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Psychological Injury Claims

If you are suffering from psychological trauma or injury as a result of work, whether you develop the condition having witnessed or experienced a traumatic incident or due to bullying and harassment, it is possible that you may have a claim for workers’ compensation.

Garling & Co Lawyers have psychological injury claim lawyers, who can help you make a successful psychological injury claim.

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We specialise in Psychological Injuries at Work

What is a psychological injury?

A psychological or psychiatric injury is emotional, behavioural and sometimes cognitive symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks and behaves.  Examples of psychological injury or psychiatric injury include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, adjustment disorder or bipolar disorder.

A psychological injury can only be claimed if your injury arises in the course of employment and if that employment is a substantial contributing factor to the development of the psychological injury.

Usually, people sustain a psychological injury in the course of employment because of the way that they are treated by their supervisors or co-workers.  Bullying and harassment in the workplace is a growing problem and an employer must take reasonable steps to ensure that employees do not sustain psychological injuries due to bullying and harassment.

Psychological injuries can be sustained anywhere and may present themselves anytime from weeks to months after the event has occurred. In the workplace, psychological injuries can be the result of overwork, bullying, intimidation, stress and as a by-product of a physical injury being sustained.

Compensation Claims for Psychological Injury

If you do suffer psychological trauma in the course of employment, you can make a claim for compensation under the Workers Compensation Act.  You will need to obtain a workers compensation Certificate of Capacity from your general practitioner which sets out the psychological injury you have sustained, the treatment you require and whether you are totally unfit or partially unfit for work.  You need to obtain this medical certificate to start your claim for psychological injury in the workplace.

Workers Compensation Certificate of Capacity

It is important when you obtain the Certificate of Capacity in psychological injury claims in NSW that the diagnosis on the certificate is a psychological condition and not simply called “stress”.  The workers’ compensation system in NSW does not recognise “stress” as an injury.  A psychological injury claim in NSW must be a recognisable psychiatric condition such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, adjustment disorder and the like.  If your doctor just puts “stress” on your certificate, your claim will be declined.

Common Law Claim for Psychological Injury in NSW

If you have sustained a psychological injury in the course of your employment, you may be able to make a common law claim for damages.  This is known as a Work Injury Damages claim.

To make a common law claim for psychological injury in NSW, you must establish the following:-

  1. A common law claim for psychological injury must be commenced within three years from the date of injury (the date of injury is usually the last day you worked).
  2. You must have a whole person impairment of at least 15% or greater.
  3. Your psychological injury must be such that it affects your ongoing capacity to work.
  4. The injury must have been sustained as a result of the negligence of your employer, that is, the employer has breached their duty of care to ensure your safety whilst in the workplace.

Most commonly an employer breaches their duty of care in relation to psychological injuries when they fail to adequately respond or deal with a complaint of bullying and harassment in the workplace.  The employer must have in place adequate policies and procedures to deal with bullying and harassment in the workplace and then must follow those procedures.  Often employers may have such policies and procedures but regularly fail to follow those procedures and as a result, often breach their duty of care to employees to ensure their safety whilst in the workplace.

Section 11A of the Workers Compensation Act

The most common reason that the workers compensation insurer will decline a claim for psychological injury is because of Section 11A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.

This Section states that no compensation is payable in respect of an injury that is a psychological injury if the injury was “wholly or predominately caused by reasonable action taken by the employer” with respect to “transfer, demotion, promotion, performance appraisal, discipline, retrenchment or dismissal of workers or provision of employment benefits to workers”.

Often a psychological injury occurs in circumstances that also involves some disciplinary matters or performance appraisal.  The insurer will often seek to decline a claim because they will argue that the real cause of the psychological injury was reasonable performance appraisal or discipline taken by the employer.

Usually, the psychological injury occurs by reason of bullying and harassment from a supervisor which then leads to performance appraisal or discipline.  In those circumstances, Section 11A will not apply.

Workers’ compensation insurers regularly use Section 11A to decline claims and more often than not the insurer is wrong and the claim can be challenged in the Personal Injury Commission.

Type of Workers Compensation Benefits for a Psychological injury

The Workers Compensation Act allows for the following types of compensation to be payable if you have sustained a psychological injury:-

  1. Payment of weekly wages when you are unfit or partially unfit for work.
  2. Payment of medical expenses for both psychological and psychiatric treatment.
  3. Payment of a lump sum amount of compensation if you have an ongoing permanent psychological injury that is equal to or greater than 15% whole person impairment.
  4. A claim for Work Injury Damages for past and future loss of income because of a permanent ongoing psychological injury caused by the negligence of your employer.

An accredited specialist in personal injury law can assist you to make a successful psychological injury claim.

At Garling & Co Lawyers, we have experienced accredited specialists in personal injury law who have run hundreds of cases for clients who have sustained psychological injury.  Contact us today.

 

Read our successful Psychological Injury Claims here
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
patrick P.
01:46 19 Dec 23
I like to say that I had a very wonderful experience,And the support, and also understanding with all my requests,I could not ask for a better team!Thank you Emma and also her assistant Rebecca... thank youread more
Kazi H.
13:38 13 Dec 23
Work cover fund is GOVT’S money but insurer think that it is from their 14th generation. So only they can have it. Not only that, people from the work, IME doctor from insurer, back to work... coordinator from work, Rehab provider from any side push the worker as hard as possible that the worker (doesn’t matter how the workers mental or psychical condition) either go back to his pre injury duty or leave the job.More over on that very bumpy any difficult journey some of them only treat the worker as a MONEY MAKING MECHINE .in some point worker feels like, no rooms to breath. On that moment need someone to support legally, someone to care, someone to relive.On my case I believe that, somehow, I manage to make my God happy. That’s why God sends me to Matthew Gerling and his team Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, and all of GARLING & co Lawyers.I am not good enough in English, can’t express my gratitude.Matthew, Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, please accept my appreciation and pass it to others.read more
Carol L.
01:32 29 Nov 23
Professional, understanding and friendly
Sean G.
23:21 14 Nov 23
Matthew Garling and everyone I spoke to at Garling and Co were kind, caring and compassionate. They were sensitive to my psychological condition and were patient in explaining everything to me, so... that I clearly understood the legal process. I am exceptionally grateful for the settlement outcome that Garling and Co obtained for me. Many thanks.read more
waqas A.
08:33 13 Nov 23
Great Experience with Garling & Co. Matthew explained everything in detail during the first appointment. Allison, Nathan, Rebecca and the staff have been extremely helpful. Thank You to the team and... lawyers at Garling & Co. for making the long process easy for me and getting an excellent outcome for my compensation claim.I would highly recommend Garling & Co. Lawyersread more
Saskia L.
21:42 08 Nov 23
The world of workers compensation is long, hard and confusing, but Emma and Rebecca at Garling & Co always treated my case with kindness, respect and understanding. No question was ever silly and... they always had time to make sure I knew what would happen next and how we could best prepare. I am so thankful for their expertise and could not have chosen anyone better to represent me.read more
Antonio P.
08:46 06 Nov 23
Thank you Matthew and his team for taking care of my case couldn’t ask for a better results and couldn’t have better team to do that thank you
Julie M.
00:40 06 Nov 23
Garlic & Co Lawyers have been wonderful, supporting me through some difficult times. With their assistance, positive outcomes were achieved. Many thanks to the Team.Julie

Would you like assistance with your psychological injury claim?

Complete our free, no obligation confidential case assessment form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Alternatively, we are available to talk by phone and email. Please contact our experienced accredited specialist personal injury lawyers to find out how we can help.

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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
patrick P.
01:46 19 Dec 23
I like to say that I had a very wonderful experience,And the support, and also understanding with all my requests,I could not ask for a better team!Thank you Emma and also her assistant Rebecca... thank youread more
Kazi H.
13:38 13 Dec 23
Work cover fund is GOVT’S money but insurer think that it is from their 14th generation. So only they can have it. Not only that, people from the work, IME doctor from insurer, back to work... coordinator from work, Rehab provider from any side push the worker as hard as possible that the worker (doesn’t matter how the workers mental or psychical condition) either go back to his pre injury duty or leave the job.More over on that very bumpy any difficult journey some of them only treat the worker as a MONEY MAKING MECHINE .in some point worker feels like, no rooms to breath. On that moment need someone to support legally, someone to care, someone to relive.On my case I believe that, somehow, I manage to make my God happy. That’s why God sends me to Matthew Gerling and his team Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, and all of GARLING & co Lawyers.I am not good enough in English, can’t express my gratitude.Matthew, Allison, Rebecca and Nathan, please accept my appreciation and pass it to others.read more
Carol L.
01:32 29 Nov 23
Professional, understanding and friendly
Sean G.
23:21 14 Nov 23
Matthew Garling and everyone I spoke to at Garling and Co were kind, caring and compassionate. They were sensitive to my psychological condition and were patient in explaining everything to me, so... that I clearly understood the legal process. I am exceptionally grateful for the settlement outcome that Garling and Co obtained for me. Many thanks.read more
waqas A.
08:33 13 Nov 23
Great Experience with Garling & Co. Matthew explained everything in detail during the first appointment. Allison, Nathan, Rebecca and the staff have been extremely helpful. Thank You to the team and... lawyers at Garling & Co. for making the long process easy for me and getting an excellent outcome for my compensation claim.I would highly recommend Garling & Co. Lawyersread more
Saskia L.
21:42 08 Nov 23
The world of workers compensation is long, hard and confusing, but Emma and Rebecca at Garling & Co always treated my case with kindness, respect and understanding. No question was ever silly and... they always had time to make sure I knew what would happen next and how we could best prepare. I am so thankful for their expertise and could not have chosen anyone better to represent me.read more
Antonio P.
08:46 06 Nov 23
Thank you Matthew and his team for taking care of my case couldn’t ask for a better results and couldn’t have better team to do that thank you
Julie M.
00:40 06 Nov 23
Garlic & Co Lawyers have been wonderful, supporting me through some difficult times. With their assistance, positive outcomes were achieved. Many thanks to the Team.Julie

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have a psychological injury claim?

You may be entitled to make a psychological injury claim if you have sustained a psychological injury or condition because of an injury you sustained at work.

To have a valid psychological injury claim, your lawyers at Garling & Co will need to be able to prove that have a diagnosable psychological injury and that such a condition has developed because of your employment.

Psychological injuries can be difficult to prove, so your lawyer will need to carefully analyse and assess the facts of your circumstances before they can draw any assumptions about whether or not you have a valid psychological injury claim.

Garling & Co lawyers will be able to efficiently and effectively let you know whether you have a psychological injury claim on your hands that could result in you being compensated for the distress caused to you.

2. What is the legal process for a psychological injury claim?

Psychological injury claims fall under the NSW Workers Compensation Act and can be quite complicated given the individual circumstances. Here is a brief explanation of the legal process for a psychological injury claim.

  1. You get in contact with Garling & Co
  2. We have an initial consultation and assess whether you have a case
  3. We build your case by collecting factual and medical evidence
  4. Commence a claim against the workers compensation insurer
  5. If a settlement can be reached, then the case concludes
  6. If a settlement cannot be reached, a determination of the claim is made by an independent Arbitrator.

3. Who pays me compensation for my psychological injury?

If you have made a psychological injury claim as the result of an incident in the workplace and your employer is found to be responsible, then your compensation will be paid for by your employer’s workers compensation insurance company. The individual employer at fault will not have to pay for your compensation.

4. How much compensation do you get for a psychological injury?

The amount of compensation you receive for your psychological injury claim will depend on the nature and extent of your injury, whether it stops you from working and what treatment you may need to recover. The amount payable varies in each case but can include, weekly payments of compensation, medical expenses, and a lump sum for whole person impairment (WPI).

In NSW it may also be possible to sue your employer for negligence and obtain a lump sum payment for what is known as work injury damages.

5. How long will a psychological injury claim take?

Psychological injury claims can often be very complex matters, so the amount of time your psychological injury claim will take to reach resolution will depend on the individual circumstances of your case. Getting in touch with the lawyers at Garling & Co will be your first step in understanding how long your psychological injury claim may take depending on the unique facts surrounding your case.

6. What are the time limits for making a psychological injury claim?

Psychological injury claims are governed by strict time limits, so it’s important that you contact Garling & Co as soon as possible to discuss whether you have a claim so we can lodge it for you. In New South Wales for example under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW), individuals must commence a work injury damages claim no later than three years after the date of the injury.

7. Why choose Garling & Co lawyers?

At Garling & Co, our lawyers believe in the rights of the individual; a person’s right to fight for what is just and fair. We also believe that psychological injuries can be just as harmful (and are just as valid) as physical ones.

Doyles Guide and Three Best Rated have consistently awarded Garling & Co as a leading compensation law firm in Sydney. Doyles Guide has recognised Garling & Co in both the Recommended and Leading categories for Accident Compensation Law Firm and Personal Injury Law Firm since 2015.

Our customer service ethos for psychological injury claims is to support our clients through every stage of the process, and to deliver them with the best financial outcome in the shortest period of time.

Our modern law practice is conveniently located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, within easy walking distance of Town Hall, Wynyard and Martin Place train stations. Parking is also available at the Queen Victoria Building (QVB), so it’s easy for you to come and see us for an initial consultation to discuss your psychological injury claim.

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