Some states allow worker's compensation claims for injuries caused by job-related stress. Unfortunately, proving a stress injury is usually more complicated than proving physical injuries. Here are some of the proofs you may be expected to come up with when you make a stress-related claim:
Your Stress Was Above the Normal Levels for Your Job
Every job is associated with some level of stress, which means you can't make a claim just because you are stressed. For example, teachers are stressed by misbehaving children, receptionists are stressed by the level of multitasking required from them, and truck drivers are stressed by being away from home for long periods.
Therefore, for you to have a genuine claim, you need to prove that your stress was above the normal level for people in your profession. As you can imagine, this isn't easy. How do you know what the "normal" stress levels are? How do you prove that you have exceeded such levels? You need an expert witness who is familiar with your profession and can convince the court that your stress levels are above the normal levels of your profession.
The Stress Caused Diagnosable Injuries
Merely claiming or feeling stressed won't cut it for the court; you also need to prove that it caused you an injury that can be diagnosed by a doctor. Psychological stress affects both physical and emotional health, a psychologist or physician should be able to see its effects on your body. For example, chronic stress can trigger diabetes, obesity, or weaken your immune system; it can also lead to depression and anxiety disorders. Your medical records should show such health conditions and prove a clear link between them and your stress.
The Stress Was Caused By Your Work
Lastly, you also need to connect your stress to your job. A teacher who is having financial problems can be stressed, but this doesn't mean that the teacher's job is stressing them. A trucker whose spouse is dealing with a terminal illness may be understandably stressed, but this doesn't qualify them for worker's compensation benefits. You must link your stress to your work conditions or workplace
For example, if you may be stressed because your boss is constantly threatening to fire you, giving you lots of unpaid overtime and constantly harangues you for underperforming. With the testimony of witnesses (such as your work colleagues) and proof of working hours, you may be able to prove that your job is causing you abnormal levels of stress.
If you are suffering from an above-normal amount of stress at your work and it is affecting your life, talk with a lawyer, such as those at Freedman, Wagner, Tabakman & Weiss, to talk about your workers compensation options.