Encino Psychiatric Workplace Injury Attorney

If you work in California, you may already know that you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical bills and other such losses if you are injured in a work-related accident. Under California’s workers’ compensation laws, you do not need to prove that an accident was the result of negligence to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits but you must demonstrate that it occurred as a result of your employment and occurred within the “time and space” of employment.

California also allows workers to seek compensation for psychiatric or stress-related injuries. You do not need to sustain acute bodily harm to be eligible for psychiatric injury workers’ compensation benefits. For psychiatric injury, you also have to show that over 50% of the cause of your psychiatric injury is a result of events that occurred at work or resulted from work activity.

Discuss your case with an Encino psychiatric workplace injury attorney at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach for more information. We will review the details of your case and let you know whether you have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit.

Encino Psychiatric Workplace Injuries: Potential Causes

The causes of psychiatric workplace injuries in Encino can vary greatly depending on the nature of the work you do. In general, you may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits if you developed a psychiatric injury that causes a need for medical treatment or temporary or permanent disability, the condition is diagnosed by guidelines generally accepted in the medical community and is shown to be at least 51% caused by work activities.

Some injured workers suffer psychiatric injuries as a result of stress, pain, and difficulty functioning after physical injury. In these cases, the injured worker would be entitled to medical care and temporary disability but not a permanent disability unless the physical injury was the result of a “violent event.” When the psychiatric injury is not the result of a physical injury, or when the psychiatric injury is the result of strong physical force/ a “violent act” then the injured worker is entitled to receive permanent disability payments for any residual psychiatric injury after a reasonable time for healing has passed.

The law defines a violent event as an “act that is characterized by either a strong physical force, extreme or intense force, or an act that is vehemently or passionately threatening.” Violent acts are not simply attacks, they can also include any event involving strong forces, like falls from significant heights, car accidents, or accidents using strong machines or heavy equipment.

Workers’ compensation insurance generally covers any psychiatric injury resulting from workplace activities or events, including but not limited to exposure to trauma, harassment, abuse, work-overload, high-stakes demanding environment, working overtime (paid or unpaid), interacting with abusive clients/people, or discrimination. However, generally, psychiatric injuries will not be compensable if they are substantially caused by “good faith personnel actions” like demotions, terminations, lay-offs, and performance reviews – unless one can show that the personnel actions were not done in “good faith” for example the employer is guilty of age, disability or race discrimination, retaliation, in violation of union policies or employee handbook procedures.

It can be challenging to demonstrate to a workers’ compensation insurance company that an event that caused your psychiatric injury meets the criteria established by this. The experts at an Encino psychiatric workplace injury law firm can help you document your experiences and their impact on you to build a stronger case.

Did You Sustain a Psychiatric Workplace Injury in Encino? Questions to Ask Yourself

If you even suspect you have reason to file a workers’ compensation claim due to a psychiatric injury, meet with a qualified Encino psychiatric injury attorney. Their expertise will help you better understand whether you have grounds to seek compensation.

Psychiatric injuries can have a wide variety of symptoms, including:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
  • Memory difficulties or personality changes
  • Physical aches or pain
  • Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems, or loss of interest in sex — not caused by a medical condition or medication
  • Often wanting to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or tingling
  • Chest pain
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of being out of control

That said, asking yourself these questions now can provide you with some sense of whether you have a case:

  • Do you or your friends and family believe you have been exposed to significant work stress?
  • Have you or your friends and family noticed a negative change in your behavior, including any of the symptoms mentioned above?
  • Do you believe your symptoms are severe to the point they are negatively affecting your work, your social life or your emotional well-being?
  • Have your symptoms lasted more than a few months or are very severe?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms then it is likely helpful for you to seek professional health from a mental health expert. And if you believe your work has exposed you to a significant level of stress contributing to your psychiatric symptoms then you should contact our office for advice on a potential workers’ compensation claim.

Although proving you deserve compensation for a psychiatric injury resulting from work-related trauma may seem challenging, a lawyer can help you show you are genuinely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including medical care, temporary disability wage replacement and permanent disability monetary settlement, and even assistance in changing careers. To learn more about how our Encino psychiatric workplace injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach can help, contact us online or call us at 818-609-7005 to schedule your free consultation.

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