If you recently experienced a traumatic event at your place of employment, you might qualify for worker's compensation benefits. Worker's compensation is typically offered to employees who are injured or become ill while on the job. However, in some cases, this can also include a mental illness, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is not easy to prove, but with the right lawyer, you may be able to get the benefits you deserve.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at Work
The thing first you should know about this type of claim is exactly how you can get PTSD in a work environment. Depending on your type of job, you might witness a traumatic event that triggers PTSD. PTSD is a mental disorder that occurs following an event that caused physical harm, or the threat of physical harm. It could also be from witnessing something horrific that is still affecting you. For example, if you work at a convenience store and someone attempted to rob the store by holding you at gunpoint, it could cause PTSD due to the stress of the situation.
Some jobs puts you more at risk of PTSD than others, such as if you are a firefighter, EMT, or police officer who likely sees traumatic scenes on a daily basis. A teacher who is at school when there is a shooting or bomb threat, or a construction worker witnessing a serious injury of their co-worker could also deal with work-related PTSD.
How to Know You Are Dealing With PTSD
You also want to learn more about post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affects you. Not only does it help you identify your experiences as PTSD, but you can use proof of these symptoms in your case for workers' compensation. With PTSD, you may experience alarming flashbacks of the vent, lose sleep due to nightmares, or deal with anxiety and depression. You might be distracted at work because you keep reliving the events that occurred, and deal with physical ailments like fatigue, nausea, headaches, and ulcers. These symptoms could get in the way of normal duties at your place of employment, which should make you liable for worker's compensation benefits.
Filing A Worker's Compensation Claim
When you file a claim for worker's compensation due to PTSD, you are filing a mental illness claim. It will either be a mental-mental claim or a mental-physical claim. With a mental-mental claim, you are only experiencing the mental side effects of PTSD, such as flashbacks and nightmares. With mental-physical claims, you are claiming that the mental side effects are affecting you physically, such as insomnia from the nightmares, or anxiety leading to high blood pressure.
Before filing a claim, you must have proof of your PTSD. The best way to do this is seek medical attention as soon as you start showing symptoms. If you notice you have anxiety or irritability following a traumatic event, see your doctor. They should send you to a mental health professional who can then diagnose your condition. During the filing process, your medical records will be very valuable in being approved for worker's compensation benefits.
Since this is a complicated type of worker's compensation claim, get help from a lawyer. They will guide you through the process, including filling out paperwork, filing the claim, and gathering evidence of your post-traumatic stress disorder.