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Psychological Injury at Work? Your Rights in Plain Language

Feeling lost after suffering a psychological injury at work? You're not alone.

This can be a confusing and stressful time, with questions about compensation, rights, and recovery. This article aims to demystify the process by providing key insights into classifying your injury and navigating the legalities involved.

What is a psychological injury?

Think of it as a mental or emotional harm caused by your job. This can include things like:

  • PTSD: From a traumatic event like an assault at work.
  • Anxiety and depression: Due to chronic stress, bullying, or harassment.
  • Adjustment disorders: Struggling to cope with changes at work.

How do I know if I’m eligible for compensation?

The key question is: did your job play a major role in causing your injury? If yes, you may be entitled to compensation under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW).

Types of injuries:

The type of injury determines how your claim is handled. For:

  • “Frank injuries” arise from a single traumatic event, like a robbery or assault. Think of them as instant impacts with a clear date.
  • “Disease injuries” develop gradually due to repeated stressful events, such as bullying or long-term workload pressures. They’re like slow-burning fires, building over time.

Why does this matter?

  • Frank injuries –  the “date of accident” determines how your claim is handled and is usually easy to determine as it’s the date of the traumatic incident.
  • Disease injuries  – require a closer look at the gradual progression of symptoms and work history. For disease injuries, the “disease provisions” apply and the date of injury is usually the date you cease work due to the injury.

Key considerations for disease injuries:

  • Section 4b: of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW): This defines disease injuries and requires that work was the “main contributing factor” for the aggravation or acceleration of the disease injury.
  • A disease is defined as an aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration in the course of employment of any disease, but only if the employment was the main contributing factor.
  • In respect of an injury claimed as a disease, the Act requires consideration of the following factors:
  • The time and place of the injury;
  • The nature of the work performed and the particular task of that work;
  • The duration of the employment;
  • The possibility that the injury or a similar injury would have happened anyway at the same time or at the same stage of the workers life if she or he had not been at work or had not worked in that employment;
  • The workers state of health before the injury and the existence of any hereditary risks;
  • The workers lifestyle and his or her activities outside the workplace.
  • Section 15 and 16 of the Act define a disease to be contracted by a gradual process and shall be assumed to have happed at the time of the worker’s death or incapacity or in the event there is no dealt or incapacity, at the time the claim for compensation is made.
  • In situations, where the injury occurs over time, the last employer who employed the worker to which the disease was due, is liable to pay the compensation. This is an issue if you have a psychological injury caused by two or more employers.

Case example – Iman – v- NSW Police Force [2013] NSW WCCPD11

Former Deputy President Roach considered whether a psychological injury was a disease or a personal injury.  In paragraphs 264 to 268 of the judgement, he noted that a disease is caused when the body is unable to repeatedly deal with the stress imposed upon it, the gradual process of a disease can “be acquired a little or a little more from day to day”.

Remember:

  • Gather evidence: Detailed statements and chronologies outlining the injury’s progression, symptoms, and medical needs are crucial.
  • Seek expert guidance: Consulting a specialist lawyer experienced in workplace psychological injuries is vital to navigate the complexities of your situation and maximize your claim’s potential.

Don’t feel overwhelmed! By understanding the different types of injuries, their legal implications, and the importance of evidence and expert support, you can confidently navigate this challenging phase and seek the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law at Garling and Co and start your journey to recovery today!

 

Professional woman typing on laptop at work.

Emma Perkins

Joining Garling and Co in 2019, Emma brings to the team a deep knowledge and understanding of Personal Injury Law. Since her admission in 2009, she has specialised in the fields of workers' compensation, victims' compensation, public liability, motor...
Sigrid W.
05:01 11 Apr 24
Utter professionalism from first phone call to final settlement. It was a pleasure to be represented by a firm that actually cares for their clients. From office staff, to paralegal and solicitor... Rebecca, Emma and Matthew thank you for your support and expertise throughout my claim. No wonder your firm has won many awards. I'm extremely happy with my outcome and can confidently recommend your firm.read more
BJ S.
01:09 09 Apr 24
Highly recommend Matthew & Allison at Garling and Co ! Quick response ! helpful every step of the way ! If you want the best compensation lawyer, Matthew @ Garling and co is the bestDoesn’t waste... time. Very informative ! excellent guidance! They get the job done ✅Website is perfect guide5 Star ⭐️ is not enoughI’m so grateful to Matthew, Allison and team for my outcome so far !Thank you 😊 Garling and co are awesome 👏 🤩read more
Jaimie K.
06:11 02 Apr 24
Have had a rollercoaster ride with Garling and Co over the several years we have been battling the system that injured workers are faced with. The wheels of progress are slow within this system.... However Garling and co have always stood by me. Calls are returned and matters are always followed up in a timely manner.read more
Tyson Langanke (Five Star W.
00:30 02 Apr 24
I cannot recommend Matthew highly enough for anyone seeking a compensation lawyer. From the moment I reached out, Matthew went above and beyond to ensure that I felt supported and informed throughout... the entire process. No question was too simple for him, and he patiently took the time to explain every step we were taking, alleviating any stress or confusion I had.He not only provided expert legal guidance but also ensured that I fully understood the intricacies of my case. His clear communication made me feel confident and reassured during what could have been a daunting experience.Thanks to Matthew's exceptional expertise and personalized approach, I was able to navigate the complexities of my compensation claim with ease. His professionalism and genuine concern for my well-being truly set him apart.read more
Shaylee C.
09:54 27 Mar 24
I recently had the pleasure of working with Garling and Co on my case, and I must say that their service was truly outstanding. From the initial consultation to the resolution of my case, they... displayed unwavering dedication and professionalism.The outcome of my case exceeded my expectations, and I am incredibly grateful for the hard work and diligence exhibited by Garling and Co. I have no hesitation in recommending this law firm to my family and friends, knowing that they will receive the same level of exceptional service.- Traceyread more
Simona M.
05:11 26 Mar 24
Emma and Rebecca have looked after my husband's workers compensation claim over the last 3 years now. We have had positive outcomes from these claims and are now pursuing a work injury damages claim.... They have been amazing to deal with. They are genuine and empathetic over what has been a very stressful time for myself and my family over these last 3 years. Nothing is ever too much for Emma and Rebecca and they are always available to communicate with. We would highly recommend Garling and Co! Thank you Emma and Rebecca.read more
Donelle L.
01:16 26 Mar 24
So very happy with the service Garling has provided the care and help has eased a lot of worry I had when going through this process . Many thanks to the entire team
S R.
06:56 04 Mar 24
Thank you Garling and Co,For all your help and support, with myself and family going through a very tough process, physically and mentally. The compassion and comfort I've felt, with Garling and Co... representing me, has felt like family.I would highly recommend them, to anyone who is dealing with a Workers Comp issue. They have made a very tough road and process, a very reassuring and secure one, with great communication skills and negotiating to the highest level.Thank you to all the Garling and Co team, I'll be forever grateful, for all your assistance throughout this process.Kind regards, Scottread more
Kimberly B.
23:14 14 Feb 24
Mathew is very knowledgable and has been of great assistance to me. All the staff are friendly and helpful. I'm so happy I found this firm.Thank you Mathew and team for your great work in my case.... I am 100% happy with what you achieved for me.read more
Julie M.
10:16 16 Jan 24
My last stage of Workers compensation claim was managed by Emma Perkins, Natasha Stojanovic, Rebecca Dunshea and Kelli Robinson at Garling and Co. Lawyers who went the extra mile with their service... from the beginning to the end of 3 years of my case. I have become very anxious with almost everything after a workplace injury and a lot of times I probably ask more questions than I need to, but Emma Perkins always finds clear answers to my questions in a short time and explains to me patiently even using her mealtime or between her meeting and make me feel that I have been very well take care and supported. I am so grateful and extremely satisfied. The excellent service, attitude, and culture of Metthew Garling and his team are second to none with a very high success rate. If you going to battle with your workplace injury for a short or long period, you are better off with Garling and Co. lawyers who are able back you up every step of the way. I strongly recommend it to anybody who needs their service like me. Julieread more
READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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Sigrid W.
05:01 11 Apr 24
Utter professionalism from first phone call to final settlement. It was a pleasure to be represented by a firm that actually cares for their clients. From office staff, to paralegal and solicitor... Rebecca, Emma and Matthew thank you for your support and expertise throughout my claim. No wonder your firm has won many awards. I'm extremely happy with my outcome and can confidently recommend your firm.read more
BJ S.
01:09 09 Apr 24
Highly recommend Matthew & Allison at Garling and Co ! Quick response ! helpful every step of the way ! If you want the best compensation lawyer, Matthew @ Garling and co is the bestDoesn’t waste... time. Very informative ! excellent guidance! They get the job done ✅Website is perfect guide5 Star ⭐️ is not enoughI’m so grateful to Matthew, Allison and team for my outcome so far !Thank you 😊 Garling and co are awesome 👏 🤩read more
Jaimie K.
06:11 02 Apr 24
Have had a rollercoaster ride with Garling and Co over the several years we have been battling the system that injured workers are faced with. The wheels of progress are slow within this system.... However Garling and co have always stood by me. Calls are returned and matters are always followed up in a timely manner.read more
Tyson Langanke (Five Star W.
00:30 02 Apr 24
I cannot recommend Matthew highly enough for anyone seeking a compensation lawyer. From the moment I reached out, Matthew went above and beyond to ensure that I felt supported and informed throughout... the entire process. No question was too simple for him, and he patiently took the time to explain every step we were taking, alleviating any stress or confusion I had.He not only provided expert legal guidance but also ensured that I fully understood the intricacies of my case. His clear communication made me feel confident and reassured during what could have been a daunting experience.Thanks to Matthew's exceptional expertise and personalized approach, I was able to navigate the complexities of my compensation claim with ease. His professionalism and genuine concern for my well-being truly set him apart.read more
Shaylee C.
09:54 27 Mar 24
I recently had the pleasure of working with Garling and Co on my case, and I must say that their service was truly outstanding. From the initial consultation to the resolution of my case, they... displayed unwavering dedication and professionalism.The outcome of my case exceeded my expectations, and I am incredibly grateful for the hard work and diligence exhibited by Garling and Co. I have no hesitation in recommending this law firm to my family and friends, knowing that they will receive the same level of exceptional service.- Traceyread more
Simona M.
05:11 26 Mar 24
Emma and Rebecca have looked after my husband's workers compensation claim over the last 3 years now. We have had positive outcomes from these claims and are now pursuing a work injury damages claim.... They have been amazing to deal with. They are genuine and empathetic over what has been a very stressful time for myself and my family over these last 3 years. Nothing is ever too much for Emma and Rebecca and they are always available to communicate with. We would highly recommend Garling and Co! Thank you Emma and Rebecca.read more
Donelle L.
01:16 26 Mar 24
So very happy with the service Garling has provided the care and help has eased a lot of worry I had when going through this process . Many thanks to the entire team
S R.
06:56 04 Mar 24
Thank you Garling and Co,For all your help and support, with myself and family going through a very tough process, physically and mentally. The compassion and comfort I've felt, with Garling and Co... representing me, has felt like family.I would highly recommend them, to anyone who is dealing with a Workers Comp issue. They have made a very tough road and process, a very reassuring and secure one, with great communication skills and negotiating to the highest level.Thank you to all the Garling and Co team, I'll be forever grateful, for all your assistance throughout this process.Kind regards, Scottread more
Kimberly B.
23:14 14 Feb 24
Mathew is very knowledgable and has been of great assistance to me. All the staff are friendly and helpful. I'm so happy I found this firm.Thank you Mathew and team for your great work in my case.... I am 100% happy with what you achieved for me.read more
Julie M.
10:16 16 Jan 24
My last stage of Workers compensation claim was managed by Emma Perkins, Natasha Stojanovic, Rebecca Dunshea and Kelli Robinson at Garling and Co. Lawyers who went the extra mile with their service... from the beginning to the end of 3 years of my case. I have become very anxious with almost everything after a workplace injury and a lot of times I probably ask more questions than I need to, but Emma Perkins always finds clear answers to my questions in a short time and explains to me patiently even using her mealtime or between her meeting and make me feel that I have been very well take care and supported. I am so grateful and extremely satisfied. The excellent service, attitude, and culture of Metthew Garling and his team are second to none with a very high success rate. If you going to battle with your workplace injury for a short or long period, you are better off with Garling and Co. lawyers who are able back you up every step of the way. I strongly recommend it to anybody who needs their service like me. Julieread more
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
University of Technology, Sydney
Member of Law Society of New South Wales
Law Society of NSW Specialist Accreditation
University of Sydney
Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales
The law society of nsw professional standards scheme logo.
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