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Can I File a Workers Comp Claim for Burnout?

Burned-out employees are 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.

Many employers have to deal with employee burnout, and this trend is on the rise. One Gallup study of roughly 7,500 full-time workers discovered that 23% of them felt burned out at work very often or always. Another 44% of workers reported feeling occasionally burned out.

Add them up, and roughly 67% of all these employees felt burned out because of their job, to varying extents. And unfortunately, it doesn’t always stop once you leave the office. Burned-out employees can have a lower quality of life because they lack the energy to partake in certain activities and are 23% more likely to go to the emergency room.

Understanding the Condition

Two common causes of burnout are stress and overwork. When an employee works in a high-stress environment and are required to work overtime to get the job done, their bodies can give up at one point, and they can get burned out.

Burnout will most likely not affect you physically. It’s mostly an emotional and mental issue that can have the following symptoms:

  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Change in eating habits
  • Insomnia
  • Oversleeping
  • Low motivation
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Fatigue
  • Gaining weight
  • Generally having negative emotions

In some severe cases, burnout could potentially have physical effects. Some workers can experience lowered immunity, making them more prone to contracting illnesses. Additionally, burnout can sometimes cause headaches or muscle pain. Burnout does not go away on its own.

The Difference Between Burnout and Stress

While these terms are quite similar, we can make a distinction. In the simplest terms, burnout is a condition that is the result of continual stress. A bit of stress here and there might not be a bad thing, but it is negative when it never stops. If that condition continues, a person might reach burnout.

What Causes Burnout

While anyone can reach this state, the following factors are usually present.

Long Hours

Working incredibly long days leads to physical and mental exhaustion. If this schedule persists, it can be dangerous.

Lack of Boundaries

If your work is coming home with you and demanding your attention on the weekends, you could be at risk.

Constantly Helping Others

While this work condition is usually positive, it can turn negative, as those in healthcare and similar professions are prone to burnout.

The Safety Hazards Of It

Burned-out employees move slowly and have less awareness of their surroundings. A few accidents that can arise from this state are the misuse of heavy machinery, delayed emergency response, poor driving, employee fighting, and issues caused by getting behind on work-related tasks.

How to Prevent Burnout

Ultimately, the best way to avoid burnout is to take breaks from the stress of your job. Some of the best ways to do so are exercising, spending time with loved ones, getting enough sleep, being organized, knowing your limits, taking frequent breaks, and utilizing vacation days. One thing to note is that some employers are so unreasonable that they will not allow you to use these methods. If this is the case, you may need to find a new job.

If you’re feeling burned out at work, it is time to make a change. Suppressing your feelings and going on without adjustments could be an accident waiting to happen. Instead, follow some of our tips on how to stay safe.

Getting Compensation Benefits

Missouri law recognizes that workers can develop emotional or psychological issues due to their work. As a result, any mental disorder, including burnout, may be eligible for compensation per Missouri legislation.

The issue in these cases is proving that burnout is caused by your work and not some other factor. Workers’ compensation benefits are only given if the condition suffering is caused by the workplace. For instance, if you work as a caregiver and come in contact with terminal patients, and as a result, you develop depression, then by law, you may be entitled to compensation for your treatment.

If, however, a family member dies and you get depressed because of the suffering, you will not receive these benefits, as your condition was not caused by your work but by a factor from your personal life.

Speak With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you experience burnout, don’t assume some extra hours of sleep will make you feel better. It is a complex condition, and you need to see a professional to establish what the best course of action is.

Remember to also get in touch with a St. Louis workers comp lawyer and present your situation to them. The insurance company will most likely analyze your case to try and find something that could potentially get your claim dismissed. A lawyer, on the other hand, can represent your interests and ensure you receive the benefits.

Do not let the insurance company deny you your benefits! Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form. For more than 30 years we have helped injured workers receive the compensation they need and deserve.

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Updated: November 23, 2022