Workers’ compensation has you covered if you get injured at work and are no longer able to fulfill your duties. It can pay for lost wages and medical treatment. But what if your suffering runs deeper than that? Workers’ comp for emotional disturbance is relatively new, and since emotional disturbance is not as straightforward as a physical injury, the circumstances can be complicated.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Emotional Disturbance?
In recent years, several states have included limited coverage for mental-only injuries. The details vary by state; some states are currently researching who should be eligible. For example, firefighters who develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Is Emotional Disturbance Covered in South Dakota?
In South Dakota and several other states, you may only be compensated for a mental injury if a physical injury that is eligible for compensation is a major contributing factor to the mental injury. Since you can’t submit a claim for workers comp’ for emotional harm, talk to a personal injury lawyer who can tell you what your options are.
In states that provide coverage for mental injuries, you must prove that:
- A doctor has diagnosed you with a psychological condition
- You are disabled as a result of your condition or you require medical treatment for your condition
- Your condition was caused by your workplace or working conditions
- The duration of your employment has been at least six months, or what caused your condition was extreme or sudden
Causes of Emotional Disturbance in the Workplace
There are many situations and circumstances that may cause emotional disturbance in the workplace. The situation may be how you’re treated by your superiors or co-workers, such as in the cases of discrimination and sexual harassment. Psychological harm could result from the conditions in which you have to work over longer periods of time, like if your place of business is unsanitary.
Perhaps you’re affected by the nature of the job, itself, like firefighters, police, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), who could develop PTSD from horrific experiences they may have while doing their jobs. Negligence could also be a factor if your employer looks the other way when a co-worker is abusive
Consequences of Emotional Disturbance in the Workplace
In addition to emotional and psychological harm, there may be secondary consequences that affect other areas of life, including:
- Loss of financial stability
- Loss of personal security
- Loss of familial harmony
Compensation for emotional disturbance may not undo the harm that was done but it may help to restore some balance in your life that was lost as a result
How To Get Help
Unlike physical injuries, emotional harm can be difficult to prove. To maximize your chances of receiving compensation for the pain you’ve experienced while at work, talk to a personal injury lawyer who will fight to get you what you deserve. Contact Alvine Law Firm today to book a free consultation.