Stratford Workplace Mental Injury Lawyer
Injured Workers in Connecticut can Get Workers’ Comp for Mental Injuries
Workers can suffer mental, psychological, or psychiatric injuries on the job. An open wound or broken bone is easy to see, but a mental injury may not be apparent to the employer or co-workers. For this reason and others, workers’ compensation claims for mental injuries are often denied. Learn more below about when mental injuries are covered and when they aren’t, and contact Morizio Law Firm in Stratford/Bridgeport if you’ve suffered a psychological injury on the job in Connecticut.
Mental Injuries Three Ways
Connecticut workers’ compensation law recognizes compensable mental injuries in three different categories: physical/mental, mental/physical, and mental/mental. Getting workers’ comp benefits for a mental injury depends on which category the injury falls into, as well as the occupation of the injured worker in some cases.
Physical Injuries that Cause Mental Injuries (physical/mental) – Sometimes, there is an undeniable link between a bodily injury and a mental injury that follows. For example, workers who undergo an extremely traumatic accident, such as an explosion or fall from a great height, might experience post-traumatic stress disorder or other anxiety disorders that interfere with their ability to return to work. Similarly, a worker who suffers a career-ending injury may fall into depression. When the link between mental disorder and physical trauma can be established, medical benefits for the mental injury should be covered.
Mental Injuries that Cause Physical Injuries (mental/physical) – Workers in certain occupations can experience a great deal of mental stress on the job that eventually manifests as physical illness. The classic example is first responders. These employees work crazy hours and differing shifts that interrupt their sleep patterns. They also respond to emergencies and crises regularly, involving intense periods of adrenaline and other metabolic processes. Their work hours require that they eat at irregular intervals, often forced to quickly down unhealthy fast foods and snacks. The mental stress and nature of these jobs can lead to genuine and severe health issues, including insomnia, depression, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attacks and strokes.
Purely Mental Injuries (mental/mental) – The last category of mental injuries are those that do not have any physical injury attached to them. Currently, in Connecticut, workers’ comp for purely mental or emotional injuries is limited to police officers who use or are the target of deadly force in the line of duty, and firefighters diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder caused by witnessing another firefighter die in the line of duty. Benefits are limited to treatment by approved psychologists and psychiatrists. Wage replacement benefits are not available for mental/mental injuries.
Other states recognize mental/mental injuries for workers who witness horrific injuries or accidents on the job even when they themselves are not physically injured, such as an explosion with multiple fatalities, a workplace shooting, or a co-worker who suffers an amputation or burn injuries. Workers can suffer from depression or PTSD after events like these. States that compensate workers for mental injuries in these cases include neighboring states like Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. What if you are a Connecticut resident who experiences a stress injury while working in one of these states? Conversely, what if you are a worker from one of these states who suffers a stress injury while working in Connecticut? Can you receive workers’ compensation for your mental injury in either of these cases? Lawrence Morizio is an expert in this complex area of the law and can guide and advise you through the complicated questions of jurisdiction and choice of law in state-to-state representation issues.
Help for All Your Injuries After an Injury on the Job in Connecticut
When you’ve been hurt at work, you want to make sure you get medical care for all your injuries, be they physical, mental, or both. Call Morizio Law Firm after a Connecticut workplace accident, and let a skilled and dedicated workers’ compensation specialist handle your claim.