Does Workers Compensation Cover Emotional or Mental Trauma?
By Chris Dixon
The system of workers compensation is designed to compensate an employee that was injured on the job for any present or future lost wages they’ve experienced because of the accident, as well as compensation for medical care. While workers compensation covers medical expenses, it doesn’t cover emotional or mental trauma such as depression or anxiety, otherwise known as pain and suffering damages. That being said, in some states, chronic pain, PTSD, and other chronic mental and emotional conditions allow for additional compensation to be recovered with a workers compensation claim.
If you have suffered mental or emotional trauma because of a workplace accident, and are unsure if your state allows workers compensation benefits for chronic mental or emotional trauma, hiring an experienced lawyer to represent your case can shed light on the workers compensation process, determine your eligibility to recover benefits, and offer support during this trying time.
How are Workers Compensation Benefits Calculated?
Workers compensation laws vary in each state, and there are many elements involved with calculating a settlement. For example, in one state, an employee that suffers chronic injuries because of a workplace accident might receive $800/week in workers compensation benefits, but in another state, a similarly injured employee might be eligible to recover $1,200/week because of their state’s workers compensation laws.
While the amount of weekly benefits that an injured employee is eligible to recover ranges significantly from state to state, the same factors are considered when calculating a settlement. These include:
- The employee’s employment status – are they part-time or full-time?
- How long have they been employed with the company? – less than or more than a year?
- What type of disability did they suffer? – Medical only, temporary partial, temporary total, permanent partial, or permanent total disability?
- How much did the employee make before the accident? – this is used to determine the amount of weekly benefits the victim can receive; the formula that is used in each state varies, but is generally between $400-$1,200/week
- Total cost of expenses and lost wages – what was the cost of medical care for the accident? How much work did the employee have to miss because of their injuries?
What Type of Workers Compensation Benefits Can I Receive?
If you are injured in a workplace accident in Colorado, the number of benefits that you are eligible to receive will differ from the benefits that are eligible for recovery in Missouri workers compensation accidents. For example, in Colorado, workers compensation victims can recover compensation for lost wages and medical expenses that occurred because of a workplace accident and up to $7,000 in funeral expenses, but in the State of Missouri, a workers compensation victim is eligible to recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and in the case of an employee’s death, up to $5,000 in funeral expenses.
Unlike personal injury claims, if a person suffers mental, physical, or emotional distress from a workplace accident, they are ineligible to receive workers compensation benefits for pain and suffering. However, in most states, if an employee is injured on the job, and develops chronic pain or PTSD because of the accident, they could be eligible to recover additional workers compensation benefits for their harm and any loss of life satisfaction that occurred because of the workplace accident by citing mental-mental or mental-physical injuries.
Talk to an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer About Your Case Today
Workers compensation is a complex system that can often be intimidating. If you have been injured at work and the question, “does workers compensation cover mental and emotional trauma?” keeps popping into your head, you need an experienced lawyer on your side representing your case. Without sufficient knowledge of your state’s laws, you risk recovering less compensation for your workers’ compensation claim. An experienced lawyer understands every facet of your state’s workers compensation laws and can make sure that you have the evidence you need to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your harm and losses.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a workers compensation accident, and you need a lawyer to help you determine if you can recover benefits for emotional or mental trauma, don’t hesitate to call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-CRASH, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation and explore the options available to your case with our experienced Workers Compensation Lawyers.
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