Can I Recover Damages for a Mental Injury at Work in Missouri?

Mental injuries can occur as a result of a physical accident or from a stressful or unhealthy workplace.

Traditionally, people associate workplace injuries with physical ailments, like a broken arm or back injury. These injuries are relatively easy to see and file a claim for. However, mental or psychological injuries can be just as debilitating and painful. Read on to see what benefits you may be entitled to if you’ve sustained a mental injury in Missouri.

severely depressed missouri worker

What are Mental or Psychological Injuries?

Mental or psychological issues can include (but are not limited to) depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These issues can occur as a result of a physical accident or from a stressful or unhealthy workplace. Mental issues can lead to medical bills, loss of wages, and other damages associated with physical issues.

Mental Injury Sometimes Comes with Physical Injury

In many cases, a mental injury occurs as a result of a physical injury. Missouri defines these injuries into three categories:

  • Physical Mental – When an employee is first physically injured and suffers a mental injury. As a result, this is called a “Physical Mental” injury. An employee unable to work may feel worthless and depressed or anxious if their injuries will truly heal. Workers who suffer these injuries may be able to receive therapy and prescription medication to treat their symptoms. This is generally the simplest kind of mental injury.
  • Mental Physical – The opposite of the above, in this case, a traumatic event has made it physically impossible for the employee to work. If a construction worker witnessed a fellow employee suffered a deadly injury and began suffering panic attacks at the thought of returning to work, this would be a “Mental Physical” injury. Because the mental injury leads to physical incapability, it can be trickier to document.
  • Mental mental –  An employee cannot work purely because of a mental problem, such as bullying-induced depression in the workplace. Because of the “invisible” nature of mental injuries, it can be tough to establish this claim, especially if the problem gradually developed. 

Mental injuries are just as valid as physical injuries and can require treatment and medical expenses like therapy to help an employee return to the workplace. In all three cases, having a work injury attorney experienced in dealing with mental injuries can make a huge difference.

Lingering Mental Injuries

Studies have found that depression occurring because of physical workplace injuries can linger longer than if the injury had occurred outside of work. Depression and other mental health issues can linger even after a physical injury has healed. It can be psychologically difficult for an employee to return to a site where they have been hurt.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help with Mental Injury Cases

Unfortunately, many employers don’t take mental health and mental injuries as seriously as physical injuries. You may have to file a claim to recover damages due. We are here to help! Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 for a free case evaluation.

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Call today to speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney!

Call (816) 399-3706
Updated: March 18, 2021

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