Most people feel some level of stress at work. But what if your job exposes you to a high level of stress on a daily basis—maybe you’re a police officer, emergency room nurse or firefighter. Or suppose you witness a traumatic event at work—the serious injury or death of a co-worker, or an act of workplace violence, such as a shooting. Are you entitled to file for workers’ compensation benefits if the effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) make it difficult or impossible for you to do your job? The answer depends, but it’s clear that mental illness can be the basis for a workers’ compensation claim.

When you file for workers’ compensation benefits based on a mental illness, your claim will fall into one of three categories:

  • Physical-mental injuries
  • Mental-physical injuries
  • Mental-mental injuries

A physical-mental injury is one that is initially entirely physical, but ends up creating mental health challenges. For example, you might hurt your knee lifting boxes or performing some other task at work. If the knee doesn’t heal quickly, and you can’t maintain the active lifestyle you had before the injury, you may become depressed, and the depression can contribute to your inability to work.

A mental-physical injury works in exactly the opposite manner. You may be exposed, for example, to a high level of stress on your job, which in turn can elevate your blood pressure, or cause you to either gain or lose a lot of weight. High blood pressure or increased weight can put you at risk of stroke, heart attack or joint injury.

A mental-mental injury is one that starts with a psychological event and manifests with PTSD, such as witnessing a traumatic injury or act of violence.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.