Alabama Workers Compensation Psychological Injuries

If you work or were employed in Alabama and you have suffered an on the job injury*, you are most likely entitled to Alabama Workers' Compensation benefits (for more information on if you qualify for workers' compensation benefits-please see our blog entitled "Alabama Workers' Compensation Benefits Do I have a claim?) When people think of a job injury, they typically think of someone falling or injuring their back by picking up something heavy, but not all job injuries are purely physical in nature. Oft times injured workers suffer psychologically as well as physically.

According to Alabama law, an injured worker cannot claim workers compensation benefits for a psychological injury "...that has neither been produced nor been proximately caused by some physical injury to the body." Having stated this, it is imperative to point out that while some physical injury must have taken place, said injury does not have to be major as an disabling mental condition which arises from, or is exacerbated by, any physical injury-"no matter how slight"-is compensable. See Allen v. Diversified Products, 453 So.2d 1063, 1065 (Ala.Civ.App.1984).

Furthermore, the on the job injury does not have to be the sole, or even major cause of the workers' subsequent psychological problems, it merely has to be a contributing factor. If the injured worker had a pre existing mental problem which did not impede on their ability to perform their job duties as a normal person, and a job injury aggravated said problem-or if it triggered the manifestation of a latent/unknown problem, then the complications and treatment for such psychological problems are considered related to the worker's job injury and workers' compensation has the responsibility of the workers' compensation insurance carrier.

If you suffer from depression/anxiety/panic attacks or any other psychological disorder-or if your pre existing mental problems have been aggravated as a result of a job injury-and you have questions about your rights under Alabama's workers' compensation laws, please feel free to contact the Alabama Workers' Compensation lawyers at Powell and Denny today.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can't

Offices in Birmingham, AL and Huntsville, AL.

* also referred to by the following phrases: Injured at Work; Accident at Work, Workplace Injury, Work place accident, Workers' Compensation, Workers' Comp; Work Injury, Work Injuries, On the Job Injury, Injuries on the Job or Injured at Work.

Alabama Workers Compensation Psychological Injuries