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Did you know PTSD could be work-related and compensable?

  • Published: January 10, 2017

When you hear people discussing Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, you may think their conversation relates to military veterans. However, if you have suffered a traumatic injury at work — or witnessed a tragedy involving co-workers — you might also be a victim of PTSD. Treatment can be costly and lengthy, and you may be relieved to know that workers’ compensation insurance covers PTSD.

How will you know that your emotional distress is Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?

You can develop this mental health condition after experiencing a horrible or frightening incident that was life threatening. This can be your personal traumatic experience or a workplace accident that claimed the lives of one or more of your colleagues. Undergoing a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the incident is imperative, even if you suffered no injuries.

The following injuries and conditions are typical in PTSD-related workers’ comp claims:

  • Amputation injuries
  • Injuries causing severe paraplegia
  • Catastrophic incident causing death or traumatic injuries to multiple co-workers
  • Survivor guilt because a co-worker or co-workers died and you did not
  • Failure of long-term medical treatment to restore health

For medical professionals to diagnose PTSD, they must know the details of the circumstances that caused your trauma. They must then observe your behavior under different sets of conditions. Recognizing the symptoms of PTSD can be tricky, and you may be experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • No self-motivation
  • Lack of energy
  • Negative feelings about life
  • Concentration problems
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of control over emotions
  • Thoughts of suicide

These form part of four groups of symptoms that all cause changes in personal behavior:

  1. Emotional reaction changes
  2. Negative mood changes or thoughts
  3. Intrusive memories
  4. Unfamiliar emotional reactions

What treatment will you receive?

Different types of psychotherapy, along with anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication are standard treatments. Whichever treatment you receive, know that it will be costly, slow and long. There are no guarantees related to the results of PTSD treatment, and you may have full, partial or no recovery.

The claims process

For the uninformed, PTSD is difficult to identify. Hence, employers’ usually have skepticism when they receive claims for this type of disability. So, if you plan on filing a workers’ compensation claim for PTSD, your first task will be to prove that your emotional and/or psychological distress is work-related. Physical injuries are typically visible to see while stress conditions, such as PTSD, are abstract. For this reason, medical documentation and reports will be required to motivate your claim.

If you are part of the workforce in the area surrounding Glendale, California, you will have the privilege of being in the proximity of seasoned workers’ compensation attorneys who can navigate your claim from start to finish. An experienced lawyer will possess the skills to show your condition is work related, and will pursue the maximum compensation available for victims of PTSD.


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