Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition experienced by individuals who have witnessed a traumatic event. If such an event has occurred at your workplace while performing your job duties, you may receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover for your PTSD condition.
It is essential that you immediately seek medical attention if you think you might have PTSD symptoms. Such a mental health condition should not be taken lightly, because it can as serious as a physical injury, and it should be addressed in a timely manner. If you wait for the symptoms of anxiety and stress to become more apparent or worse, your treatment will probably take longer, and it may also become difficult for you to file for a workers’ compensation claim.
Situations Causing PTSD at Work
There are several professions where individuals are exposed to events on a daily basis that can leave traumatic effects on the brain, such as emergency medical technicians, firefighters, police officers, and several others. Aside from these, some examples of situations where employees can develop PTSD are:
- A factory employee witnessed their colleague getting a serious injury at the workplace.
- A teacher experienced a school shooting incident.
- A construction worker saw another working dying in a gruesome way.
Such situations and many others can result in symptoms of PTSD, which may affect their performance at the workplace, as well as their personal life. In some cases, symptoms don’t surface until weeks or months after the traumatic event. Unfortunately, more than a quarter of the PTSD cases involve delayed expression of symptoms, and winning the workers’ compensation claims in such cases can be difficult.
The Symptoms of PTSD
Since every person responds to a traumatic situation differently, post-traumatic stress disorder may yield a wide variety of symptoms, which may vary from situation to situation. The following are some common mental or emotional symptoms found in the victims of PTSD:
- Being easily startled
- Emotional detachment
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Irritability and anger
- Concentration and memory problems
- Obsessive compulsive behavior
- Violent or self-destructive behavior
Aside from the psychological effects, some people also suffer from physical symptoms, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
Regardless of the severity of PTSD, workers’ compensation laws allow you to receive certain benefits. However, in cases where the impact of PTSD is detrimental and more severe, you may be eligible to receive more benefits.
Filing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you have witnessed a traumatic event at your workplace and think you are experiencing some of the above symptoms, you should talk to your employer and doctor immediately. You need to act promptly because there are strict deadlines for reporting work-related conditions, and delaying can jeopardize your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer will provide you with forms to file for workers’ compensation claim after consulting your situation with the doctor.
Under Illinois law, you are eligible for getting workers’ compensation benefits for PTSD experienced from a workplace accident. If your employer is depriving you of your rights, you should talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to file your claim and fight on your behalf. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.