Under California law, psychological injuries are covered by workers’ compensation benefits. This means that even those working in industries, such as manufacturing, can recover compensation if they suffer mental trauma or psychological issues as a result of their jobs.
Recovering compensation for these types of injuries can be difficult, however. Your employer and their insurance company may deny the claim, hoping to avoid paying the compensation you deserve. If this happens to you, then you may benefit from seeking assistance from a workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you recover compensation for your manufacturing industry psychological injuries.
What Constitutes a Psychological Injury in the Manufacturing Industry?
You could have the basis of a workers’ compensation claim if you suffered one of these work-related injuries:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Suicidal ideation
Many people feel work-related stress. Yet, to recover damages, your case must allege that you suffered a condition so severe, it prevents you from working.
How to Get Workers’ Compensation for a Psychological Injury
Because of the nature of mental health problems, psychological workers’ compensation does not follow the same no-fault system as physical injuries. So, to secure benefits, you must show that the psychological injury stems from your work.
In California, you can have a mental health professional’s diagnosis bolster your workplace injury claim. They can cite your symptoms, the duration of your illness, and other factors that could help you secure compensation.
You Must Be Employed for Six Months at Your Current Job
For many employees, they’re eligible for workers’ compensation coverage from their first day on the job. However, matters change if you’re seeking benefits for a psychological injury. Per the California Department of Industrial Relations, you must have worked for at least six months to claim stress as a cumulative psychological injury.
You Should Notify Your Employer as Soon as Possible
With physical injuries, you generally have 30 days to report the injury to your employer. Yet, with a mental health condition, you should notify your employer as soon as possible after your diagnosis. This protects your right to compensation and sets your case in motion. What’s more, prompt notification gives the insurer less reason to deny or discredit your claim.
You Could Secure these Benefits After Suffering a Psychological Injury
California’s workers’ compensation program offers coverage for your medical expenses and two-thirds of your lost wages if you suffer an on-the-job injury or illness. Depending on the nature of your condition, you could also secure coverage for vocational job retraining and funeral expenses (if you lost a loved one).
After evaluating your situation, your lawyer may determine that you also have the basis of a third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit. In this instance, you can seek compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation alone does not cover these expenses.
Two Things to Know About Navigating Workers’ Comp for Psychological Injuries
Pursuing compensation for a work-related psychological injury can get complicated. Many of these cases are viewed as subjective, and insurers put up a fight when paying them out. Yet, here are two things you should know about this process and your rights as an injured worker:
You Can Get Workers’ Compensation if You’re Terminated
Under California law, you can get workers’ compensation coverage even if you’re fired. However, the compensation process isn’t easy, and these cases require a larger burden of proof when compared to typical workers’ compensation cases. You may need to file additional paperwork or provide additional proof to recover benefits after your termination.
Injuries Caused by Normal Personnel Actions Are Not Covered
If you suffer a psychiatric stress injury because of a normal personnel action, you cannot recover workers’ compensation benefits. If you are unsure what a normal personnel action is, then you should speak with your workers’ compensation attorney to determine if your injury is covered.
Mental Health Problems Can Create a Dangerous Work Environment
By seeking mental health support for your manufacturing industry injuries, you help to create a safer environment for all workers. Mental health injuries can lead to unfocused work, leading to fatal accidents and injuries.
Additionally, workplace trauma can lead to irresponsible workplace actions. If an employee is hesitant to do something because of a past experience, then they could put everyone in the workplace at risk. By seeking treatment for your trauma in a timely fashion, you promote your well-being and that of everyone around you.
Learn More About Psychological Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Many people do not realize that psychological injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. Without definitive evidence, such as x-rays or MRIs, it can be difficult to prove that a mental health injury occurred because of work. However, it’s not impossible to secure the benefits you need. You have options.
By understanding your rights, you put yourself in a good position to seek the benefits you need and start rebuilding your life. If you would like to know more about workers’ compensation mental health claims, contact KJT Law Group for more information. Dial (818) 507-8525 to begin.