Workers compensation may cover work-related stress related disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder.
Cases of physical injuries are quite straightforward, because some simple diagnostic tests can establish the severity of the injury and appropriate treatment can be provided. However, with mental and stress related injuries, such as post traumatic stress disorder, things are not as simple. These cases are quite complicated, and receiving compensation for such illnesses can be quite difficult.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Missouri workers compensation lawyers discuss post traumatic stress disorder. Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition caused when someone witnesses a severe or traumatic event. If the traumatic or gruesome event occurs while you were at work and acting in the scope of employment, the post traumatic stress disorder will most likely be covered by workers compensation.
The Prevalance of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
There was a time when post traumatic stress disorder was associated only with war veterans, but today, we come across cases of post traumatic stress disorder resulting from various other situations as well. Mental health experts estimate that about 7 to 8 percent of Americans will suffer from post traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives.
Post traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone who experiences or witnesses a severe trauma at the workplace. Professionals such as firemen, emergency medical teams, and policemen are highly susceptible to post traumatic stress disorder. An accident, assault, and injury or death of a co-worker are some situations that can trigger post traumatic stress disorder in employees. Common symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder are:
Common Mental Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Flashback of the traumatic event
- Getting startled easily
- Emotional detachment
- Anger and irritability
- Violent behavior
- Self-destructive behavior
- Obsessive compulsive behavior
- Concentration and memory problems
Physical Smptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
Those who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder may not be able to work because of the severe physical and mental symptoms. Even if the person is in a condition to work, they may have to undergo years of treatment for the condition. An employee can file a standalone workers compensation claim, or do it in connection with a physical injury or another mental health condition.
Suffering From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
In many cases, the worker injured in an accident recovers from the injuries, but suffers from post traumatic stress disorder for years after the accident. Missouri workers compensation attorneys inform us that such workers get a claim that includes both physical injuries and post traumatic stress disorder. In some rare cases, the worker develops post traumatic stress disorder after he witnesses an accident, in such cases the worker can claim workers compensation.
If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, you should consult your doctor and notify the employer. Contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300.
Work Related Injuries
Photo credit: Bhernandez via Flickr