In Michigan, employees suffering from a work-related psychiatric injury may be able to obtain workers’ comp benefits to assist them while they recover.
Our attorneys at Jay Trucks & Associates explain when these benefits may apply and why you may want an attorney to represent you and guide you throughout the filing process.
Workers’ compensation claims are difficult to prove for cases involving mental stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other types of psychiatric injuries. Our knowledgeable Grand Rapids workers’ compensation attorneys are prepared to provide the legal help that may make the difference between obtaining the benefits you need or having your claim denied. Call our law firm to schedule a complimentary case consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help.
What Qualifies as Mental Stress in the Workplace?
Simply saying that your job causes you stress, even if it is true, is not enough to qualify as a mental stress injury. There are specific mental stress disorders that may result either from a previous work injury or from continually occurring incidents at work, such as:
- Being continually singled out by supervisors for disciplinary actions
- Unreasonable work deadlines
- Harassment on the job
- Verbally or physically abusive coworkers or employers
- Consistently being pressured to work long hours
Not everyone will react to a stressful incident, or series of incidents in the same way. Some people may better manage these types of events, while for others, it may trigger, severe emotional stress and anxiety. Common mental stress injuries that may be work-related may include PTSD, anxiety, depression and more.
Providing Proof of a Mental Stress Injury
Unlike a physical injury caused by a an easily identifiable single incident, mental stress injuries are more complex. The burden of proof is on the injured party to show that a mental stress injury was caused by and arose out of the scope of his or her employment.
To establish valid evidence of a mental stress injury, the employee pursuing benefits will need to be assessed by a mental health professional. This medical professional will carefully examine and compare the individual against a legal measure known as the reasonable person standard in an attempt to discover whether there is a valid injury. Additionally, there must be actual events – either a single incident or recurring circumstances – that can reasonably be linked to your mental stress injury.
Common Symptoms of a Psychiatric Injury:
Someone suffering from a psychiatric or mental stress injury may exhibit certain atypical behavior, such as:
- Denial that there is any problem
- Mood swings, irritability or anger
- Difficulty concentrating, memory problems
- Anxiety or depression
- Withdrawing or becoming distant
- Issues sleeping
- Aggressive behavior
- In extreme cases, there may also be flashbacks of the trauma
What Benefits Are Provided for Mental Stress Injuries
Workers’ comp provides various types of compensation and other benefits to assist injured employees while they recover from an injury sustained in the course of doing their job duties. For a mental stress injury, benefits could include:
- Lost wages if you have to miss work while recovering
- Medical care to help you recover from your mental stress injury
If your claim for benefits is approved, all reasonable and related medical costs related to your mental stress or psychiatric injury should be covered. This includes any prescriptions, therapy and other care the doctor may prescribe.
Why These Type of Workers’ Comp Claims May Benefit From an Attorney
Providing evidence that proves a mental stress injury is difficult, even under the best of circumstances, which is why it may benefit you to hire a licensed attorney. If you were already denied benefits after attempting a workers’ comp claim on your own, we strongly urge you to contact an attorney to learn whether you may be eligible to appeal.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, our experienced attorneys have been representing injured victims for over 30 years. We have extensive knowledge of state laws and how they may apply to your potential claim. We can also help you avoid common mistakes in the filing process, and we know how to gather evidence that will help to support your claim for benefits.
Learn whether you may have a valid case by contact our firm anytime, day or night. Our initial case reviews are complimentary and carry no obligation to hire our services. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front or while we handle your case. We only get paid if we obtain benefits for you.
Experienced lawyers fighting for you. (800) 762-8623