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Fort Lauderdale Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > My Work Injury Has Caused PTSD: Can I Seek Workers’ Compensation?

My Work Injury Has Caused PTSD: Can I Seek Workers’ Compensation?


Sometimes workplace accidents or traumatic incidents are so severe that they result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or another type of mental harm. Indeed, according to a study reported in BioMedCentral, “exposure to traumatic events in the workplace is common,” and many of these events are underreported. As a result, researchers suggest that “a large number of workers are exposed to accidents at work that may result in physical and psychological trauma.” In particular, workers involved in industrial accidents tend to experience psychological consequences, as well as employees subject to mass disaster situations and circumstances in the workplace involving violence or the death of a colleague. In some situations, these types of psychological injuries may be compensable through the Florida workers’ compensation system.

What is PTSD? 

According to the BioMedCentral study, PTSD is “a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event such as experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event involving actual or threatened death or serious injury.” There are also other types of trauma-related disorders that can affect workers. According to Healthline, while PTSD is the best-known type of trauma-related disorder, there are many others that a person can be diagnosed with following involvement in a traumatic workplace incident.

All of the following are types of trauma-related disorders that could impact employees in South Florida:

  • PTSD;
  • Reactive attachment disorder (RAD);
  • Disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED);
  • Acute stress disorder (ASD);
  • Adjustment disorder;
  • Anxiety disorders;
  • Substance abuse disorders;
  • Depressive disorders;
  • Personality disorders; and
  • Dissociative disorders.

When PTSD or Other Types of Trauma-Related Disorders Can Result in Workers’ Compensation Coverage 

Mental or nervous disorders, as they are described in the Florida Statutes, can be compensable under certain circumstances. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • To be eligible for workers’ compensation for a mental or nervous injury like PTSD or another trauma-related disorder, the disorder cannot be the only injury — it must be linked to a physical injury that arose out of your work (according to the statute, “a mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement only is not an injury by accident arising out of the employment”);
  • Mental or nervous injuries have to occur as a manifestation of a physical injury;
  • The physical injury must be at least 50 percent responsible for the mental or nervous injury, and you will need to prove this by “reasonable medical certainty”; and
  • You must be able to demonstrate that your mental or nervous injury is a manifestation of a physical workplace injury by the heightened evidentiary standard of “clear and convincing evidence.”

Contact Our West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Attorneys 

Were you recently involved in a serious accident at work, or diagnosed with a work-related illness or condition, that has also resulted in psychological consequences such as PTSD? Depending upon the nature of your injuries, and the relationship between your physical and psychological trauma, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation coverage in connection with your mental injury. It is important to seek advice from an experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. since the process can be complicated for seeking compensation for mental or nervous injuries. Our firm is here to help you, and we will assist you every step of the way with your case.


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