Workers’ Compensation and Depression After a Workplace Injury?
In the United States, almost one in 10 adults suffers from depression. Of those adults, only half ever seek treatment. At Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C., we are reminded daily of the impact serious workplace injuries have on many aspects of the employee’s life. From a loss of functionality at work…to the disruption of income…to the inability to enjoy hobbies and home life—workplace injuries can be devastating. Add to it the chronic pain many are left to deal with, and often times, it leads to depression. What many people don’t know, is that post-injury depression may be compensable as part of a workers’ compensation claim. Understanding the following topics is critical in this type of case.
- How Do I Know If I’m Entitled to Compensation?
- If I Suffered From Depression Before, Will I Qualify?
- Steps to Take
- Free Depression Screenings
How Do I Know if I’m Entitled to Compensation?
The first step in understanding whether you’re entitled to workers’ compensation, is to determine whether you suffered a physical injury first from a workplace accident. If you’re seeking compensation for depression based on stress at work, the chances of you winning your case are very unlikely.
If you’ve been injured on the job and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, chances are a physician would diagnose you with depression.
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Loss of interest of pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Decreased energy
- Excessive sleeping during the day
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty remembering things
- Overeating due to stress
- Weight loss due to having no appetite
- Crying spells
- Thoughts of harming yourself
If I Suffered from Depression Before, Will I Qualify?
Being diagnosed before a workplace injury does not necessarily mean workers’ compensation won’t cover treatment for your mental health. If the injury worsened your condition, you may have a case. The key is making certain you have medical evidence that supports the argument that the workplace injury aggravated or worsened your pre-existing condition.
Steps to Take
If you have symptoms, contact your physician right away. They may prescribe medication or refer you to a healthcare provider who focuses on mental health. Such providers could include psychiatrists, psychologists or a mental health counselor. If your physician does not provide a referral, ask the insurance company for a list of specialists to choose from. The most important thing to remember along the way is to document everything. If you have an attorney, they can handle all of this for you.
If you’ve been injured on the job and are dealing with depression as a result, you may have a case. It can be a complicated process. Get the answers and advice you need by contacting Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation. Call Georgelis First so we can help you move forward with your life. We’re available 24/7 and there’s never a fee unless we get money for you!
October is National Depression Awareness Month. On October 11th, organizations and communities across the U.S. will be observing “National Depression Screening Day.” It’s a day to educate people about the signs and symptoms of depression, and to deliver free and anonymous behavioral health screenings. To help combat depression, there are several locations participating throughout the state and a free online screening tool.