Not every type of work-related injury is wholly physical in nature. In some situations, the stressful nature of your job may cause you to experience both physical and mental side effects that can hurt your performance and impair your ability to function on a daily basis. In these instances, you may be eligible for a personal injury claim against your employer, particularly if you can prove the following four points.
Demonstrating the Physical Impact of Your Stress
In order to qualify for any kind of workers' compensation or a personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that you were demonstrably harmed by your employer's actions or inaction. The easiest way to do this is to submit evidence of physical damage, which may or may not apply in the case of stress. Stress has, however, been linked to a number of medical conditions, including headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, a weakened immune system, tooth grinding and more. You will in all likelihood need a statement from a doctor attributing any symptoms you show to stress and not an unrelated medical issue.
Evaluating the Mental Toll of Stress
Often, stress is primarily mental, which can be more difficult to prove in court. Anxiety, depression and emotional distress can all have a negative impact on your life, but they are less tangible than test results and doctors' testimony. In order to prove your claim, you may need to be assessed by a trained psychologist and turn over evidence that unnecessary stress at your workplace is the cause of your symptoms.
Documenting Stressors at Work
Once you have established the deleterious effects of stress on your life, you will need to show that your employer is to blame. While still acting within legal limits, begin recording any evidence you can find of the stress your job places on you. Take videos, hold on to emails and make note of any last-minute assignments or late nights at the office. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your claim will be.
Proving the Stress is Excessive for Your Role
Many jobs are stressful by nature, and some amount of stress is expected with any position of responsibility. What qualifies you for a personal injury claim is undue stress, which no employee should reasonably be expected to endure. Your personal injury attorney (like those at Littman & Babiarz Law Office) will help you sort all of the evidence you have accumulated into a compelling narrative, thoroughly outlining your situation and comparing it to the working conditions of similar employees at other businesses. With enough documentation and a strong case, you should be able to receive fair compensation for the strain, fatigue and anxiety you have experienced at work.