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Should Psychological Injuries Qualify You for Workers’ Compensation?

Should Psychological Injuries Qualify You for Workers’ Compensation?

A growing number of professionals are arguing that psychological injuries should be grounds for people to receive workers’ compensation. According to a recent piece in American Military University’s In Public Safety website, first responders should qualify for workers’ comp, given that the psychological injuries they suffer often linger as long and can affect them as much as physical ones.

The article cites reports from the National Institute of Mental Health, which indicate that suffering even one traumatic event can lead to ongoing psychological issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. As In Public Safety points out, first responders commonly suffer from at least one traumatic even throughout the course of their career, making them primary candidates for PTSD and other mental and psychological injuries.

According to NIMH guidelines, someone may be suffering from PTSD if they have recently:

  • Started re-experiencing events, aka having flashbacks;
  • Been voiding certain places or feelings;
  • Had difficulty sleeping or become easily startled;
  • Begun experiencing feelings of guilt, self-blame, or started going through mood swings.

PTSD and psychological injuries can have long-term effects on a person’s well-being, and even disrupt their life in physical ways. Besides not being able to sleep, people suffering from psychological pain often find their issues manifesting through sensory stimulation, with certain smells, tastes, or sounds bringing them back to the point of their trauma. Individuals like first responders may also shake or break out into a cold seat at the onset of a panic attack, or other memories that bring them back to the root of their injuries.

While mental scars and physical scars may go hand in hand, it is much easier to secure compensation for the latter. The language of most workers’ compensation laws does not take into account psychological injuries, presenting an uphill battle for individuals looking to secure workers’ comp for ailments like PTSD. Even though PTSD is a serious condition which prevents many people form functioning in a normal work environment, much less fields that involve high-stakes, the fact that evidence of trauma may not be readily apparent by looking at someone with these conditions puts many at a disadvantage when it comes to workers’ comp.

The best course of action if you or someone you know is attempting to secure workers’ compensation for a psychological injury would be to hire an experienced attorney, who will fight to make sure your condition is taken seriously in a court of law if necessary.

Contact Michael J. Doyle for Compassionate and Tenacious Representation

At Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law, our Albuquerque workers’ compensation attorney has been advocating for the rights of injured New Mexico workers for almost 20 years. From police officers to firefighters, we regularly represent first responders, and always strive to make sure these heroes receive the financial support they are owed. If you or someone you know has been injured while in the line of duty, don’t settle for less than you deserve. Contact Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law, and hire a lawyer who will always stand by your side.

Call (505) 219-2176 now to learn more, or click here to schedule a free consultation online.

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