Does Workers’ Comp Cover Mental Illnesses Caused by Workplace Injuries?
If you’ve been injured at work, it’s easy to focus on the physical injury. Workplace injuries can be traumatic experiences, and they often come with a lot of stress and change to your routine. It’s not surprising that many patients develop “mental injuries” alongside their physical ones. If you’ve developed a mental condition as a result of your workplace injury, you might be asking if that is also covered by workers’ compensation.
Many patients develop conditions such as anxiety or depression after an injury at work. While these conditions are a result of the injury, they often don’t manifest immediately after the injury. Instead they’ll develop over time as a result of the trauma and stress of your injury, as the result of chronic pain, or as a result of your inability to work.
North Carolina courts have said that workman’s compensation carriers are responsible for providing medical treatment for not only your initial injury or disease, but also for any condition that develops as a “direct and natural consequence” of your compensable condition.
Because of this, it’s important that you speak with your doctor about any mental issues or symptoms that you think may have been caused by your injury. That way your doctor will be able to give their opinion as to whether the conditions are actually related. You’ll want to make sure that any relationship between your initial injury and developed conditions is recorded so that you can present it as evidence.
If you’ve been injured at work, be sure to work with an experienced attorney who understands the law and what you need to know to protect your rights. Don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation.