It may be difficult to prove a work-related emotional or mental stress injury.
Workplace stress injuries are usually physical in nature, arising out of repetitive motions that lead to muscle strain and conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. However, in some rare cases, work-related stress can lead to compensable emotional or mental injury.
Physical Stress Injuries
Physical stress injuries are quite common and easy to identify. Any worker can sustain a physical stress injury at the workplace. Even those who have desk or office jobs can get these types of injuries. For example, a typist can develop carpal tunnel syndrome and workers at a supermarket can suffer from chronic back pain because of continuous bending and lifting of objects. Such injuries are a result of continuous and prolonged use of a particular group of muscles.
Workers who suffer a physical injury at the workplace may be entitled to benefits under the workers’ compensation system. An injured worker may receive medical benefits and a percentage of the weekly wages as wage loss benefits. In order to safeguard his or her right to workers’ compensation, an injured worker must submit an injury report to the employer or supervisor in a timely manner and seek medical treatment for the injuries without a delay.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, the injured worker would need to prove that the physical stress injury was indeed a result of the work performed and that it was not a pre-existing injury or an injury caused by factors external to the workplace. Once the employer or the insurance company has approved the claim, an injured worker may receive weekly wage loss benefits, permanent disability benefits, medical expenses, and vocational rehabilitation.
Mental or Emotional Stress Injuries
Unlike physical stress injuries, mental or emotional stress injuries are very hard to prove and it is difficult to claim workers’ compensation benefits for these injuries. The injured worker must prove that the stress was unusual and extraordinary in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for mental or emotional injuries. To prove that you have suffered mental stress at work, you must inform your employer and file a formal report. It will serve as a useful piece of evidence in case you decide to file a workers’ compensation claim. File the claim well within the period specified by law as it will ensure that your rights are protected.
Workers Compensation Attorneys
If you are finding it hard to prove your emotional or mental stress injury, immediately consult a competent Missouri workers’ compensation attorney.