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Tips For Proving You Deserve Workers' Comp For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Law Articles

Not all of the effects of an on-the-job accident are physical. After broken bones and sore muscles heal, some workers find that they struggle with mental-health issues that were not present prior to the incident. One common condition that occurs after an accident is post-traumatic stress disorder, which is often referred to as PTSD. More than 7.8 million Americans have this condition, and there is no cure - which is why it's vital to build a strong workers' compensation case before you hit the courtroom. Follow the tips below to increase your chances of landing the financial settlement you deserve.

Verify Start Date

In order to receive compensation for PTSD, you must prove that you become afflicted with the condition as a direct result of a workplace incident. The accident must have been caused by the negligence of your employer, and you must not have been diagnosed with similar symptoms or the same condition prior to the event. You can verify the start date by having your physician write a letter to the judge or bringing in medical records that show that your PTSD is not a preexisting condition.  

If you failed to wear mandatory safety gear or follow proper protocol and procedures, it might be difficult to prove your case. However, that does not mean that you have zero chance of winning. Talk to a workers' compensation attorney about the incident to figure out whether you have a valid claim.

Follow Medical Recommendations

It's difficult to prove that PTSD has had a significant impact on your life if you do not abide by your doctors' orders. Take all medications as prescribed, even if you feel you do not need them. Do not skip physical therapy sessions or counseling appointments, even for conditions other than your PTSD. Attending healthcare appointments helps establish a paper trail, and that can be beneficial when you're on the stand. 

Have you been cancelling medical appointments because you're worried about how you can afford to pay for them? If a doctor or hospital knows that you are filing a claim for workers' compensation, you may be eligible for fee-free appointments and medical procedures. It's possible that you may still have to pay for prescription drugs out of pocket, but some doctors have samples in their office, and they can also give you coupons or rebate forms for some medications. Save the receipts for anything that you pay for on your own so that you can request reimbursement in court.

Keep a Daily Log

PTSD causes a wide host of symptoms, including fatigue and short-term memory loss. If you are plagued by either of these symptoms, you may find it difficult to present your case in the courtroom. A skilled workers comp lawyer can help, but he can't speak for you the entire time. Documenting your symptoms and daily struggles since the accident can help you remember important things that you want to mention in court. 

There are different ways to record your symptoms. You can use a notebook or planner, or you can type them in a document and print them out before the court date. Make sure that everything is organized so that you can easily find what you need, as the judge probably won't have time to read your entire symptom log. You can also help your case by making sure your log book contains written statements from people who have seen how PTSD has affected your life.

Stress can worsen the symptoms of PTSD, so handling a workers' comp case on your own is not an ideal plan. Get the financial compensation you're entitled to by hiring an attorney from a professional team like Schiller, Kessler & Gomez, PLC to help you with your case.


2 June 2015