Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is real; in fact, it affects a number of working Americans.
According to the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 7.8% of the population will most likely experience PTSD — a direct opposition to their want to earn a living.
Until recent years, personal injury claims focused on physical and orthopedic injuries, such as industrial accidents or slips and falls. Changes in social attitudes and culture, however, resulted in an increase of workers experiencing mental stresses in the workplace. Among the different psychiatric diagnoses, PTSD is the one that receives higher compensation.
PTSD – An Overview
You don’t have to be a war veteran to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; anyone can have it. While the condition affects a number of military service members, it is not limited to that population only.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition, occurs when an individual witnesses a traumatic event. If the incident happened during work (or while an employee is acting in the scope of their job), their PTSD condition earns them qualifications for workers’ compensation.
People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder experience a variety of psychological symptoms. Everyone has different trauma responses; therefore, everyone will have different symptoms. In some cases, PTSD results in depression and mild anxiety. These workers may need periodic treatment, but can still work full-time after recovery.
Others, however, experience severe reactions that affect their regular jobs or personal relationships.
The Symptoms of PTSD
Diagnosis of PTSD happens after you experience the symptoms for at least a month after the traumatic event. Some symptoms, however, do not appear for several months or years later. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, PTSD has three main symptoms:
- Re-experiencing the trauma through distressing memories of the event, nightmares, and intrusive flashbacks
- Difficulty in concentrating and sleeping; easily annoyed, irritated, or angered; feeling jumpy
- Emotional numbness and intentionally avoiding people, places, or activities that serve as reminders of the trauma
Other mental symptoms include self-destructive or violent behavior, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Physical symptoms of PTSD, on the other hand, include ulcers, headaches, high blood pressure, vomiting, heart attacks, fatigue, or diarrhea.
Work-Related PTSD Happens
Most claims for workers’ compensation related to PTSD fall under two categories: PTSD due to traumatic experiences or due to out-of-work trauma caused by circumstances at work. Situations that might give rise to traumatic stress claims include the following:
- Teachers who witness school shooting
- Police officers, EMT, or firefighters who respond to gruesome or horrific situations
- Construction workers who witness a co-workers’ injury or death
- Occupations such as police officers and first responders are susceptible to traumatic events. Dangerous or high-stress environments place workers at higher risks for developing PTSD.
PTSD victims that clearly suffer due to work-related circumstances can easily file for workers’ comp claims. For those with PTSD due to out of work trauma cases, proving the claim will be more difficult. There should be a sufficient link between work conditions and your current symptoms.
PTSD can also be a standalone type of compensation claim or arise due to physical injuries. Often, victims of accidents easily recover from physical injuries, but the lingering PTSD condition can haunt them for years. The said employee then files compensation claims that include compensation for their injuries and the post-traumatic stress.
In some cases, the worker develops PTSD due to the injury; this is applicable to employees who witness an accident but was not in any way involved.
Proving Claims to Insurance Companies
When filing for traumatic stress-related workers’ comp claims, your allegations will receive thorough scrutiny. It’s common for fraud investigators to look into your personal life; they will determine if your PTSD symptoms are real and if the workplace is the culprit. Investigation strategies involve interviewing co-workers, checking credit reports, and reviewing mental health records.
Still, these processes shouldn’t stop you from filing PTSD claims. When you
Filing for the Workers’ Compensation Claim
The nature of your limitations determines the type of benefits you receive (permanent or temporary). Apart from covering lost wages, you are also entitled to the reimbursement of all your medical treatment’s costs. You also get the time off work until you fully recover.
If you believe you’re suffering from PTSD because of a workplace incident, talk to your doctor and employer immediately. Reporting workplace injuries follow strict deadlines; if you miss one, you might lose your right to receive compensation benefits.
Your doctor and/or employer will provide the necessary form to file compensation claims in your state. But apart from these people, you will also need guidance from an attorney.
That’s where we come in; Mays Law Office, LLC is happy to be of your assistance.
Why You Need Legal Assistance
When you sustain an injury while on the job, legal advice from skilled attorneys is a necessity. If you suffer from work-related PTSD, our qualified workers’ comp attorneys can help you with your case.
Understanding the complexities of PTSD and workers’ compensation can be difficult, but our team keeps you informed. We take you through the workers’ comp system in Wisconsin, including the allowable mental PTSD claims. Getting legal help also guarantees assistance in filing claims and appeals within the set deadlines set by the insurance company or you’re the state.
A Lawyer By Your Side
Our law firm doesn’t focus on just the physical injuries. Whether you suffered from an accident on the job or developed post traumatic stress due to repetitive trauma, our job is to assess your claim. Navigating through mental illness claims can be complicated; we assess your claim and determine the best course of action for your case. With Mays Law Office, LLC, we make no decisions without your full consent and cooperation.
Our firm also has the privilege of representing different kinds of workers— from nurses, police officers, carpenters, construction workers and business workers to laborers.
Moreover, we take pride in being proactive and successful in keeping insurance companies honest. What does this mean? We’ve had clients who deal with insurance companies who refused to pay benefits for injured workers. When you hire us, we show these companies the right way.
PTSD should not hamper your lifestyle, career, or rights as an employee. Get the claim you deserve by working with a workers’ comp attorney who understands your needs. Talk to us today and let us help you.