Work and work injuries can be stressful – and in some cases, result in serious psychological issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can have a significant impact on your quality of life, make it impossible to function at work or school, and take a substantial toll on your personal life. Thankfully, in some cases, if your PTSD is related to something that happened at work, you may be able to obtain benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
If you have developed PTSD or another mental or psychological issue because of a work-related injury, you should contact an attorney like Lisa A. Wiebusch as soon as possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with a Wisconsin workers’ compensation lawyer, call our office today or contact us online.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in individuals who have been exposed to traumatic events. These events might include workplace accidents, assaults, natural disasters, or any situation that threatens a person’s life, safety, or well-being. Symptoms of PTSD can be wide-ranging and can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. Common symptoms include:
In a Workers’ Compensation context, PTSD may arise when an employee experiences a traumatic event or series of events on the job. PTSD can arise from a number of events, including but not limited to the following:
An employee who is experiencing work-related mental issues that are extraordinary and far more stressful than others who are in similarly situated lines of work, may make a claim for PTSD provided that they have the requisite medical support. In addition, if an employee suffers a serious physical injury and as a result develops PTSD they may also make a claim for PTSD with the requisite medical support. It is important to understand that simply experiencing stress is not sufficient to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, you must demonstrate through medical evidence that the mental harm resulted from an extraordinary stress in your line of work.
Importantly, sometimes physical trauma can entitle workers to benefits for resulting mental injuries. These types of injuries are referred to as physical-mental injuries and arise when a physical injury like the loss of a limb leads to a mental injury like depression or PTSD. Similarly, head injuries can result in cognitive issues like depression and anxiety that may also lead to PTSD.
In many cases, proving mental injuries like PTSD is much more difficult than proving a physical injury. Unfortunately, an MRI or an X-ray cannot show the existence of PTSD, so employers and insurance companies are much more likely to discount these injuries or claim that they are not as serious as they are.
For this reason, it’s critical that anyone who believes they have work-related PTSD see a mental health professional and retain an attorney as soon as possible. When you see a mental health professional, you should be prepared to talk extensively about the way in which the traumatic event you experienced has affected you. Be sure to talk about everything you are experiencing, including anxiety attacks, flashbacks, trouble sleeping, feelings of depression, and other mental issues.
You should also speak to an attorney as soon as you can if you are considering making a workers’ compensation claim based on PTSD. Workers’ compensation insurance companies want to fight claims whenever possible, and an invisible injury like PTSD is an easy target for a denial. When you work with Lisa A. Wiebusch, however, you can feel confident that your rights will be protected and that the other side will treat you fairly. In addition, if your claim is denied, your lawyer can appeal your denial in order to pursue the benefits you deserve under Wisconsin law.
If you have developed PTSD in relation to an event at work or your work environment generally, it’s in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Lisa A. Wiebusch is a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer who is licensed in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, and she focuses her practice on helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation with Ms. Wiebusch, call our office today or send us an email through our online contact form.