Can workers make a claim for a work related stress injury?
Work related stress injuries are quite common and usually tend to be physical, like muscle strain or carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there are cases where the employee may suffer from stress related injuries which can be mental or emotional. Such injuries are also applicable for compensation from your insurance provider. Some of the different examples of work related stress injuries are listed below:
Physical Stress Injuries
Physical stress injuries are very easy to get, especially at jobs that require employees to perform a specific activity over a long period of time. This can lead to cramps, and other various problems. An example is that of a secretary who suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome after a whole day of typing. Another example can be that of a worker who injures his back while loading boxes on to a truck.
If you find yourself in such a position, then suing your employer is not the answer as they are protected by the state. However, you are owed a certain amount of compensation that can vary from one case to the other. In order to begin the claims process, you first need to notify your employers about your injury and the circumstances surrounding it. They might require you to go to a doctor for medical treatment, as well as to determine whether your injury was a pre-existing condition or it occurred while you were at work. If it is determined that the injury occurred onsite, then you are entitled a piece of your pay even if you are not able to come to work due to your medical condition. Your benefits might include:
- Compensation benefits every week
- Impairment benefits as long as your injury is not healed
- Payment of medical treatment required to treat your injuries
Emotional and Mental Stress Injuries
While physical injuries are easy to diagnose, emotional or mental injuries are not. It is very hard to determine the type of mental anguish one is in and the extent of the problem itself. This is why it is harder to get compensation for these particular cases. In fact, many states do not have any laws that protect people with emotional and mental stress injuries what so ever.
In case you do feel you’re suffering from emotional or mental stress, and it is affecting your personal and work life, then the first step you should take is to go to your employer directly. It is always better to make a formal complaint in writing, which gives you a record of your complaint and can be a very beneficial piece of evidence for any future compensation you are owed.
It is also a good idea to relay your problems to a trusted colleague who can then vouch for you in case you require witnesses to prove you have an emotional or mental stress problem. It is also prudent to remember any major incidents, dates and times that led to your specific injuries in case you need those in the future as well.