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Stress-Related Illness and Workers’ Compensation - A Complicated Matter

Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Attorney

When people think about workers’ compensation, they generally think of people who have suffered major, life-altering physical injuries. But as our understanding of what an “injury” is changes, laws are changing to keep pace. One major area that is evolving rapidly is our understanding of what stress can do to a body and the real injuries which it can cause. As we come to better understand these stress-related injuries, it becomes easier for those who suffer them to be compensated. That doesn’t mean it is easy though—succeeding in a stress-related workers’ compensation claim can be difficult and you need to have a good understanding of both the facts and the law. The Connecticut workers’ compensation attorneys at Leighton, Katz & Drapeau can help you make your case.

What Is a Stress-Related Injury?

Workplace stress can cause a variety of different stress-related injuries. The most extreme form is called PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder. This is generally only seen in those whose encounter traumatic situations in their jobs. First responders, such as police, firefighters, or paramedics, may suffer PTSD as a result of their work. However, a high-stress workplace can cause many other issues that, while not as dramatic, are just as real. Here are just a few problems that workplace stress can cause:

  • Insomnia
  • Digestive problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • TMJ, a joint disorder which causes a “clicking” jaw
  • Hair loss
  • Tinnitus

How Do You Make a Claim?

It can be difficult to show that you have a compensable stress injury under Connecticut’s workers’ compensation law. There are three different types of workplace stress claims— “physical/mental,” “mental/physical,” and “mental/mental.”

Physical/mental happens when a physical injury, caused on the job, leads to a psychological injury. Suffering depression after a serious on-the-job injury is a good example.

Mental/physical is when the circumstances of your work cause stress to such an extreme degree that there are physical effects. An example here might be a heart attack resulting from job-related stress.

Mental/mental is when the worker suffers a psychological injury from purely non-physical causes. PTSD, as described above, is often mental/mental. This is generally not compensable under Connecticut law; however, the law is shifting to provide some compensation for firefighters and police officers who suffer PTSD as a result of certain occurrences.

Successfully making a claim is difficult and fact-intensive, and having the right attorney can make all the difference. If you’re having trouble making your stress-related workers’ compensation claim, the Connecticut injury firm of Leighton, Katz & Drapeau can help.

If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied, Call a Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

If you have suffered a stress-related illness in the workplace, make sure you hire an attorney with the experience you need to assist you with proving this often-complicated case. Leighton, Katz & Drapeau is a firm that focuses on all types of injury cases and can make sure you are compensated for your injuries. Contact us today for a free, no risk consultation at 860-875-7000. Serving the greater Hartford area.