Are you suffering from mental trauma directly related to your work or an incident at the workplace?
In any work environment there is potential for a sudden and shocking event to occur. As you go to the office or visit a client, the likelihood of these incidents seems remote and even impossible. However, many traumatic injuries are such because the events leading to these injuries are entirely unexpected. Employers should have procedures in place to handle a traumatic event, but an employer is still required to go through the reporting and filing processes to receive workers’ compensation.
Traumatic Events and their Resulting Injuries
A traumatic injury is often sudden and unexpected. The severity of these physical injuries makes immediate medical attention necessary, and employees can find themselves in hospitals, emergency rooms, and urgent care facilities after a traumatic injury. Events likely to precipitate a traumatic injury are:
- Falls from a height
- Burn injuries
- Severing of limb or amputation
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Collapsed lung or loss of breathing
- Puncture or crushing injury
- Skull fracture or other head contusion
- Spinal fractures, and
- Sudden brain injury.
When traumatic injuries result in physical maladies, witnesses, responders, and others need to act quickly to curtail the injury and effects. Trauma, by nature, has an element of shock.
Mental Injury from Traumatic Event
For many employees, injury and illness does not manifest itself in physical forms, but through mental pain or damage. Traumatic injuries can involve serious physical harm, but just as likely and common are mental ramifications. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is one form or mental injury. It is commonly associated with soldiers and military veterans, but there are a number of industries or professions that could involve a traumatic injury and development of mental injury such as PTSD.
Unlike a number of other states, New Jersey allows for employees to make a workers’ compensation claim for mental injury. The process for claiming workers’ compensation benefits for a mental injury is the same as for a physical injury, but the gaining approval, even from the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Making Workers’ Compensation Claim for Mental Injury
An employee who is suffering from mental injury due to a traumatic event or incident at the workplace has an uphill battle in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. First, proving the mental injury is more difficult than a physical one, and employers or insurance providers are far less likely to approve reports of a mental injury. This is particularly true when the injury requires additional costs for therapy and temporary disability benefits.
Second, it is more difficult to establish that mental injuries arose out of employment. This is the essential requirement for all workers’ compensation claims and receipt of benefits. Employees who file a workers’ compensation claim for mental injury, such as PTSD, without the assistance of a lawyer are unlikely to succeed.
Seeking Legal Assistance
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in New Jersey will be familiar with the physical and mental injuries that result from a traumatic event. With the advice and representation of a lawyer, such as Albert J. Talone, an individual is more likely to receive full workers’ compensation benefits. To confidentially discuss your physical or mental injury, call our office at (856)-234-4023.