Are Emotional or Psychological Injuries Covered Under Workers' Compensation in Alabama?

When you think about workplace injuries that could lead to workers’ compensation claims, perhaps the initial thoughts are typically about physical ailments caused by an accident or a job-related health condition. However, injuries aren't always just physical. In fact, emotional and psychological trauma is prevalent in certain high-stress occupations or in particular work-related situations. If you are in Alabama, you might be wondering if such injuries are covered under the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act. In this article, we aim to shed light on the issue, and provide information about how the law in Alabama treats these less tangible wounds.

Workers' Compensation Act in Alabama: An Overview

Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act is put in place to safeguard employees who suffer from job-related injuries and illnesses, offering financial support, and footing medical bills tied with workplace injuries. Stephen Thompson, a dedicated personal injury lawyer in Alabama, works towards ensuring that injured workers understand their rights and offers his expert guidance in securing deserved compensation.

Are Emotional or Psychological Injuries Covered?

The key question is, does the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act recognize emotional or psychological injuries for compensation? The answer is yes, but with certain restrictions and specifications.

As per the legal system in Alabama, for a mental or emotional injury to be covered under workers' compensation, it needs to be linked to a physical injury caused by a work-related accident. This is referred to as "physical-mental" injury wherein the ensuing psychological or emotional illness is caused and complicated by a physical work-related injury. 

Court precedents in Alabama, such as the case of Cheaha Regional Mental Health v. Kathy Newberry, have re-affirmed that psychological treatment related to a physical injury sustained at the workplace should be compensated for under the Workers' Compensation Act.

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Exceptions to the Rule

Although the cornerstone rule requires a link between physical injury and ensuing psychological distress, there are specific job scenarios that deviate from this rule, allowing for compensation of "mental-mental" injuries where an employee suffers an emotional injury due to a traumatic event at work, without a preceding physical injury. 

Certain professionals like firefighters, paramedics, and police officers often face grievously traumatic situations, which can cause mental and emotional injuries. According to a landmark case ruling, Ashbury v. City of Birmingham, specific job-induced traumatic events may be claimed for workers' compensation even without an accompanying physical injury. However, these cases are typically more challenging and require showing that the mental distress is the result of much more than the usual and customary stresses inherent in the workplace. 

Comprehensive Legal Help

Successfully claiming for a workplace mental or emotional injury in Alabama necessitates more than merely proving suffering or psychological damage. It requires extensive knowledge of the state workers’ compensation law, nuanced understanding of case-specific circumstances, and perhaps most importantly, a seasoned workers' compensation lawyer who can effectively navigate the legal mechanisms involved.

If you are suffering from a psychological or emotional injury related to your work, it's vital to recognize that you are not alone and that help is available. Stephen Thompson is a committed personal injury lawyer who understands the intricacies of Alabama's Workers’ Compensation Act and can offer expert assistance in making a claim.

Remember, every case is unique and evaluating its merits requires professional expertise. Reach out to Stephen Thompson for a thorough understanding of your claim's potential, and explore the best way to advocate for your rights as an Alabama worker.

Emotional and psychological injuries can, indeed, be covered under workers’ compensation in Alabama. However, the circumstances and justification for the same must align with the guidelines expressed in Alabama law and case precedents. You need an attorney who will fight tirelessly for your rights and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Stephen Thompson is an experienced workers' compensation lawyer in Alabama who is ready to help. Reach out today and let his experience and comprehensive understanding of the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act work for you. 

By understanding the specifics of workers' compensation in Alabama, particularly the provisions about emotional and psychological injuries, you can better protect your rights and benefits as a worker. You don't have to navigate these challenges alone and, with the right legal assistance, can make a successful claim for the compensation you deserve.

Free Initial Strategy Session

All Initial Strategy Sessions are Free. If you would like to discuss your options, you are invited to fill out one of the Contact Forms. I will attempt to contact you if I think I can help you.

During your Initial Strategy Session, I will asist you in creating a strategy on how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a Car Accident Claim, 18 Wheeler Injury, or, Alabama Workers' Compensation Claim. At your Initial Strategy Session, you will receive the following:

  • First - I will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information that you provide, I will give you my best advice on both what claims you have, and the next steps you should consider to proceed with your claim(s).
  • If your claim is something that I think I can help you with, I will explain the services that I can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that I do not think I can help you with, then I will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unkowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed some light on what you can expect, and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.

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