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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

How Mental Health Affects Workers' Compensation Claims in Ohio

When it comes to safety in the workplace, physical health is often the primary focus. However, more and more employers are starting to understand the effect that mental health issues have on their employees.


When filing workers' compensation claims, it's important that injured parties understand their legal rights. This article will offer insight into the matter.


Understanding the Ohio Workers' Compensation System

Understanding the Ohio Workers' Compensation System


Workers' compensation is essentially a kind of insurance that pays for diseases and injuries that employees get while doing their jobs. This might include a physical injury sustained in a freak accident, cancer that develops after years of exposure to a carcinogen, or a mental health problem that occurs because of poor working conditions. Every state has different rules that govern this program.


In order to qualify for benefits under workers' compensation, the applicant must be a permanent employee and not an independent contractor. It's important for claimants to understand that workers' comp. follows a no-fault system, which means that employees can claim compensation, even if they are to blame for the incident.


How Mental Health Affects Workers' Compensation Claims


While coverage for physical injuries or illnesses incurred because of work-related activities is more or less straightforward, the lines become hazy when mental health injuries are factored in.


In Ohio, an employee may claim workers' comp. when mental health injuries arise because of work-related activities. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common side effect of an injurious accident.


However, it's important to note here that the lines between a mental health condition brought on by an incident and an exacerbation of an existing disorder are two very different things, and proving that there is a mental health issue can be quite challenging.


To make matters worse, obtaining mental health coverage gets harder when a disorder arises because of a non-physical stressor such as harassment or discrimination.


Nevertheless, employees can turn to a reliable lawyer to ensure they receive the workers' compensation benefits they deserve. They can also assist with questions like Can Uber and Lyft drivers file for workers’ compensation?


What Is Typically Covered in Workers' Comp Cases Involving Mental Health Issues?


It's important for claimants to remember that they can only file a claim for injuries or illnesses that arise because of a work-related activity or event. When it comes to mental health, the following illnesses typically form part of the claim:


  • PTSD. As discussed previously, PTSD can arise as a result of a psychologically traumatic event. This can affect their ability to function and carry out their normal day-to-day tasks.

  • Anxiety. This disorder involves an incessant fear or worry that can also be accompanied by physical symptoms.

  • Depression. Conditions related to depression involve the lowering of a person's mood or ability to function as normal.


With the help of a reliable attorney, claimants suffering from work-related mental illness can claim compensation for their suffering.


The Importance of Evidence

The Importance of Evidence


Providing sufficient evidence of a mental health disorder is a crucial part of any workers' compensation claim. To determine whether a person truly has a valid mental health claim, the opinion of a mental health professional is crucial.


Other proof, such as witness testimonies, can be used to prove that there was a notable change in the demeanor and behavior of a person after the event. However, the key to providing sufficient evidence for victims to back up their claims is working with a reliable workers compensation lawyer in Columbus.


Larrimer & Larrimer can help injured workers obtain proof from experienced mental health professionals in Columbus, OH.


What Employers Can Do to Create Safe Working Conditions


Injury and mental health-related claims can increase an employer's premiums, so creating a working environment that promotes employee wellness is important. Here are a few ways that companies can ensure that their workers are safe:


Remove Safety Risks

To prevent injuries to workers and comply with the applicable laws, businesses have a responsibility to ensure that risks are identified and that measures are put in place to either remove or mitigate potential dangers.


Make Sure That the Environment Is Also Psychologically Safe

Creating working conditions that are safe from physical dangers is important, but to avoid mental health-related claims, it's important to focus on issues that go beyond that. The truth is that many mental health injuries are exacerbated by the stigma that's often attached to them.


However, educating their employees on common disorders and offering help if they need it can make a world of difference. We also recommend pointing workers to places where they can get the help they need.


The reality is that work-related stress can cause mental health issues. However, according to Mental Health America, when a worker feels safe in their working environment, that does not happen. This is why it is so important for businesses to prioritize the psychological safety of their employees.


Understand State Workers' Compensation Laws

Knowledge is indeed power, and in order for companies to know what is expected of them, they will need to ensure that they understand the applicable legislature. People who qualify for workers' comp benefits should also be educated about their rights and responsibilities. Companies should also advise their employees to seek medical treatment if they are injured at work.


Larrimer & Larrimer Is Here to Help


Navigating the complex workers' compensation system can be challenging. A reliable attorney can guide employees through the claims process and ensure that their rights are protected. Moreover, an experienced attorney can ensure that applicants get the maximum compensation.


At Larrimer & Larrimer, we understand that work-related injuries can result in mental health conditions. We will do all it takes to ensure that victims receive the workers' comp. benefits they are rightly due.


Those who feel intimidated by the prospect of having to prove that their job caused mental health issues can rest assured that our team will support them every step of the way. We have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and can ensure that victims receive the benefits they qualify for.


To learn more, claimants can give us a call.

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