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Depression Is A Workers’ Compensation Issue. Let Us Help You Seek Benefits.

Many people tend to think of depression as a private matter that only applies to someone’s personal life. But it’s important to realize depression can sometimes be directly linked to work. In such cases, it is considered to be a work-related injury and subject to compensation under Iowa’s workers’ compensation laws. Because depression claims can be complex, however, it is critical to work with a knowledgeable attorney when pursuing benefits. At Wertz Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured workers who suffer from depression. We have helped countless other clients across Iowa, and we may be able to help you, too.

The Two Types Of Depression Claims

There are two major kinds of depression claims in workers’ compensation. The first involves depression that arises from a physical work injury. The second is stand-alone depression unrelated to any sort of physical injury. These two claims are described in more detail below.

Depression Arising From A Physical Work Injury

If you’ve experienced a work injury that resulted in a loss of employment, isolation, chronic pain, or financial difficulties, it would not be unusual to develop depression. Many times the depression is not immediately recognized or diagnosed. If you’ve been injured and are feeling depressed, anxious or irritable, please discuss this with a physician. Your best resource may be a family doctor. Depression can have a significant impact on the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim.

Unfortunately, depression is sometimes permanent. In such a case, it can significantly interfere with your ability to return to any sort of gainful employment. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor about your depression. Depression which is permanent is compensated on the basis of industrial disability. If the original work injury is a scheduled claim and the injured worker develops chronic depression, the claim is likely to be compensated on the basis of industrial disability.

Depression Based Solely On A Mental Injury

Often referred to as a “mental/mental” injury, this type of claim presents unique issues. Courts have established different rules which apply to these kinds of workers’ compensation claims.

This kind of work injury most commonly develops from an acute stressful or traumatic event – a bank teller or convenience store clerk who experiences a robbery, for instance. In order to be compensable, it is necessary to establish both medical causation, where a doctor establishes a relationship between the depression and work events, and legal causation, where the issue of unusual stress is a component.

Issues surrounding depression can become extremely important factors in the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. Aside from the physician’s role, it is important to consult an experienced attorney like those at our firm. We will work diligently to help you obtain adequate medical care and an appropriate outcome.

How Do Workplaces Contribute To Depression And Mental Health Issues?

While most workplaces focus on physical safety, addressing mental well-being is also essential. Many workers face stress, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to work-related factors, such as:

  • Heavy workloads and long hours
  • Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic injury
  • Workplace assaults
  • A toxic work environment

If your workplace lacks stress management resources, has no work-life balance or a culture of respect and inclusion, it is best to seek legal advice. Our attorneys can help you get worker’s compensation for mental health and depression from injury caused by your work environment.

Mental Health Compensation And Depression From Injury

One factor contributing to mental health issues is the lack of mental health compensation. Injuries can occur physically and mentally. However, most times, employers overlook mental injuries, leading to mental health issues like depression.

For example, if you work in a high-pressure environment and develop anxiety or depression, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you may need to provide evidence of your diagnosis and its connection to your workplace.

Our attorney can help you gather evidence to file the claim and negotiate with your employer (if necessary) to ease the process of receiving your compensation. Also, seeking help from a health care professional and informing your employer about your condition can play a role in protecting your rights.

Free Consultations Available – Contact Us Today

Our attorneys at Wertz Law Firm, P.C., have extensive experience with mental health claims. We provide exceptional advice and representation for all injured workers who suffer from depression. We also make it easy to explore your legal options by offering free initial consultations. To schedule yours, send us a message online or call our office in Cedar Rapids at 319-774-2687