Worker's compensation is usually associated with a physical injury that takes place while on the job. In recent years, the workplace injury definition has been expanded in many states to include stress-related mental and physical conditions. If you have suffered extreme mental stress due to your working environment, undue pressure from your boss, or duress inflicted by fellow employees, you may have a valid workers compensation claim.
Effects of Stress
Stress is now recognized by medical professionals as a deadly component of many physical ailments, including heart disease and cancer. In fact, the American Institute of Preventative Medicine claims that two-thirds of all medical office visits are a result of stress. Your employer must make accommodations for you if your stress has reached the level of disability. In some states, you can file a worker's compensation claim against your employer if you believe your working conditions have caused your physical and/or mental disability.
All states have different rules and regulations governing the worker's comp process, so some states are more receptive to psychological claims than others. However, your claim will have a better chance of being recognized if a physical injury or condition stems from your psychological stress. For instance, if you suffer a heart attack at work and have proof that you were under high-pressure deadlines or other extreme working conditions, you are more likely to win your claim. Digestive issues also fall under this category. Many people suffer from IBS, ulcers, or similar issues. If you can tie your condition to abnormal stress at work, you may receive your worker's compensation claim.
Proving a purely psychological problem is more difficult, but it can be done. However, you will need medical records to prove that your depression, anxiety, or other mental condition is a result of workplace stress. You will also need to prove that your level of stress was unusual. Any job has a certain level of pressure. You will always have deadlines to meet, unhappy customers to deal with, and sometimes angry bosses. You will have to prove that your job demands were unusual and directly caused you psychological harm.
Psychological problems are considered grounds for worker's compensation, but they are more difficult to prove than physical injuries. If you feel your job stress has caused you mental problems, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer, such as Law Offices of Terry Katz & Associates, for a case assessment. Gather your medical records and let your attorney explain your options.