Understanding the Emotional Trauma of Workplace Injuries

by | Jul 4, 2018 | Jobs Featured

Fatal workplace injuries rose by 7%, with transportation incidents accounting for one out of every four fatal workplace-related injuries in 2016, according to the latest data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries report. These numbers are a huge concern, especially when it comes to dealing with the resulting injury claims. While everyone understands the physical toll that comes with fatal injuries – head injuries, spinal injuries, cuts, bruises and broken bones, in most cases, employers who play a critical role in protecting employees and ensuring the fair settlement of claims through their insurers, fall short of helping injured victims deal with the emotional trauma that follows after experiencing workplace injuries.

Emotional trauma can lead to long-term symptoms, and unfortunately, most employers don’t often see to it that injured victims get the necessary emotional support and resources needed to help them recover. Here, we provide some insights into the emotional trauma of workplace injuries:

Emotional Trauma in the Eyes of Your Employer

For most injured victims, there is often a small distinction between the challenges created by physical injuries and the emotional experiences and trauma after sustaining fatal injuries. There is no doubt that both can be equally stressful, but for employers, there’s often a clear depiction between these two. Emotional trauma is not usually covered in most general liability policies. In fact, as noted by Tait and Hall, insurers define “bodily harm” in their insurance policies as bodily injury, disease or sickness sustained by an individual, including death that results from any of these. Your employer will pay for expenses associated with your physical injuries, such as ambulance fees, doctor’s fees, hospital bills, physical rehabilitation and legal costs, but will likely deny your emotional claim.

Emotional Trauma is Real

Because most general liability policies don’t include emotional trauma as part of bodily injuries or harm, it can be extremely challenging for severely injured employees to convince courts that their emotional trauma deserves to be considered as part of their damages in order to facilitate smoother recovery and wellbeing. According to a Disability Secrets article, fatal workplace injuries can lead to more complex mental issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This form of mental trauma can result in various symptoms like loss of concentration, detachment, insomnia, irritability and estrangement from loved ones. Any employee injured in their workplace deserves full compensation for both physical injuries and mental pain caused, including emotional trauma. That’s why having reliable legal representation matters when it comes to getting fair compensation or settlement for your personal injury case.

Treatment Options for Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma is not like physical injuries that can be diagnosed and treated by simply visiting a medical facility. Psychological problems require more specialized diagnosis and treatment methods to deal with the various symptoms like depression and PTSD. The most common treatment options available include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy,  psychiatric therapy and occupational therapy. Your doctor will evaluate you and determine the most suitable treatment method. The earlier you start treatment for emotional trauma caused by a fatal workplace injury, the sooner you can recover. Understanding the recommended emotional trauma recovery process by medical experts is important.

If you have sustained fatal workplace-related injuries that have resulted in emotional trauma, you have the right to non-economic damages like emotional trauma, on top of your injury damages. With proper documentation from an experienced medical expert and representation by an established personal injury or worker’s compensation attorney, you can get compensated for the emotional trauma and the associated treatment expenses.

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