The workplace can often become a stressful environment. There are constant pressures for employees to perform at a high level and produce up to company expectations. But when that stress leads to a serious mental condition that prevents workers from performing their job for a significant amount of time, it is vital to file a workers’ compensation claim to make up for their lost wages. Contrary to popular belief, many claims for stress-related illness are not frivolous. These are serious conditions that can affect a person’s ability to make a living and their overall quality of life. If your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance provider underpays or denies your claim, it is time to seek legal advice from an experienced knowledgeable Los Angeles stress relation claim attorney with a track record of protecting the rights of each client.
Proving Stress Related Injuries
Stress-related workers’ compensation claims are not always easy to prove. It is vital to have a highly skilled team of legal professionals with a proven track record of helping clients recover the full amount of compensation they deserve. Since 1955, the legal team of Koszdin, Fields & Sherry has successfully represented many men and women in some of the most complex cases. Our team of Los Angeles stress-related claim attorneys utilize a personable and comprehensive approach to help clients resolve their workers’ compensation claims as quickly as possible.
California’s workers’ compensation statutes allow workers to pursue stress related claims. If you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder or require therapy due to work-related problems, you are entitled to file a claim. To receive full workers’ compensation benefits, employees must prove most of their mental illness or disorder was a result of work-related activities or conditions.
Common Stress-Related Workers’ Compensation Claims
Stress-related disorders originating at the workplace are far more common than ever before. Many stress related claims are often connected with sexual harassment, discrimination, and other hostile work conditions. Many stress-related workers’ compensation claims are also considered compensable consequence claims. Among the most common include:
- Panic attacks and anxiety caused by hostile work conditions
- Heart attack or hypertension caused by psychological stress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) brought on by catastrophic injuries, workplace violence or workplace accidents
- Clinical depression caused by work-related stress or a work injury
- Sleep disorders caused by work-related stress
Signs of a Stress Related Work Injury in California
Many types of injuries that one might sustain as a result of workplace conditions or accidents are immediately noticeable. For example, if you fall from a high place while performing a work-related task and break a bone, you’ll likely notice that you’ve been injured right away.
(That said, the adrenaline that is often coursing through a person’s body in the immediate aftermath of an accident can prevent them from experiencing the symptoms of an injury. If you’re involved in a work-related accident, even if you don’t believe you’ve been injured, report the accident to your superior and seek medical care that day. Doing so can significantly improve your chances of securing workers’ compensation benefits if you choose to file a claim.)
Identifying the signs of a stress related work injury or condition can be more challenging. Signs to be on the lookout for include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of interest in activities you once found enjoyable
- Increased irritability
- Loss of focus
- Decreased energy
- Memory problems or other such cognitive difficulties
Don’t ignore such warning signs. As with any type of injury, the sooner you receive proper treatment for a stress related condition, the sooner you can begin making a recovery.
What to do If You’ve Developed a Stress-Related Condition in Los Angeles
Because you may be able to secure workers’ compensation benefits for losses associated with a stress related condition that you’ve developed as a result of workplace experiences in California, you should treat such conditions the same way you would treat all other types of workplace injuries. This involves:
- Filing an official report with your employer when you become aware of your condition
- Documenting all symptoms of your condition and all experiences that may have contributed to it
- Documenting financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of your condition, such as medical bills and lost wages
- Seeking medical care and following a doctor’s suggestions
- Identifying witnesses who may be able to corroborate your story if you believe you’ve developed a stress-related condition as a result of a particular workplace experience
- Refraining from discussing your case with others or posting about it on social media
Additionally, before filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, it’s very wise to enlist the help of a Los Angeles stress related claim attorney. You must understand that the typical goal of a workers’ compensation insurance carrier is to minimize the amount of compensation paid out to claimants. An insurer may therefore attempt to deny your claim by suggesting you’ve failed to provide sufficient evidence proving that you developed a stress related condition because of the nature of your work. An insurer could argue that your condition resulted from other experiences that occurred while you were not operating within the scope of your employment.
Demonstrating that you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in these circumstances can be challenging if you lack experience in these matters. As such, your odds of securing the benefits you deserve may be greater if you have representation from a Los Angelers workers’ compensation lawyer who’s handled stress related claims in the past.
How a Los Angeles Stress-Related Claim Attorney Can Help
California Labor Code 3208.3 allows employees with stress-related injuries to seek full workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been working for the same employer for at least six months and have a diagnosed psychiatric condition caused by your work environment you are entitled to file a claim. Hiring a stress-related claim attorney is the first step important step to resolving your legal issues. Whether it is working diligently in the courtroom or behind the scenes, the legal team at Koszdin, Fields & Sherry takes pride in placing each of our clients in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact our Los Angeles law office and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.