Serious work injuries can take on many different forms. Additionally, they can have both mental and physical components, which is why the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has stipulated three separate standards by which a person can file a workers’ comp claim. Knowing these standards can help if you’re injured at work, as you’ll be able to determine whether your injuries meet the proper criteria.
Some physical injuries can also cause mental health issues. For example, a commercial driver involved in a serious accident may develop PTSD if the situation was particularly traumatic. As a result, the worker would need to prove that the subsequent mental health issue was directly related to the work injury that also caused physical issues. These physical issues do not need to be so severe that they prevent the person from working.
In other situations, stress from a job can cause serious and sometimes debilitating physical injuries. To claim workers’ comp in this case, a person must show that their physical issues continue even when the source of the stress is removed. They must also show that they’re unable to work at the same level due to the newly emerged physical issue, such as a heart condition or other stress-induced illness.
Work injuries can also be strictly psychological or mental. Proving mental injury is usually far more difficult, and the worker must establish the conditions that led to his or her mental health issue. This can be a prolonged state of exposure, such as continually being sexually harassed while at work. A single traumatic incident can also be enough to cause debilitating mental health problems that prevent a person from holding gainful employment.