Work can be a hazard to your health both physically and mentally. The causes can range from bullying and sexual harassment to emotional trauma in the workplace due to witnessing a death or violence, or continuous conflicts with coworkers, the boss or employers. These situations can be a nightmare and it can affect your life and health as well as your job.
If you’ve tried to resolve these problems via appropriate avenues, with your employer e.g., with no success and you feel you are being subjected to psychiatric injury or harm, you might be wondering about a comp claim. Before you do, you should consider whether you’re eligible, what is required, what options are available to you, and the factors in successful claims to ascertain your chances of succeeding. Always consult your personal injury lawyer in Sydney for advice before lodging any claims or giving up. For successful claims for compensation work-related harm or injury of a psychiatric nature in NSW, you must have suffered a recognised psychiatric condition, and preferably one that’s been diagnosed by a psychiatrist.
Psychiatric Injury Claims and Workers Compensation
Workplace psychological injury may be the result of different events including:
- work-related harassment and bullying
- experiencing or exposure to a traumatic event
- violence at work
- high work pressure
- job insecurity
You cannot claim workers comp for a psychological injury without being able to provide acceptable medical evidence that your psychological or psychiatric disorder has resulted from your employment. A medical certificate for mental stress is not enough to claim comp for a psychiatric injury sustained at work. You will need to fill in forms, be assessed by an accredited specialist to determine whether you are eligible. Your lawyer will arrange this for you but will also tell you that claims for work related psychiatric injury are made less frequently than those for physical injury. The reason is because claims for psychiatric injury workers comp can be much more complex, with lower chances of eventual return to your usual employment and longer periods of time off work. Psychological (psychiatric) injury claims can greatly affect the wellbeing of the worker who has been injured, employers, and in the end, the community(1)
Where Psychological Compensation Claims Fail
If your mental health problem is caused (or is mainly caused) by reasonable management action by your employer, then your employer can claim no liability and your claim for psychiatric injury workers comp will not be accepted. This means that any action by bosses or employers to demote, transfer, dismiss or retrench a worker will not be accepted as a reason for psychiatric injury if it can be successfully argued that such actions were reasonable. If your employer wants you to participate in an appraisal of your performance, this can also be deemed ‘reasonable action’. Your Sydney lawyers will be able to advise you about your particular case and what compensation amount a payout for psychological injury is likely to be, so don’t hesitate to make contact as soon as possible if you sustain a psychological injury at work.
Your lawyers will help you to complete forms and lodge any claims for psychiatric injury in the workplace, so don’t hesitate to contact PK Simpson and a lawyer will talk you through the process of your particular case.
You’re in safe hands with PK Simpson –
We can help you receive workers comp for your psychiatric damage
Psychological Damage & Worker’s Compensation
Expert workers comp injury lawyers know that it’s much less complicated to establish negligence in cases of physical injury than it is for claims of psychiatric damage, because the latter is complex and much harder to prove. Sadly, the person making the claim is often the reason for this, because they don’t fully understand the cause of their injury – it’s intangible, and can be hard to connect the cause of the damage to the incident or incidents.
With workplace claims of psychological damage, an employee might have been reluctant to tell anyone about an incident for fear of losing their job. In this case, telling the employer or employers would be difficult for them. Then there’s the stigma surrounding mental conditions which makes people reticent about disclosing their psychological damage. If employers are not aware of their employee’s psychiatric damage or mental difficulties, it makes it hard to establish employer negligence. Being unaware of the distress the employee is undergoing means employers cannot take any reasonable, preventative steps.
No Win – No Fee – and at PK Simpson, your workers comp lawyer will arrange and pay for all medical reports for free, so there is no financial strain on your part –
We also win over 99 percent of cases!
Whole Person Impairment and Psychological Injury
Part of your assessment for eligibility to make a workers comp psychiatric injury claim
is whether or not such injury has impaired at least 15 per cent of your ‘whole person’. This way of assessing a person’s injury was brought in to make the process fair, so anyone with a comparable injury can be granted a similar payment amount. Your level of impairment must be assessed by an accredited medical specialist trained in the exact method used to decide how much your psychological injury has affected your ability to function and your whole life.
The specialist will take into account all test results and medical reports, evidence from members of your family and others, as well as your own account of your injury and how it affects you. The specialist will have an opinion about the severity of your psychiatric injury and how long it is expected to affect you.
For over 35 years, PK Simpson has been helping the people of NSW get the workers comp they are entitled to receive –
Our team is made up of top workers compensation lawyer professionals with the skills and experience to make sure your claim is successful
Why You Will Need Legal Help to Make a Claim
The process of lodging a claim for psychiatric damage, proving that you have been injured and how it has affected your life and wellbeing is very difficult and stressful in itself, but not impossible. However, you cannot do it alone and will need the help and support of a specialist lawyer in Sydney. The support and advice from a very experienced and talented legal team is invaluable and crucial to your success.
Lawyers who are experienced and familiar with the challenges that can arise in workers comp cases are equipped with knowledge and insight and will listen to everything you have to tell them. They will consider all the hardships you’re likely to encounter during your claims process and explain them to you while guiding you towards the right decisions. There’s a huge relief for claimants when they realise they have been heard, and that they have someone to argue for them and represent their best interests in any negotiations for the best possible result.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive For Psychological Damage?
Emotional trauma can be devastating and severely affect a person’s quality of life. As mentioned above, under the Workers Compensation Scheme, a minimum threshold of 15 per cent Whole Person Impairment (WPI) is necessary for granting a lump sum compensation amount for a psychological injury sustained in the workplace. This threshold is a lot higher and harder to reach compared to a physical injury at 11 per cent.
The amount you could receive for psychiatric damage varies depending on the extent of the injury and impairment. Factors include the severity and length of time your injury is likely to persist.
The Process of Proving Psychological Injury
The process for successful claims for psychological injury in the workplace entails providing enough medical proof of the extent of the damage and that it affects your ability to function normally. You must consult an authorised specialist to assess your condition and agree to tests to determine the amount of damage.
The specialist will consider your statement, previous test results, medical reports and statements from your family, co-workers and friends. If the specialist finds 15 per cent or more of psychiatric impairment, you ought to be able to make a worker’s comp claim.
Types of Psychological Injury at Work
A work-related psychological injury – whether it stems from a physical injury or distress in the workplace – can involve a wide range of symptoms. The types of psychological injury at work can be different for each individual.
Diagnosing and treating a psychological injury is not always clear-cut, since not every worker who sustains a psychological injury experiences the same symptoms. Workers who have been subjected to bullying or other injuries and suffer anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and adjustment disorder may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Social withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Concentration difficulties
- Loss of appetite
- Fear and chronic anxiety
If you or someone you know has suffered a work-related psychological injury and feel that you are entitled to claim compensation, call PK Simpson on 02 9299 1424 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment to come and see us to talk to a competent and experienced Workcover knowledgeable lawyer about your issue.