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Stress, Trauma, and Hostile Work Environments

Compared to previous decades where psychological conditions may have been more readily brushed-off, in recent years, mental health issues have started to be addressed as legitimate disabilities, as a workers compensation lawyer La Quinta, CA trusts from Howard Law, P.C. can attest. Employees suffering from sometimes debilitating mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD may often times have a more difficult time doing performing their job up to standards. Although pre-existing mental illnesses may not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, if a psychological condition arises from the direct result of a work-related incident, then an employee may have rights to workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ Compensation

If an employee does experience psychological distress or develops a mental illness due to the workplace, then it is wise to consult with a workers’ compensation on how to proceed. Many insurance companies will deny that any mental health issues suffered by the employee are not covered by workers’ comp, so talking with a workers compensation lawyer La Quinta, CA turns to will improve any chances of receiving benefits. Psychological conditions are almost always more difficult for employees and attorneys to prove to skeptical insurance companies than physical conditions that may arise from various workplace trauma. To have a successful claim for workers’ compensation for mental or psychological conditions, a workers compensation lawyer La Quinta, CA employees rely on must prove to insurance companies that the condition was obtained due to stress, trauma, or hostility in the workplace.


Experiencing stress in the workplace is common, and while some employees may work better under pressure, others may not. If an employer is constantly giving one employee an excessive or unfair amount of work to do before a deadline, then the employee may develop an anxiety disorder or experience panic attacks due to the work-related stress. The stress from the workplace must prove to be due to unusual or extreme circumstances, and a workers compensation lawyer La Quinta, CA looks to will have to show that an employer was causing unnecessary stress on an employee resulting in mental anguish. This is difficult to prove to insurance companies, though. Workers’ comp investigators will go to great lengths to prove that the condition was pre-existing, and may go through the mental health records of the employee, the criminal records, or even credit records. They may also interview co-workers and managers to determine whether or not there was an unfair amount of stress put on a single employee, or whether the employee showed signs of mental health issues before the workers’ comp claim.


Trauma in the workplace may be easier for a workers’ compensation lawyer to prove. Workplace trauma that may result in psychological conditions can be either physical, or a psychological incident that took place during the job. An example of a traumatic physical incident that resulted in a mental health condition may be an employee that received an injury requiring extensive bed rest due to faulty equipment. The extensive bed rest may then result in the employee developing depression. A traumatic psychological incident may include a teacher that experienced a school shooting and developed PTSD as a result.

Physical trauma suffered by an employee resulting in a psychological condition is generally easier to prove than psychological trauma.

Hostile Work Environments

Hostile work environments may cause employees to suffer from mental anguish. If an employer singles out a certain employee and is threatening or rude, this may be considered harassment. Any sexual harassment may certainly result in mental distress, especially if it goes on for an extended period of time. Proving that a hostile work environment caused a mental health condition will generally depend on the statements from fellow co-workers or managers, and interviews from them will either benefit or hinder a workers’ compensation case.

Contact a top workers compensation lawyer La Quinta, CA has to offer from Howard Law, P.C. to discuss your situation, and start fighting for your rights today.