Jeffrey S. Gross along with Patrick W. Kenny and our firm’s associate work injury lawyers have focused on representing injured Pennsylvania workers for more than 17 years. In that time, we have been able to help countless numbers of individuals with work-related mental disabilities to secure the benefits they deserved. As your lawyers, we will concentrate on taking care of all the details involving the paperwork, the scheduling of medical appointments, and the proper documentation of everything so that you will be free to concentrate on your own health and recovery.
Based on cause and effect, mental disabilities have been divided into three different types. A brief explanation of each one is provided below:
- Physical-mental disability claims – This is when injured workers develop depression, anxiety disorders, or other mental conditions that arise out of a work-related physical injury such as a disabling back condition that causes major depression.
- Mental-physical disability claims – These claims involve a mental stimulus at work that causes a physical injury. An example could be when a worker is held up at gunpoint while working and suffers a heart attack as a result of the stress he or she experienced from the hold up.
- Mental-mental disability claims – These claims involve situations where a mental stimulus at work causes a mental injury. An example of a mental-mental claim might involve a situation like the above scenario where a worker is held up at gunpoint while working, and, as a result, he or she is prevented from returning to work because of post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Proving You Have Sustained a Work-Related Psychological or Emotional Injury
Proving a work-related accident caused a purely physical injury is relatively easy. If you sustained a head injury while working at a construction site because a piece of equipment fell from a high height and struck you in the head, you need only point to the results of medical tests to confirm this incident caused you harm. The only difficulty you might face involves gathering enough evidence to demonstrate your accident was truly work-related and did not occur when you were off the clock.
Proving that you are struggling with a psychological or emotional injury resulting from an experience (whether it be a single incident or a prolonged experience) at work can be somewhat more difficult. Steps this process often involves include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
Documenting the cause of the emotional or psychological injury — How you might show that your injury had a clear work-related cause will vary depending on the nature of your condition and the factors which contributed to it. Returning to a previous example, if you developed post-traumatic stress disorder after being held at gunpoint in the workplace, documentation of the incident will already be available.
On the other hand, perhaps you have developed psychological and/or emotional health issues because you have been required to work in a generally stressful environment for a lengthy period of time. In this instance, you might have to coordinate with other employees, clients, and anyone else who can support your claim that your working environment was one which might contribute to psychological health difficulties.
Enlisting the help of experts — If you are attempting to recover workers’ compensation benefits for mental, psychological, emotional, or similar types of work-related injuries, you will likely be required to show that you have been diagnosed with and/or received treatment for such conditions. This will involve presenting medical records. It might also be helpful to coordinate with a mental health professional who can offer testimony confirming your experiences at work resulted in your health problems.
Showing your mental or emotional health difficulties resulted primarily from work experiences — A workers’ compensation insurance company is a profit-driven business. Upon filing a claim to recover benefits, you may find an insurer will first attempt to deny your claim instead of paying you what you are asking for.
There are various ways an insurer could justify denying your claim. They might argue that you have not provided sufficient evidence indicating your mental or emotional health conditions have not been caused by experiences outside of work.
This is not meant to discourage you from pursuing the compensation you believe you are owed. It is meant to encourage you to work with qualified Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers. Showing you are eligible to recover compensation is easier when you have assistance from professionals who’ve handled cases like yours in the past.
Call Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Philadelphia of Gross & Kenny, LLP
Talk to our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers about your mental disability claim. At Gross & Kenny, LLP, we are here to help. We will identify the type of mental injury that you have and make sure that your claim is properly handled.
For your free consultation, call us at 215-512-1500 or complete our online contact form page. Our offices are located in Center City, Philadelphia, but we also make appointments in other mutually convenient locations in downtown Philadelphia is not convenient for you.