Will Workers’ Compensation Cover Psychiatric Work Injuries?

Most workers who suffer from emotional and mental problems due to work can file workers’ compensation according to California law. The state acknowledges psychiatric injuries to be covered by workers’ compensation. However, insurance companies and employers generally nullify workers’ compensation claims for psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression. Psychiatric stress can develop a physical disorder, mental disorder, or both. The law has restricted eligibility and made a higher parameter of evidence in demonstrating cases of mental stress-related impairment. You’ll need a skilled Los Angeles psychiatric injury lawyer to help you prove your psychiatric injury is work-related. 

Los Angeles psychiatric injury lawyer

Los Angeles Psychiatric Injury Lawyer: What is a Psychiatric Illness or Injury?

Psychiatric injury is a condition that affects one’s feelings, behavior, or thoughts because of their work, accident, traumatic incident, or sudden shock. This disorder includes desperation, post-traumatic stress disorder, agitation, and more. It can be due to a single incident or developed over time. Symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Hypervigilance
  • Agoraphobia
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares or flashbacks of the incident (vehicle or work-related accidents)
  • Panic attacks

What are the Most Common Types of Psychiatric Disorders?

Psychiatric disorders come in several types. Below are the most common, including:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental disorder that people develop after experiencing a terrible, terrifying, or perilous event. Fright leads to several sudden changes in the body to help hold off risk or prevent it. Symptoms may include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Annoyance
  • Avoiding situations or places that remind the event
  • Relationship issues 
  • Hypervigilance

Depressive Disorder

This is a mood disorder that causes mood affliction. It affects how a person feels, behaves, and thinks. It can result in a range of physical and emotional problems. You’ll notice difficulty in doing your daily activities and may sometimes feel that life is not worth living. Symptoms may include:

  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Annoyance or frustration
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in living, thoughts of death or suicide, or attempting suicide
  • Aches or pains that do not have an obvious physical cause
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or helpless
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Apprehension

Anxiety Disorder

This kind of mental health condition needs medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. Symptoms include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness 
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Panic and fear 
  • Concentration difficulty

Alcohol and or Drug Dependence

This is a severe condition wherein an individual desires intensely alcoholic drinks and can’t control his drinking. The person becomes a binge drinker to obtain the same effect and has withdrawal symptoms after stopping alcohol consumption.

Workers’ Compensation for Psychiatric Injury

Lawmakers are somehow doubtful of these claims and added special rules. So if you suffer from psychiatric injury, it’s not that easy to get compensation. You’ll need to make every effort to prove that your psychiatric injury is indeed work-related and you’re eligible to get compensation. Hiring a knowledgeable Los Angeles psychiatric injury lawyer can help you prove it. 

A work injury that’s solely cognitive is also called a “stress claim” or sometimes “mental-mental claim.” Generally, in a case such as this, a worker has experienced emotional or mental injuries due to stressful conditions at work.  

The psychiatric injury that a worker suffers may prevent him from getting back to work and performing the same work he did before the mental condition occurred. For instance, if you experienced burnout after being overloaded that it already led to exhaustion. Being overworked may be also exposed you to threats at work, which may qualify your condition as a psychiatric injury under workers’ compensation. 

In California, the workers’ comp system handles psychiatric injuries and physical injuries differently. There are a number of arguments that encompass this. Initially, psychiatric injuries are based on a worker’s internal experiences such as feelings and thoughts. Next is, that many factors cause this condition and include different personal reasons that are not work-related, such as marital or financial problems. 

Proving Your Psychiatric Injury for Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

To be eligible for workers’ compensation, you need to prove the following requirements:

  • You should have a “mental disorder” from a doctor’s diagnosis under an acknowledged procedure
  • Since you suffer from a mental disorder, you should have necessitated medical treatment 
  • You should have worked at least six months for your company or employer
  • You need to prove that “existing incidents of employment” were the “primary” cause of your psychiatric injury

Problem with Your Physical Injury Claim? Contact ODG Law for Help

Due to the complexity of compensation laws, you need someone that’s well-versed in the law. ODG Law can help you understand what are your rights and help protect them. Our compassionate psychiatric injury lawyers are always ready to listen and defend you. We can help you prove that your psychiatric injury is work-related.

Contact us and schedule a free consultation. You may reach us at (818) 975-3080 or email us at [email protected]. Call us today and let’s talk about your case.

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