Depression is a serious medical condition that affects your mental and physical health, but diagnosing the condition and pinpointing its root cause is much harder than spotting a physical condition like a broken bone in your arm. Because it’s harder to pinpoint what’s causing your depression, and because many factors may lead to your depression, it’s not easy to collect workers compensation if you’ve been diagnosed with depression. That being said, it’s not impossible. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how you can collect workers’ compensation if you’ve been diagnosed with depression.
Depression and Workers’ Compensation
Some people love their jobs, while others don’t exactly look forward to their next shift. Because a job can be a source of stress and pressure, it’s certainly possible that it could negatively affect your mental health and may even contribute to your depressive symptoms. That being said, just because you hate your job, it doesn’t mean you’re eligible to collect workers’ compensation because you’re feeling depressed.
So how can you collect workers’ compensation if you’ve been diagnosed with depression? That depends on your ability to prove a causal connection between your condition and a work incident. The burden of proof falls on the employee, so it’s going to take a strong case to prove your point. That’s why we recommend that you always consider hiring an attorney if you’re hoping to collect workers’ compensation for a mental health condition.
The most common instance where you can be compensated for depression or PTSD is after a work accident that involves a physical injury. For example, if you suffered a catastrophic injury at work and lost an arm or developed chronic migraines that rendered you unable to hold a job, you may end up developing depression because of the physical, mental and emotional toll of the accident. If you can point to a work accident and make a case as to how a physical injury also caused psychological damage, you may be eligible for compensation. But again, it won’t be easy, and your lawyer will need to provide a clear and convincing argument that connects your mental health symptoms to your previous work injury.
However, you don’t always need to be injured in order to collect workers’ compensation for depression. You may also be eligible for compensation if you witnessed an incident that had a grave impact on your mental health, and your doctor believes the incident and your depression are related. For example, if you saw a co-worker get severely injured, and you have been having health problems because of the mental effect the incident caused, you may also be able to collect compensation.
It’s not going to be easy, and it will only get harder if any of the following factors are present:
- You were previously treated for depression (suggesting it had its roots outside of work)
- Your depression is caused by normal work conditions, like deadlines, sales goals, etc.
- There are no physical injuries
- You have not been clinically diagnosed with depression
- You refuse treatment
It’s going to be an uphill battle, so don’t fight it alone. Talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer and explain your case. We only get paid when you win your case, so we’re not going to fight a winless battle. Let us make a strong case as to why you should be compensated for your work-related mental health condition. For more information, or for help with your case, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today.
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