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How Employees Could Get Workers’ Comp for Stress in California

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It’s comforting to know that your medical bills will be covered if you slip and fall or are struck by falling inventory during the workday. But what if your job is causing sleepless nights and unnecessary mental anguish? Could you possibly get worker’s compensation for a stress-related claim in California?

Yes, you could. Under California’s Workers’ Compensation statutes, employers may be liable for the costs of psychiatric injury if:

  • The cause of the stress was primarily work related.
  • The patient has been working for the employer for at least six months.
  • The patient has a diagnosed mental disorder that causes disability or a need for ongoing treatment.
  • The stress resulted in permanent impairment.

As in most workers’ comp cases, the employee has the burden of proof in a stress injury case. This means providing evidence that the events of employment were responsible for the majority—at least 51%—of the combined causes of the psychiatric injury. Often this includes a full medical history, prior psychiatric issues, and personal or family issues.

Stress claims in California rely heavily on a physician’s testimony. A doctor must provide a full report, including a detailed review of the employee’s background, personal problems, job satisfaction, and performance reviews. Depositions and statements from coworkers and family members statements should also be included.

A medical professional must also evaluate whether the stress you have suffered was above the normal level for someone working in his position. The doctor must also address and eliminate other potential causes of stress that could have contributed to your condition.

To find out if you could receive workers’ comp for stress in California, call the Ledgerwood Law Group today at 888-761-7383. Before you begin your case, be sure to get your FREE copy of our comprehensive guide, The Northern California Workers’ Compensation Survival Manual.

Category: Worker's Compensation


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