FREE CONSULTATION (314) 361-4300

Workers Compensation for PTSD After Witnessing a Traumatic Event

These disorders often require extensive therapy and even medications just to be managed. However, you may be wondering: does workers comp cover this?

man with PTSD

A lot of people associate post-traumatic stress disorder with soldiers who can have a difficult time adjusting to civilian life after deployment. However, this emotional distress can happen right here as well, and it can be caused by something at work.

When you see one of your coworkers die on the job, it can have lasting emotional scars you will have to learn how to live with. In some cases, you may not know how to deal with these thoughts and develop mental disorders, such as PTSD. These disorders often require extensive therapy and even medications just to be managed. But you may be wondering: does workers comp cover this?

What Does the Law Say?

Missouri workers’ compensation laws recognize that workplace injuries’ aren’t just physical in nature; they can also affect the human mind, and make the worker have to get professional treatment.

As a result, you are able to file a workers compensation claim for any emotional distress caused by your place of work. The process does not change. You have to inform your employer and request an official claim for workers comp. The problem is, you may have to enter somewhat of a battle with the insurance company.

What’s the Issue?

Fortunately, unlike in many other states, Missouri does not require a physical injury to have a mental disorder claim. This means that you can generally file for workers comp for anxiety, depression, or PTSD even if these conditions were not caused by a physical injury, but by the work environment.

However, when there is a physical injury, there is also proof of an injury. You coworkers can testify that you got hurt on the job and describe the event. Your body even contains the most telling piece of evidence – the injury or the scar left by it. But when it comes to emotional distress like PTSD, things get more complicated.

Though you technically have proof of the event that caused harm (the death of a coworker and you witnessing it,) how that impacted you, and whether or not it was the event that caused the PTSD can be open for debate.

The insurance company may claim you were already suffering from emotional stress before the tragic event took place. If you were seeing a therapist before to work on your personal issues, for instance, they can use that as proof that your PTSD may have been caused by something in your personal life. The tragic event may have made matters worse, but it doesn’t justify covering the full costs of your treatment.

What Are Your Options?

It would benefit your claim greatly to work with an experienced St. Louis workers comp attorney to help you prove to the insurance company the emotional distress you’re going through is work-related, and therefore eligible for compensation.

Get in touch with a lawyer now and discuss your case with them to see your next steps. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: September 6, 2019