Does Workers Compensation Law Cover Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Data from the Sidran Institute and National Institutes of Health, Department of Veteran Affairs show that 70 percent of U.S. adults have a history of traumatic experiences. The percentage equals 223.4 million citizens. 20 percent of the people with trauma or 44.7 million residents develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Typical Workplace PTSD Cases

Job-related post-traumatic stress disorder may occur among employees involved in employer automobile accidents, workplace fires, physical assault, or emotional abuse. PTSD can arise because of career occupations.

• A firefighter, military serviceman, or police officer who witnessed a gruesome or horrific incident. For example, firefighters, police officers, and emergency healthcare workers have a high chance of experiencing trauma and developing PTSD.

• Medical facility worker observing mass deaths.

• A learning institution staff witnessing the mass shooting by a gun-wielding gangster.

• Slip and fall accident at the workplace.

• Chemical effects on mental health at a manufacturing plant or laboratory.

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Workers Compensation Claims Based on PTSD

PTSD symptoms do always show after the traumatic incident. The American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual cites late-onset PTSD or “delayed expression PTSD.” Approximately 25 percent of PTSD-related workers compensation claims face challenges for late filings.

The law recognizes PTSD as the psychobiological mental or emotional disorder affecting the survivors of natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist attacks, emotional losses, abuse or assault. Phoenix workers compensation lawyers say that PTSD falls into three general categories:

• Trauma that leads to mental stress and physical injury

• Cases of physical trauma resulting in psychological damage.

• Mental stress producing psychological harm.

Genuine Workplace PTSD Benefit Claims

To prove that post-traumatic stress disorder emanates for your service to the employer, you need an attorney who can document the PTSD symptoms. Treatment records from a mental fitness specialist are necessary too. The attorney will partner with a psychologist or psychiatrist to provide expert testimony. You need to ask the treating physician for a written professional opinion linking the PTSD with the workplace injuries.

Proof of your inability to work can help in a significant way. Co-workers, friends, and family who write statements to backing up the claims that the PTSD limits your income earning potential will strengthen your case. Further, your worker’s compensation claims lawyer will use the pre-injury mental health status versus the post-trauma condition to argue your litigation.

PTSD Symptoms

Your claim for workers compensation may rely on the symptoms below:

• Anxiety or depression

• Jumpy behavior, being easily startled, or flashback of the traumatic incident.

• Self-destructive and violent behavior.

• Anger or irritability.

• Nightmares.

• Emotional detachment.

• Memory loss.

• Obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause headaches, high blood pressure, ulcers, heart attacks, stroke, fatigue, diarrhea, or vomiting. In 2015, Arizona Senate subcommittee approved a bill workman’s compensation to include police officers with PTSD. Senate Bill 1443 added post-traumatic stress disorders to personal injury benefits.

Depending on the severity of your documented post-traumatic stress disorders, you deserve compensation whether your damages are temporary or permanent. The benefits may cover partial or full disabilities. Litigants have the right to lost wages benefits and medical treatment reimbursements.

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