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Claims for psychological injuries can prove to be complicated

Iowa employers are responsible for providing safe workplace environments that are free from known hazards. Work-related injuries and occupational illnesses are often prevented by strict compliance with state and federal laws. Nevertheless, many workers who suffer psychological injuries may be unsure about their rights to pursue claims for compensation.

Psychological injuries are covered by workers' compensation but may not be as easy to prove as physical injuries. These types of injuries are typically classified as mental/mental, physical/mental or mental/physical. If a psychological experience at work -- such as witnessing a horrific accident -- causes a psychological fear of operating a machine similar to the one involved in the seen accident, the injury will qualify as a mental/mental injury.

To be classified as a physical/mental claim, the worker must have developed a psychological condition e as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after suffering a traumatic workplace injury. In comparison, a mental/physical injury will be one in which a physical condition followed a psychological incident. An example can be a worker suffering a heart attack or paralysis after experiencing the sudden noise of an explosion or an arc flash.

Workers in Iowa who are suffering the consequences of psychological injuries that resulted from work-related incidents will likely find that the costs related to ongoing evaluation and treatment can be extreme. They are entitled to file benefits claims with the workers' compensation insurance system. It makes good sense to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to pursue all possible claims for compensation under applicable state and federal laws.

Source:, "Psyched out -- Preventing psychiatric injuries at work", Jasmin Rojas, June 26, 2016

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