The mental stress accompanying a worker’s compensation claim can be agonizing. In most cases, experienced workers compensation lawyers end up counseling their clients with regards to why legal action can save them from their apathy and they need not visit a psychologist or psychiatrist to get over their woes. Such situations generally arise in cases where the impairment becomes severe and the worker in question has been taken off his job. With little or no savings to fall back upon, he or she is often left wondering about the fate of the compensation for the lost time.
Thankfully, there is a very strong and rigid regulatory system in place that allows workers to be adequately compensated under the prevailing workers’ compensation law. But the big question that comes to the fore is, “Will the worker be compensated in any way for the mental harassment inflicted on him or her?”
Well, the answer is no. A Virginia workers compensation lawyer would reveal that in general parlance, mental stress fails to be compensable. Under the laid down regulations of Virginia Workers’ Compensation Law, gradual infliction of any kind of mental stress by a supervisor or work cannot be termed as a compensable “accident” or “disease.” The Workers’ Compensation Commission specifies that all compensable accidents have to occur at any given point of time, and so, gradually caused mental stress does not qualify as any kind of accident as per this definition. Additionally, mental stress cannot be rated as an occupational disease without being shown that the stress so caused is “characteristic” to the employment in question and serves to be an impossible burden normally.
However, there are certain exceptions to the rule. For instance, if the claimant works in a highly stressful occupation, then it is possible for him or her to show that the suffered “mental stress” is a specific characteristic of the said employment. For instance, The Commission had found that an emergency dispatcher had been employed in a particular occupation wherein stress happened to be a characteristic feature of the employment.
The second exception to the rule pertains to the instance where the claimant suffers from a compensable “disease” or “accident” that causes or aggravates depression or mental stress; then, the inflicted aggravation might be compensable. Nonetheless, it is advisable to check this with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Virginia.Share This Article: