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Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Suffer from Work-Related Anxiety Or Depression? You May Qualify For Workers’ Compensation

In the aftermath of a debilitating on-the-job injury, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Although workers’ comp mainly covers employees who’ve suffered physical injuries, it may also cover those who are suffering from work-related anxiety and depression. Learn about how you could qualify for workers’ comp coverage if you’re currently suffering anxiety or depression caused by work-related injuries or stresses.

Recognizing the Signs of Anxiety and Depression

Clinical depression is a debilitating illness that affects over 18 million Americans over the age of 18, especially those who are in their prime working years. Workplace depression can also prove costly in terms of lost productivity and treatment costs, leading to over $51 billion in absenteeism, according to Mental Health America.

If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, then you may have experienced some of the following symptoms:

  • Increased fatigue and overall decrease in energy
  • Increased irritability and feelings of restlessness
  • Reduced or lost interest in your usual hobbies
  • Memory loss
  • Persistent loss of concentration
  • Extreme changes in sleeping patterns and appetite
  • Thoughts or feelings of suicide or self-harm

If you are experiencing these symptoms in the workplace or as a result of a work-related injury, you should consult with a trained mental health expert as soon as possible. Talking with a specialist could be part of your first steps towards receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Understanding the Claims Criteria

In order to pursue a worker’s compensation claim for workplace-related depression or anxiety, you’ll have to meet certain criteria for a valid claim. In addition to being an employee of the company you’re filing your claim against (as opposed to being an independent contractor), the conditions or events leading up to your workplace depression must:

  • Be the result of the company’s workplace conditions
  • Result in an impairment that causes lost wages and productivity
  • Occur while you’re on the job

If your work-related depression or anxiety isn’t the result of a physical injury, then additional proof may be required before your workers’ compensation claim can be successfully processed. For instance, you may need a professional evaluation from a certified mental health physician that proves your depression or anxiety is the result of work-related issues.

In addition, your state may have its own burden of proof you’ll need to meet in order to successfully prove your workers’ comp claim. This burden of proof may not be the same in every state, so it’s important to talk to your workers’ compensation attorney when establishing your claim.

Physical vs. Mental Injury

Workplace depression or anxiety can be the result of a physical work injury or a mental injury caused by unusual stressors within the workplace. It’s not uncommon for severe depression to set in after suffering a severe physical injury that not only results in a loss of employment, but also prevents you from getting back to work. If you already have a workers’ comp claim for physical injury, you may receive additional compensation for any work-related depression you’re experiencing.

Depression or anxiety experienced in the workplace can also stem from mental rather than physical factors. For instance, working in a hostile workplace could eventually lead to anxiety or depression. Common hostile actions that could produce heightened anxiety include workplace bullying and sexual harassment. Traumatic incidents experienced at work can also trigger depressive episodes. For example, your depression could be triggered in the aftermath of an armed robbery or workplace shooting.

Whether your depression or anxiety was caused by a physical or mental injury, work-related depression or anxiety isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It’s important to take the steps necessary to pursue your workers’ compensation claim. To begin, contact resources like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP.

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Uncategorized |

What Maximum Medical Improvement Means In Car Accident Cases

Car accident cases do not usually settle quickly, and there are multiple reasons for this. In many cases, though, it is the injured person who holds up the case from settling, and there is a good reason for this. If you were injured in a car accident and have major injuries, you will want to postpone settling your case for a while too. The goal is to make sure you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI) before you settle. Here are a few things to know about this.

What Is MMI?

MMI is a term used frequently in personal injury cases of all kinds, and it refers to the point in time when an injured person has reached the best he or she will ever be after the accident. In good cases, MMI means the person is completely back to normal and has no further problems to worry about. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When major injuries occur from a car accident, they can often leave a person different for the rest of his or her life.

It can be hard to know when you have reached MMI, but a good way is by talking and visiting with your doctor frequently. With major injuries, you may need to seek various forms of healthcare treatments for the rest of your life. While you may never fully recover, you should reach a point where you are as good as you will ever be. When you do, you can consider that you have reached MMI.

Why Is It Important To Wait?

The main reason you should wait to settle your case until you reached MMI is so that you know exactly what the extent of your injuries are from the accident. If you settle immediately after the accident, there may be lifelong injuries you do not yet know about. The longer you wait, the more understanding you will have regarding the full impact of the accident.

Not only will waiting help you fully understand your injuries, but waiting will also help you see how different your life is now compared to the way it was. For example, if you are no longer able to drive a car due to your injuries, you may experience grief over the loss of freedom driving once offered you, and this is something you can sue for. While money will not give you your health and freedoms back, it can at least help you live more comfortably with your new type of lifestyle.

How Long Can You Wait?

One thing you should realize about waiting to settle is that you cannot wait forever. There is something called a statute of limitations, and this is a time frame you have in which you must file your lawsuit. This time frame varies, but it is normally within one to six years. You will have to talk to a personal injury lawyer to find out the time frame in the state you live in. This time frame gives you time to think about your case for a while before you file, but it is also there to prevent people from waiting too long.

The key point with this is that you must file your lawsuit before the time frame ends. This does not mean you must settle your case by this point. You must only file by this time. After you file, years can pass before the case actually settles, and you can delay settling if you are still waiting to reach your MMI.

If you would like to learn more about car accident cases and lawsuits, you should contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Bennett & Sharp PLLC today to schedule a consultation visit.

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