Psychological injuries can be very devastating for an injured worker and his/her family. Deciding whether to pursue a psychological injury as a component of a workers' compensation claim can also be difficult. The injured worker is faced with the choice to open up all of his / her psychological treatment records to the insurance company. Given the potential disabling effects of such an injury, an injured worker should not ignore such a claim just because it might be difficult.
At the same time, it may not be in the best interest of an injured worker to pursue such a claim just because the right exists. Our office instructs our clients to consult with a mental health professional as to whether pursuit of such a claim will do more good than harm.
It must be understood that a mental or emotional impairment remains covered under our workers' compensation statutes as long as it "arises from" a physical injury or occupational disease. This is an evolving area of the law. While conditions such as depression resulting from chronic injuries are straight forward and eligible for compensation if proven, event driven conditions such as PTSD have been the subject of many unsuccessful claims and have left many to conclude that they are not covered under our workers' compensation act.
Although this may be the case in certain situations, it is not always true. An injured worker with a psychological injury should seek a qualified legal opinion as to whether their injury satisfies the "arises from" test. If you feel this may apply to you, you can contact the Law Offices Of Mark Merrow for a FREE consultation.