Psychological Injuries in the Workplace
July 9, 2019
Hello, and welcome back to Legal Tip Tuesday. This is a service of QuatriniRafferty that we really enjoy doing. Today, the subject I want to share with you is psychological injuries in the workplace. There are three district categories of psychological injuries in the legal parlance. The first is where you have a physical insult that results in an emotional disability. Let me give you an example. You have a heart attack, an you’ve been out of work for a long time.
You have all of those worries that come with being out of work. Loss of money, loss of self-esteem. Over time you developed depression and anxiety, a very normal consequence. That’s a physical injury that has resulted in a psychological overlay, we call it, or a disability. That psychological treatment that you might need, will be paid for under workers comp, under that scenario. Both the heart attack, and the psychological care that you need for depression or anxiety. Now let’s flip that. The second category is when you suffer an emotional insult at work, that results in a physical injury. So, what might happen is that you’ve now been told that you’ve lost your job and that you have to train your replacement before they send you out the door. You’re so emotionally distraught that you suffer a heart attack. Well, that heart attack, and that treatment and your loss of wages because of it, are going to be covered under workers compensation.
The third category is more complicated, it’s called a “mental mental” injury. A psychological stimuli, causes a psychological disability. Here’s an example. You’re working at a gas station as a clerk, somebody walks in with a gun, points it at your chest and says, “give me the money.” And you’re scared to death, of course. That fear that emanates from that, and what happens afterwards, the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, is related to the workplace. It’s related to being robbed, at gun point. But the law has made it harder to recover in that scenario. We as your lawyers have to prove that what happened is called an abnormal working condition. Well, another word for that is now an extra ordinary event.
Do I think that I can obtain benefits for you under the scenario I just described? Yes, yes I do believe that getting robbed at gun point if you’re a clerk in a gas station, is an extra ordinary event. We would have to prove that to the judge, but with the right medical help, and reports, and your testimony, I feel confident we could help you. So those are the three types of categories, physical mental injury, a mental physical injury, and a mental mental injury. I hope this helps you as you go through life and go through jobs. If you need our help, give us a call. This is Legal Tip Tuesday, I’m Vince Quatrini, have a great day.