In many cases and many states, it is quite difficult to prove a case related to stress in the workplace. This is mostly due to the fact that stress-related claims are not like other typical workplace injuries. Broken arms or the loss of a limb are physical in nature, while stress-related claims are more psychological, which leaves a higher standard of proof when going about a case. They can be very vague and leave the practitioner with a unique and challenging Workers Compensation case.
The fact of the matter is, when it comes to determination of a case, your injury must be work-related for eligibility. This solely refers to injuries that are caused or aggravated by either your work duties or the conditions of your workplace in general. Mental injuries do exist, believe it or not, and are very real situations that many suffer from each year. Things like depression, PTSD, and other anxieties can be work-related if they are caused by an experience while in the scope of employment, or aggravated or triggered by work.
So how do I know if my state follows compensation for anxiety?
The laws on anxiety relating to workers’ compensation greatly vary from state to state. Even though things are one way in one state, in another state close by they could be drastically different. For instance, in New Jersey as well as California and New York, you are qualified to receive workers’ compensation for anxiety provided you could prove that work was the substantial contributing cause of the anxiety. Meanwhile, in other states like North Carolina, compensation will only be provided for a work injury caused by an accident that qualifies as a specific traumatic incident. If you can’t prove that the anxiety was caused by a traumatic incident, then you won’t be able to collect compensation for anxiety. Saying that work is “stressful” will not be enough to establish eligibility for any type of compensation.
In New Jersey, you must show that the stress you suffered was far above the normal stress other workers might have suffered in the same situations. You must also show that the increased stress at work was the “material cause” for your anxiety. In California, you must be able to prove that work was at least a 51% cause of your anxiety. How does one prove this? It must be supported by a doctor’s testimony and detailed reports.
Again, it is so important that you have an attorney on your side throughout the process of proving that your work-related anxiety qualifies for workers compensation. Without an attorney, you are entitled to file a claim but your attempt may prove an outcome you may not like in the end. Receiving benefits without somebody on your side or proof from a doctor are very, very slim. A lawyer will be able to work with you to research the specific laws regarding this type of compensation in your specific state. Consult your trusted attorney at MDL today to see where you stand with your potential case and what compensation you can expect to receive.