In general, workers’ compensation laws in the United States were developed as a means of compensating workers for workplace injuries and occupational diseases arising out of and occurring within the course and scope of employment. While, in the past, workers’ compensation laws in Georgia and the U.S. applied only to physical injuries sustained on the job, courts in many states are beginning to recognize psychological and psychiatric illnesses as occupational diseases. If you or a loved one has suffered from a psychological or psychiatric injury resulting from workplace conditions, stress, or other factors at work, contact our qualified workers’ compensation attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak to discuss your legal options.
Workplace Personal Injuries and Occupational Diseases
Traditionally, workers’ compensation laws have defined the term “personal injury” as “any harm or damage to the health of an employee, however caused, whether by accident, disease or otherwise” which “incapacitates him in whole or in part.” Under this definition, it’s not hard to understand why psychological and psychiatric injuries in Georgia and across the country should be considered workplace injuries eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, some states have placed strict limitations on the conditions under which a worker can receive compensation for such diseases. For this reason, enlisting the help of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney is critical when seeking compensation for a work-related psychological or psychiatric injury.
Types and Causes of Psychological and Psychiatric Injuries in GA
Psychological or psychiatric injuries (PPI) may include work-related stress, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order for workers to pursue compensation for injuries of this kind, they must have occurred at work and resulted from a one-time event or over a period of time. Workers’ compensation statutes typically cover injuries and occupational diseases that are either caused or aggravated by work-related conditions. The majority of jurisdictions in the U.S., even those that have taken steps to limit coverage for workplace stress claims, appear to apply this rule to claims based on psychological as well as physical injury. Under Georgia law, in order for a worker to pursue compensation for a psychological or psychiatric injury, it must relate to a physical injury that occurred within the course and scope of the workers’ employment..
Pursuing Compensation for Psychological and Psychiatric Injuries in Atlanta
While psychological and psychiatric injuries may be more difficult to detect and diagnose than physical workplace injuries, their effects on a worker are every bit as real. Mental injuries can be just as debilitating as physical injuries, often requiring some sort of treatment or therapy by a qualified healthcare professional. Whether a psychological or psychiatric injury is caused by a single traumatic experience, such as in an assault at work, or is the long-term result of certain conditions in the workplace, the injured worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Georgia law. Workers’ compensation provides medical and disability benefits to injured workers, depending on the degree of their injury and the extent of medical care required.
A Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Pursuing workers’ compensation benefits can be difficult, especially for those workers who file a claim for a psychological or psychiatric injury. Until psychological and psychiatric injuries are viewed in the same way as physical injuries, victims of this type of workplace injury will face resistance when pursuing benefits under workers’ compensation. If you have suffered from a psychological or psychiatric injury in Georgia, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because of an accident at work or due to workplace conditions, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak today. Our law firm is located in Atlanta, and our attorneys have extensive experience in helping workers pursue financial compensation for their injuries and lost wages due to missed time at work. With the help of our workers’ compensation lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak, workers struggling with psychological or psychiatric injuries can protect their legal rights and pursue fair and timely reimbursement for their injuries.