Can You File For Worker’s Compensation For Stress-Related Illness?

Work is a source of stress and frustration for many. But, what draws the line between normal work stress and debilitating stress? For those whose jobs are causing severe physical or emotional stress, it may be time to see a doctor and look into your worker’s compensation options.

Not all stress-related injuries will be covered by worker’s compensation. Unlike an on-the-job accident or illness due to poor working conditions, stress-related injuries are harder to prove because they often happen over time. As the employer seeking compensation, you will have to be thorough in proving that your injury or illness was caused by on-the-job stress instead of activities you participate in outside of work.

Physical vs. Emotional Stress

Some injuries can be caused by repetitive stress on the body. For example, a delivery truck driver may develop chronic back pain from constantly lifting and loading trucks without proper breaks and physical therapy. Or similarly, someone at a desk job may develop carpal tunnel from repetitive typing for years. These injuries, if you can prove they were caused by your job and not another activity, can typically be covered by worker’s compensation.

Though physical injuries are the most common stress-related injuries covered by worker’s comp, you can certainly receive compensation for mental and emotional stress in special cases. Emotional stress is harder to prove because it can be difficult to ascertain whether the stress stems from your job alone, or other areas and relationships in your life. However, there are certain circumstances where work-stress alone can cause severe mental or emotional impairments.

If your employer has abused or treated you poorly, you may be able to file a personal injury case for “negligent infliction of emotional distress,” or even “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” These two types of claims signify whether the emotional stress was a symptom of your extreme working conditions (which you did not expect), or if your supervisors were potentially causing stress intentionally for their personal gain.

In order to receive compensation from your employer, it’s important to gather evidence of your physical or emotional stress injury. Before you file a worker’s compensation or personal injury case, report the issue to your employer. It may even be possible to settle the dispute without having to file a worker’s compensation claim. Even if you can’t come to a solution with your employer directly. it helps to leave a paper trail reporting the issue to your employer before taking legal action.

If you have suffered from a physical or emotional stress injury or illness at work, contact Katherine Stone of Injury Florida Law today. Katherine and her team can help you receive fair compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained, and get you back on your feet in no time.