Mental health injuries can occur on the job too. Workplace mental health injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania. Increasingly, experts are recognizing that on-the-job mental health injuries are more common than previously realized. A study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimated that the American economy loses over $100 billion every year due to mental health injuries. Much like any physical on-the-job injury, a mental health injury deserves full and fair compensation. If you require mental health treatment due to an injury sustained on the job, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
Mental Health Injuries Under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law
It is important to understand the classification of your mental health injury. Pennsylvania law breaks mental health injuries into three separate categories:
- Physically induced: This refers to mental health injuries that stem from a physical stimulus. An example of this would be a situation in which a person was physically injured on the job, and then developed post traumatic stress disorder. The physical injury was the initial stimulus, but the mental health injury is also very real.
- Mental, with physical consequences: This refers to scenarios where the initial stimulus was mental, for example a stress disorder, and then that mental stimulus led to physical consequences. For instance, cardiovascular issues can be associated with mental stress.
- Purely mental or emotional: These are injuries with only mental health symptoms and no currently diagnosed physical consequences.
Proving a Mental Health Injury
Recovering workers’ compensation benefits for your mental health injury requires proving the full extent of that injury. The previously mentioned classifications are extremely important because the burden of proof is different depending on the type of mental health injury. Under Pennsylvania law, the burden of proof is lower in cases where a physical symptom is present. This includes both physically induced mental health injuries and mental injuries that have physical consequences. Proving that a purely mental health injury exists is more difficult in Pennsylvania. It will require the additional step of proving that you were subject to abnormal working conditions, and that those abnormal conditions were the primary cause of your mental health injury. Regardless, if your job caused you a mental health injury, you are still rightfully entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania. These claims can be challenging, so it is important to get your case in the hands of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
Contact An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Mental health injuries are often traumatic. If your injury occurred at the workplace, then you are owed full and fair workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to understand that insurance companies often attempt to fight these cases because they know that mental health injuries are more difficult to prove and they believe that they can get away without paying fair benefits. Do not let them. If you have been medically treated for a work-related mental health injury, please contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney today. Your legal rights depend on it.