When thinking about workers’ compensation benefits, most people imagine an injury they can see – perhaps a concussion, fracture or laceration resulting from an accident at work. While you might need medical care and time off work to recover from your injuries, many physical wounds heal in time. At the law office of Hall Ansley, P.C., we understand that emotional injuries sustained by Missouri employees can be more complex. They can take much more time to recover from, and they are often misunderstood by workers’ compensation officials.
What is an emotional injury? According to the Mayo Clinic, mental or emotional trauma can include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. You might have developed a work-related emotional injury by witnessing a co-worker’s injury or death on the job or from being subjected to ongoing stressful conditions or abuse from your employers or co-workers. Also, emotional trauma that is unrelated to your job might be exacerbated by your work conditions.
When untreated, PTSD and other forms of emotional trauma can cause physical symptoms, such as headaches, joint pain and fatigue. As you might imagine, this can affect your work performance and quality of life. Most of the time, you will need treatment to help you manage or recover from an emotional injury.
Unfortunately, there is a high chance a workers’ compensation claim for emotional trauma will be denied. If this happens, you have the right to appeal the denial and continue fighting for your right to get treatment, as our page on denied claims explains.