When we think of work-related injuries we most often think of an incident in which a worker suffers a physical injury. While that is a fair assumption, many things can go wrong in the workplace that can cause a person to suffer a psychological or emotional injury as well.
In this case, we are not simply talking about being upset about something your boss or coworker might have said to you––we are talking about severe anxiety and emotional distress that are relatively rare but can have long-term life consequences.
What is Anxiety and Emotional Distress as it Relates to the Workplace?
The stress and the burden of financial instability that is placed on you and your family because of a work-related injury, along with the stress that accompanies chronic pain, can lead to anxiety and emotional distress.
It is not uncommon for a person who has suffered a serious injury or who has undergone surgery to become depressed, anxious, or develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Furthermore, first responders such as policemen, firemen, and emergency medical technicians are sometimes confronted with frightening ordeals while on the job, and often witness the results of catastrophic accidents. Undergoing this type of on-the-job stress can also lead to PTSD, depression, mental breakdowns, and the need for psychological care.
Workers’ Compensation for Anxiety and Emotional Distress In Nebraska
In Nebraska, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for mental injuries or mental illness if:
- You are an employee who suffers from a mental injury or mental illness that is caused by or associated with a physical work-related injury, or
- You are a first responder who is (1) suffering from a mental injury or mental illness unaccompanied by a physical injury, and (2) that is caused by conditions that are extraordinary and unusual when compared to the normal conditions of your particular employment.
Therefore, to receive benefits for anxiety and emotional distress under Nebraska workers’ compensation law, you need to prove that your condition is caused by a physical injury, or that you are a first responder who has been through an extraordinary ordeal.
Difficulty Receiving Workers’ Compensation for Anxiety and Emotional Distress
A psychological injury can be every bit as debilitating as a physical injury. Anxiety and emotional distress can lead to behavioral changes, insomnia, and mental illness which may render you incapable of handling day to day activities.
But, while physical injuries can be proven by x-rays, lab tests, and the physical wound itself, it is often very difficult to identify and diagnose a mental injury such as anxiety or depression. This, unfortunately, means that anxiety and emotional distress can be easily contested by an insurer, leading to either inadequate compensation or no compensation at all.
Furthermore, there are detailed filings, deadlines for submissions, and negotiations involved in a workers’ compensation case that, because of your psychological illness, you may not be well enough to handle.
Contact an Experienced Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The expertise of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Nebraska is vital to a workers’ compensation claim for anxiety and emotional distress. Failure to seek the services of a competent workers’ compensation lawyer may result in your claim being dismissed or vastly under-compensated, which can exacerbate your psychological problems even further.
A good workers’ compensation lawyer will know how to pursue your claim effectively and can help you get quality medical care for your physical injuries and/or psychological care for your work-related anxiety and emotional distress. For more information, contact a Nebraska workers’ compensation lawyer now for a free consultation.