Can psychological stress be compensable under workers’ comp?

Accidents can happen to employees on the job. And it’s important to understand which illnesses and injuries are most likely to result in workers’ compensation claims. Commonly known damages under this claim are physical. These types of injuries include sprains, illnesses or conditions caused by workplace risks. However, you may receive compensation for less common injuries under certain conditions.

Receiving compensation for a mental injury

In North Carolina, mental or emotional stress may not be compensable under the workers’ compensation law. This means employees can’t receive compensation for mental or emotional stress unless connected to physical injuries. However, under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, payment for mental damages is possible if they result from a compensable “injury by accident.” An example of a compensable emotional injury is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Employees may experience PTSD if it results from a violent injury. Mental anguish from attacks, falls from heights or amputation may also qualify. The event leading to the alleged psychological stress must be unusual. And is not a typical part of the employee’s daily work routine.

Proving your injuries

If someone experiences mental health problems caused by their job, it can be difficult and complex to seek compensation for their losses. However, it may be helpful to consider another option as a way to get justice for what they’ve gone through. Even if the North Carolina laws don’t specifically list anxiety disorders, depression or PTSD as eligible for compensation, there is still a chance that someone could receive compensation under the general “catch-all” rule in subsection 13.

Workers’ compensation can cover mental and emotional injuries. But it can be challenging to prove the cause. If someone struggles to return to work due to mental stress, seeking legal help may be a good option. They may overcome their injuries with the proper legal help and obtain justice for their losses.

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