Philadelphia Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Attorney

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious and potentially debilitating mental health condition that can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Often, the disorder develops in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a serious accident or violent assault. If PTSD is caused by a traumatic event that occurred at work, the condition may be covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance plan.

If you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder related to your work environment, you may have the right to collect workers’ comp benefits through your employer. Find out how much your workers’ comp could be worth when you contact Gross & Kenny, LLP for help with your claim.

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Workers in certain occupations may be at an increased risk for developing PTSD, including public safety workers. Firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians work in high-stress environments and are often the first on location at horrific scenes.

However, workers in any industry can develop mental stress injuries related to their job. Other causes of PTSD compensation claims involve situations when the death or serious injury to a worker is witnessed by co-workers.

Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Claims for PTSD

For many years, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation board did not recognize post-traumatic stress disorder as a compensable work-related injury. Fortunately, recent victories have made it possible for workers to receive benefits after suffering a traumatic event while on the job.

Generally, the standard is that the traumatic event must be “abnormal,” or in other words, something that would not be encountered every day at work. Commonplace work scenarios that could be regarded as highly stressful and anxiety-inducing will not meet the standard required for a compensable mental health condition.

Because of the complexities of post-traumatic stress disorder, workers’ compensation claims, and the burden of proof required by the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation board in these cases, it is highly advisable to seek counsel from an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer.

If you think you have PTSD, do not hesitate to see a mental health professional and notify your employer. Waiting can intensify symptoms, make treatment more difficult, and jeopardize your workers’ compensation claim.

Symptoms of PTSD

Reactions to trauma can vary widely. Some victims of a traumatic event may suffer mild anxiety while others can experience a dramatic change in personality. Common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Anger and self-destructive or violent behavior
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Emotional detachment
  • Flashbacks of the traumatic incident
  • Irritability and jumpiness
  • Nightmares
  • Obsessive-compulsive behavior
  • Problems with memory or concentration

Although PTSD is a mental health condition, it can manifest itself in physical symptoms as well including:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Ulcers
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Types of PTSD Claims

Claims can be made for PTSD alone, or in conjunction with physical injuries suffered in the traumatic event. Very often, a worker will sustain injuries in a severe accident and develop lasting symptoms of PTSD after having recovered from the physical injuries. In this case, the worker may have a claim for compensation for both the physical injuries and the PTSD. On the other hand, workers who witness a horrific accident or event may not have physical injuries, but rather are debilitated by emotional scars. These workers would file a compensation claim only for PTSD.

Regardless of the severity of PTSD, a successful claim will allow you to receive some benefits. If your PTSD is severe, you are eligible for more benefits because the impact on your health is more severe. If you suspect you are suffering from work-related PTSD it is crucial that you report any and all symptoms, mental or physical, to your doctor.

Who Qualifies for Workers' Comp for PTSD in Philadelphia?

The impact of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by a work-related accident can be devastating. When you are unable to return to work, you may need to access workers’ comp benefits in order to continue supporting yourself while you try to recover from this difficult condition.

Many workers are unsure whether they are eligible for workers’ comp benefits based on their post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis. The amount of time that you have been with your employer is irrelevant. The only requirements that you need to meet in order to qualify for benefits in the vast majority of Pennsylvania work injuries include:

  • Being considered an employee of the company
  • Suffering an injury that is within the scope of your job responsibilities

For example, if you only recently became employed with your employer and were involved in a slip and fall accident on the job, you would be entitled to workers’ comp benefits under the law.

However, if you were injured in a car accident on your way to work, workers’ comp would not be required to approve your claim for benefits. To find out whether you qualify for workers’ comp for your post-traumatic stress diagnosis, contact our office today.

Filing a Claim for PTSD

Do not delay in talking to your doctor and your employer if you think you have post-traumatic stress disorder due to a work-related event. You could lose your right to benefits if you do not report your PTSD within the prescribed deadlines. Through workers’ compensation, you may be able to get the medical treatment and leave from your job that you need to recover from the trauma that caused your PTSD. Benefits awarded in a successful workers’ compensation claim may include:

  • A portion of your lost wages
  • Payment for all medical treatment related to the PTSD
  • Compensation for any permanent mental health damage
  • Coverage for treatment of any physical or mental conditions resulting from the workplace injury

How to Appeal a Denied Philadelphia Workers' Comp Claim for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Despite the fact that you may qualify for workers’ comp benefits, it is not unusual for claimants to be denied the benefits that are rightfully theirs. When the insurance company pays out on workers’ comp claims, they lose money.

As you can imagine, this leads to many instances of insurance adjusters denying even the most deserving of workers’ comp claims. If you have had your claim for workers’ comp denied due to your work post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis, this is not necessarily the end of the line for your case.

With help from a dedicated workers’ comp attorney, you could petition the insurance company to have your workers’ comp denial appealed. From there, we will begin to prepare for a hearing where we can address any of the reasons for the denial and seek to have your claim approved.

A large portion of post-traumatic stress disorder workers’ comp claim appeals is resolved at this stage. However, we are prepared to bring your case before a judge if that is what it takes to get you the work comp benefits that you are entitled to.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Advocate for Workers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation claims for PTSD are complex and require skilled and experienced representation. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, have the knowledge and experience that you need on your side when you file a claim.

Call 215-512-1500 now to schedule a free consultation, or contact us online. Our offices are located in Center City Philadelphia serving clients throughout Pennsylvania.

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