PTSD from Work Injury: Is it possible?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition that occurs after the sufferer has witnessed or experienced an event that is traumatic. The symptoms of PTSD are often both mental and physical in nature and can sometimes compromise a person’s ability to accomplish routine daily tasks.

Below are some of the possible symptoms of PTSD from a work injury.

  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Startling easily
  • Flashbacks of the experience
  • Emotional detachment
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory deficiencies
  • Violent behavior
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

If the sufferer experienced the trauma at work or while performing work duties, this can also be considered a work-related condition. It is possible to file a workers’ compensation claim for PTSD from a work injury in some cases.

PTSD and Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

There are some jobs that carry a higher risk for PTSD because of highly stressful or dangerous work duties. Examples of these types of jobs include firefighters, police officers or paramedics. Employees who are required to perform job duties at increased risk of serious injury, such as construction workers, could also be more likely to experience a traumatic event leading to PTSD.

However, any worker who witnesses, is injured, or is involved in a terrible accident, brutal assault or other horrible event may be affected by PTSD. A convenience store clerk who is robbed at gunpoint or assaulted during a crime is one example of a worker who might suffer PTSD. There are many scenarios where an employee can be traumatized to the point of suffering lasting and debilitating effects.

When PTSD affects an employee’s ability to perform job duties or his or her personal life to the point of requiring treatment, a workers’ compensation claim might be warranted.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation is designed to pay an employee’s expenses for medical care or treatment and to reimburse the employee for lost wages temporarily or permanently. You may be eligible to receive a medical benefit for mild PTSD effects, but if your PTSD is severe, you may be compensated for lost pay if you miss work to recover from your psychological symptoms.

Be sure to be honest with your doctor and therapist about any symptoms you are suffering and don’t downplay your level of anxiety or other effects.

You will need to provide medical documentation to prove that you have a viable claim. The worker must prove that he or she experienced an event that was exposed to unusual and traumatic circumstances, or that a serious injury caused a mental illness like PTSD.

If you believe you’ve been affected by PTSD from a work injury or event, you will need to notify your employer of your symptoms and your intent to seek treatment and file a claim with workers’ compensation. Your claim may include physical injuries if you were hurt in the traumatic event, or could include only your mental health symptoms and psychological treatment needs.

Seek Legal Help if You Suffered PTSD from a Work Injury

Workers’ compensation cases are not always simple and/or successful. It is imperative that you meet filing deadlines and cooperate with requests for information and medical documentation. Enlist the services of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can act as an advocate for you in your claim and will be able to provide you with important guidance regarding your legal rights.

Cordisco & Saile LLC can manage your workers’ compensation case, allowing you to focus on your recovery. If you’ve been affected by the effects of PTSD because of a traumatic event at work, call us at 215-642-2335 or use our contact page to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.