When you are injured at work, the Florida workers’ comp system is designed to provide medical care and other benefits while you are out of work. The system protects employers from being sued by injured workers while providing workers hurt on the job with much-needed care. While physical injuries clearly fall under the coverage provided by workers’ comp, mental injuries or nervous injuries are a complicated matter.
What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
Florida law states that a mental or nervous injury caused by stress, fright, or excitement is not considered a workplace injury. The only exception is when a physical injury also accompanies a mental injury. In other words, a physical injury must be the source of the mental injury for the mental injury to be covered by workers’ compensation. If the mental injury resulted in a physical injury, the employer is not responsible. This issue has been at the forefront lately due to the shooting at an Orlando nightclub. Many first responders have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when they witness such a brutal act. First responders and emergency personnel who work horrific scenes such as this one often need counseling. Unfortunately, some develop PTSD, but workers’ compensation does not cover PTSD unless the first responder suffered a physical injury too. A bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would make it possible for first responders to receive workers’ comp benefits for PTSD. However, the bill did not make it through the legislature this term. Groups have vowed to continue the fight on behalf of first responders. It is crucial that we provide the treatment first responders need for physical injuries AND mental injuries caused by their job. These are the individuals that put their lives on the line each day to protect us. We should work to ensure they receive the best care available when they need our help.
What Can I Do If I Am Suffering from Mental Stress Due to Work?
We urge you to seek help from a trained professional, regardless of whether your employer pays for the treatment. Your mental health and well-being are your first priority. However, we suggest keeping copies of all invoices and bills in addition to copies of all information regarding your treatment and diagnosis. If you believe the mental stress is directly caused by your job, you can consult a workers’ comp attorney to discuss your options. It is always best to seek the advice of an attorney who is an experienced Florida workers’ comp lawyer.
Call Now for Assistance in Filing a Florida Workers’ Comp Claim
If you have been injured at work or if you have questions regarding a workers’ comp claim, please call our office. The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Contact our office today 1-800-333-3903 to speak with an attorney. We represent individuals in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale & Miami, FL.