Experienced Attorneys in New Jersey Fighting For Victims of Occupational Stress
Everyone gets stressed at work. Employees are under an increasing amount of pressure to work harder, better, and faster in order to maintain job security in an ever-shrinking market. When stress goes untreated, it can cause a host of problems including headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression and other serious illnesses. If stress from your job is adversely affecting your physical or emotional health, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation.
The Basics of Occupational Stress
Typical Workers’ Compensation claims involve a physical injury or illness caused by unsafe working conditions. Stress related claims are different because they are often psychological in nature, although high levels of stress can also cause physical symptoms. Unlike a broken bone or burn injury, the effects of stress may be difficult to see, making occupational stress claims difficult to prove. The lawyers at Shebell & Shebell know how to prove these types of claims.
1. Objectively Stressful Working Conditions
To file a claim for occupational stress disability in New Jersey, you must first demonstrate that your disability resulted from objectively stressful working conditions. In other words, the stressors must be of a nature that they would be stressful to anyone. If you are highly sensitive to common work stressors, such as pressure to meet deadlines, you will not be eligible for Workers’ Compensation. But if the conditions would be intolerable for anyone, for example a threatening and harassing boss, you may have a viable claim.
2. Stressful Conditions Caused Your Psychiatric Disability
Employees must also establish that stressful work conditions caused their psychiatric disability. If one suffers psychological disability due to factors that are not employment-related, for example a genetic predisposition to mental illness combined with marital difficulties and substance abuse problems, they will probably not be eligible for benefits. But if you have medical evidence demonstrating that stressful working conditions are the primary cause of your disability, you may be eligible.
3. The Stressful Conditions Are Peculiar to Your Workplace
Finally, one must show that the stress is peculiar to their particular workplace. For example, an employee who is laid off cannot claim that this event caused work-related stress, because being laid-off can happen anywhere. However, back to our example of the threatening and harassing boss—this is an example of a stressful condition peculiar to your workplace. If you worked at a rival company, you probably wouldn’t be working under the same stressful conditions because that supervisor would not be there.
Compensation for Occupational Stress Claims
If you are disabled due to occupational stress, you may be entitled to medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, and a monetary award based on the severity of your stress related injury. If you think that you are being adversely affected by occupational stress, and would like to discuss your options, the experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Shebell & Shebell provide free consultations. Call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online today.
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