anxiety, you will need to demonstrate that you suffered that as a consequence of workplace factors and not because of any personal problems. You may also need to prove that the work-related mental illness could have happened to anybody in your position. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you.
A reputable personal injury or workers’ compensation lawyer will have experience with complex cases like these and will know how to prove workplace-related mental illnesses to claim appropriate compensation for your damages. They can also help you to demonstrate how the work conditions have objectively led to the mental health condition that you have. Workers’ compensation laws may state the aspects that you need to establish when filing a claim for work-related mental illness. Your personal injury lawyer can help you to understand those and work with you to build a strong case according to the statutes as well as common law principles.
Note that you may also have to prove that the mental illness has caused you to seek medical treatment to be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. You will need to explain the scenarios at work that were the primary source of psychiatric injury. You may also be required to submit a copy of your medical diagnosis report to support your claims. In most cases, the treating physician’s testimony will also be required to validate your workplace-related mental illness. In addition to a doctor’s diagnosis, you may be requested to submit documents to state your mental health history, the progression of the psychological condition, job satisfaction, personal problems, and job performance reviews.
The workers’ compensation laws in California state that you must have been employed at the company for more than 6 months to file a workplace injury claim unless your psychiatric injury was due to a sudden, extreme event. Consult with your California injury lawyer to learn more about filing the paperwork, collecting evidence, the statute of limitations, and other applicable laws to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit.