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Workers’ Compensation Benefits and PTSD

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Santa Clara County workers' compensation lawyerIn today’s world, we are more aware of mental health concerns than perhaps ever before. As a result, we have learned a great deal about a variety of conditions that were previously considered to be “no big deal,” but that can be downright debilitating in many situations. A good example of this can be found with post-traumatic stress syndrome, commonly abbreviated as PTSD. What was once thought of as “battle fatigue” or “shell shock” and associated mainly with military members who saw combat is now known to be a danger for nearly anyone who has gone through or witnessed an especially scary, dangerous, or shocking experience.

Post-traumatic stress syndrome can become a major concern for those who have been in car crashes, those who were assaulted or raped, and even those who suffered or witnessed a tragic event on the job. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with PTSD due to an incident that occurred at work, workers’ compensation benefits may be available.

Common PTSD Symptoms

It is nearly impossible to know for certain how many Americans deal with PTSD in their lives because many are hesitant to come forward and seek treatment. In fact, many do not even realize the extent of their problems. Federal estimates suggest that as many as 12 million people in the United States have PTSD in a typical year, with millions more experiencing trauma that could cause the condition to develop.


Gilroy, CA workers' compensation lawyerOver the last few years, more and more employers have embraced the idea of allowing their employees to work from home. What started as a necessity during the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdowns has become a new normal for many companies in California and around the country.

But what happens when an employee who works from home gets injured while on the clock? Is that person still eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits? If it is possible to get benefits, will being a work-from-home employee complicate the case? The answers to these questions, as with most legal concerns, depend on the specifics of the situation.

Working From Home Makes Your Home Your Workplace

The first thing to understand is that, if you are injured while working from home, your home is considered your workplace. That means that the same rules and regulations that apply to traditional workplaces also apply to work-from-home setups.


Gilroy, CA workers' compensation lawyerEvery year, thousands of workers are killed on the job in the United States. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable if the right safety precautions are taken. Today, we will discuss the "Fatal Four" workplace dangers that account for the largest percentage of worker fatalities each year. If you want to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, it is important to be aware of these dangers and take steps to protect yourself from them.

The Fatal Four

The construction industry is among the most dangerous industries for workers, accounting for about 1,000 workplace fatalities per year in this country. On average, about 60% of these fatalities are attributed to just four specific dangers that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has labeled as the “Fatal Four.” The Fatal Four include the following:

Fatal Four Danger #1: Falls From Heights

The first of the Fatal Four is falls. Falls from heights are one of the most common causes of workplace fatalities, accounting for over 350 deaths each year. If you work in a job that involves any kind of height, it is important to wear the proper safety equipment and to follow all safety procedures. Even if you simply use a ladder occasionally in the course of your job, you should be aware of the potential for falls at your workplace and take the appropriate precautions.


Gilroy, CA workers' compensation lawyerMany people are under the false impression that they cannot collect workers' compensation benefits if they had a pre-existing condition before being injured at work. The good news is that this is not entirely true. If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, regardless of whether you had a pre-existing condition. In fact, if you aggravated a previous injury while on the job, a qualified workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the benefits to which you are likely entitled under the law.

What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

For the purposes of this discussion on workers’ compensation, a pre-existing condition is a medical condition that you had before you were injured at work. It is important to note that a pre-existing condition does not have to be permanently disabling in order to be covered by workers' compensation. Even if your pre-existing condition was only temporary or minor, you may still be able to collect benefits if your workplace injury aggravated or worsened the condition.

How Does This Work?

Consider a scenario, for example, in which you sprained your ankle at work. You may have had a previous ankle injury that had healed before you started your current job. Your prior injury might have required physical therapy or even surgery to address. However, because of the new injury, the old injury was aggravated, and you are now unable to walk without pain. In a case like this, you would likely be eligible for workers' compensation benefits even though you had a pre-existing condition.


Santa Clara County workers' compensation lawyerWorkers' compensation is a program that provides benefits to workers who are injured or who contract an illness at work. In California, the workers' compensation program is administered by the Department of Industrial Relations. Workers' compensation insurance is mandatory for all employers in California with one or more employees. This includes part-time, seasonal, and migrant workers. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to receive medical treatment, disability benefits, and other types of benefits. On-the-job injuries include injuries that are caused by a singular event, as well as those that develop over time—more commonly known as “repetitive stress,” “repetitive strain,” or “repetitive motion” injuries.

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are a type of injury that can occur when a person performs the same motion over and over again. RSIs can happen at work if a person is required to perform the same task repeatedly over the course of weeks, months, or even years. Some examples of jobs that may put workers at risk for RSIs include assembly line work, data entry, office work, and factory work.

Common RSIs and Their Symptoms

There are many different types of repetitive stress injuries, and you are probably familiar with at least some of them. The most common RSIs that can occur on the job include:

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