Many people experience work-related stress, but for some, it goes beyond the normal levels. When the stress is severe enough to impact whether or not you can work, workers' compensation might pay for your stress-related medical bills and give you the time needed off work to recover. How successful your claim would be depends on the details of your case. If you are thinking of filing for workers' comp, here is what you need to know.
Why Is Filing a Workers' Comp Claim for Stress Challenging?
Whenever a person suffers a physical injury in the workplace, he or she can generally claim workers' compensation benefits. However, emotional injuries that are related to work-induced stress are harder to recover damages for.
Although your stress might be directly related to work, the insurance company could argue that proving it is impossible. The thought is that stress can come from a wide range of sources, such as your financial situation and family. Since stress can result from different sources, proving that it was your job specifically that caused it can be difficult.
How Can You Prove Your Claim?
Workers' compensation laws regarding work-induced stress tends to vary by state. However, you should be ready to build the case that even though other areas of your life were seemingly stressful, it was your job that caused an overwhelming majority of the stress.
You can prove how stressful your job is by pinpointing exactly caused the stress in the workplace. For instance, an abusive supervisor would be considered a catalyst for stress. You could cite verbal altercations with the supervisor or harshly worded emails as evidence of the abuse. Whether or not it is enough is at the discretion of the insurance company.
If the workplace environment has been hostile towards you, this is another situation in which filing for workers' compensation would be logical. For instance, if a superior was sexually harassing you or you were the victim of constant bullying, it could induce stress and hinder your ability to work.
The most important thing to do is to seek medical help. Work with a therapist or psychiatrist to recover. The medical records could prove to be invaluable to your claim.
The best way to gauge whether or not you can receive compensation for work-induced stress is to file the claim. Consult with a workers' compensation attorney to determine the best way to proceed with your claim and assess other legal options that are available to you. Contact a business, such as Law Offices of Terry Katz & Associates, for more information.