Disabling injuries take on a variety of forms, and can affect a person both physically and mentally. While it can be easy to understand a physical injury, such as a torn ACL or a broken bone, mental injuries are far more difficult to recognize and comprehend. These injuries can include diagnoses such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and they impact everyone differently. Often times, people do not even realize they are suffering from a mental injury for weeks, months, or even years. As a result, there can be delays in reporting these injuries, as well as delays in requesitng and receiving medical treatment. These types of delays can present significant obstacles in an injured worker’s claim.
This past week, Attorney Brent Eames represented a paramedic who had been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of his involvement in a particularly horrific call over ten years earlier. Given the nature of his diagnosis and his initial refusal to seek help, despite his suffering, this injured worker did not obtain any related medical treatment for approximately 5 years following the incident. Nevertheless, based upon the greater weight of the evidence, we were able to prove to the pension board that this individual was disabled, and this disability was caused by the remote act of duty which occured ten years earlier. As a result, our client was awarded a line of duty disability pension for his development of PTSD.
Mental injuries are very rarely clear-cut in terms of diagnoses and causation. If you are a first responder who has suffered or is suffering from a mental injury, you should contact an attorney who is experienced in these claims to understand your rights and protect your benefits.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact any attorney at Eames Law Group, Ltd.