Pursuing Worker’s Comp for PTSD Related to Work

Man under stressPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claims related to the workplace are on the rise across the United States. For some workers, PTSD can arise as a normal part of the job—a firefighter, emergency room doctor or nurse, or EMT may be exposed to a particularly horrifying accident or injury. Workers in extremely dangerous occupations—construction workers, maritime workers, police officers—may witness the death or serious injury of a co-worker. Sometimes, the violence that triggers PTSD may be wholly unrelated to the job, as in the increasing instances of gun violence in schools and businesses.

As a consequence of exposure to a traumatic event, a worker may begin to experience psychological illness, including headaches, anxiety attacks, sleep deprivation, flashbacks, inability to focus and even nausea or disorientation. When the impact of a traumatic event makes it difficult or impossible to work, can you apply for workers’ compensation benefits until you can return to work?

Many, but not all states allow workers who have developed PTSD as a result of a work-related event to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. New Jersey is one of the states that allows workers to recover benefits for injuries that do not result specifically from a physical injury.

As a general rule, to recover for work-related PTSD, a worker must show that he or she actually witnessed a traumatic event, and that the event was witnessed while the employee was performing his or her job. Typically, the worker must also obtain a PTSD diagnosis from a mental health professional.

One of the challenges with successfully obtaining benefits for work-related PTSD involves the length of time it can take for symptoms to manifest. Frequently, the telltale signs of PTSD don’t appear for weeks, months or sometime years after an event. The longer the delay, the more difficult is can be to get a claim approved.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.