Psychiatric Injury Claims

Mental, Legal Communities Question Cuts in California Workers’ Compensation Mental Health Benefits

By Kenton Koszdin on September 25, 2012 - Comments off

Mental Health Workers CompensationRecent changes in California’s workers’ compensation laws have been cheered by some professionals for saving the state money, cutting overall increases in workers’ compensation insurance rates and improving benefits for long-term disabilities. However, some in the state’s medical and legal communities are concerned that the changes will decrease the mental health benefits available under workers’ compensation.

Currently, workers’ compensation benefits are available for both physical and psychological injuries caused by an on-the-job accident or illness. Under the recent changes, however, workers’ compensation benefits will no longer be available for mental health problems that are secondary to a physical injury.

Coverage for the initial physical injury, including long-term disability benefits, is still available. However, coverage for psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorders would not be available if these conditions result from the physical injury, instead of from the accident. For instance, a worker who loses a hand in a machine accident may have coverage for the amputation injury, but not for depression that results from no longer being able to participate in a beloved hobby due to the loss of the hand.

Critics of this change say that it represents a huge backwards step in workers’ compensation coverage. Covering physical injuries but not resulting mental health conditions does not adequately cover all the harms caused by the workplace incident.

At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, our focused southern California workers’ compensation claim attorneys can help you determine which benefits you qualify for and get the full benefits amount to which you are entitled. Call us today at (800) 438-7734 for a free, confidential consultation.

 

California Court of Appeals Clarifies “Sudden and Extraordinary” Exception for Psychiatric Injuries

By Kenton Koszdin on July 3, 2012 - Comments off

The California Court of Appeals recently clarified the “sudden and extraordinary” exception for workers’ compensation for psychiatric injuries. The ruling makes it more difficult, but not impossible, for workers to get compensation for psychiatric injuries when they haven’t been on the job for very long.

Currently, California’s workers’ compensation law provides coverage for physical injuries starting on day one of employment. However, there is a six-month wait for coverage for psychiatric injuries. The exception to this rule is if a worker’s psychiatric injuries are caused by a “sudden and extraordinary” event; in these situations, the worker can get coverage for psychiatric injuries even if he or she has been on the job for less than six months.

The Court of Appeals considered what an “extraordinary” situation involves. It ruled that in order for a situation to be “extraordinary,” it must be the kind of event “that would naturally be expected to cause psychic disturbances even in a diligent and honest employee.” Gas main explosions and violent events in the workplace were listed as two possible examples of “extraordinary” events. The Court of Appeals also held that it is up to the injured worker to prove an event was “sudden and extraordinary.”

California workers’ compensation exists to protect workers who suffer an injury while on the job. If you’ve suffered an on the job injury, a knowledgeable southern California workers’ compensation attorney at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office can help you get the full benefits to which you are entitled. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (800) 438-7734.

 

This site complies with Business and Professions Code §5499.30 (Unlawful Advertising of Legal Services to Obtain Workers' Compensation Benefits); Labor Code §9823 (General Workers' Compensation Advertising Rules).; and Labor Code §5432 (Advertisement to Solicit Workers' Compensation Claims; Mandatory Notice or Statement).

Making a false or fraudulent workers' compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

The information you obtain at this site is not; nor is it intended, to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. The information presented at this site should not be construed to establish a lawyer/client relationship.

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