Making An Effective Workers’ Compensation Claim For A Stress-Related Physical Injury
In Pennsylvania, as in most or all other states, workers’ compensation laws acknowledge the reality of mental injuries on the job as well as physical ones. There is often an interplay between the two types of injuries, as in the following simplified summaries of actual cases:
- A teacher was both mentally and physically injured during a fight between students. Even after her initial physical injuries healed, she continued to experience other physical symptoms, such as nausea and insomnia, which were apparently caused by her mental and emotional stress over the incident.
- A cashier was robbed at gunpoint, with physical injuries, and afterward, developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- A police officer or firefighter witnessed and delivered services in a traumatic event, such as a riot or fatal housefire, and subsequently had a heart attack.
As we can see, stress may be a factor in both physical and mental injuries. Proving that a physical injury (such as a heart attack) was the result of stress on the job often requires input from medical and psychological expert witnesses. Settling any legal disputes through a workers’ compensation claim is best accomplished with the advocacy of a highly experienced attorney, such as Cindy Stine, the founder of Stine & Associates, P.C.
Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Physical Injuries Triggered By Stress
Yes, it can be challenging to succeed at obtaining benefits when stress is an element of a workplace injury claim. The law in our state specifies that recovery of benefits for mental injuries must coincide with abnormal working conditions. This can make it difficult to get approval for benefits when mental injuries come before physical injuries. However, you should not assume that your workers’ compensation claim will be denied for apparently work-related physical injuries such as the following:
- A heart attack
- A stroke
- The development of high blood pressure
- Chronic pain
- Severe rashes and other skin ailments
- The onset of diabetes or another chronic condition when your lifestyle outside of work did not change – just your work responsibilities
At Stine & Associates, P.C., we honestly assess clients’ reported physical and mental injuries involving stress as a factor. When we accept a case, we are ready to fight for their interests through all steps in pursuit of benefits, including:
- Documenting evidence of both stress and physical injuries
- Obtaining expert medical opinions to support our clients’ claims that work conditions led to the physical injuries
- Filing initial claims
- Making administrative appeals in response to initial denials
- Taking meritorious cases to a federal appeals court, if necessary
When physical injuries come about through stress, having a skilled attorney on your side can be a great advantage when you seek medical care and other benefits through workers’ compensation.
Experience The Advantages Of Working With Stine & Associates, P.C.
We are eager to hear from you if you have suffered a physical injury in connection with stress on the job. Perhaps you fainted, fell and suffered a head injury after witnessing violence in your workplace. Reach out and learn how we can help.