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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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Industry Experts: 20+ years of experience

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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
Yanthi S.
01:51 18 May 22
I engaged with Garling and Co to assist me for my weekly payment dispute with the insurance. I was upset with Natasha, as she didn't prepare me to the worse outcome or kind of negotiation in the... hearing. I assumed that as a Lawyer she should experience with the process or the way to solve the case. Even though I asked her what should I do or what would be happened in the hearing a week before but she didn't mentioned anything, and told me not do anything. But in the hearing she and the Arbitrator only gave me less than 5 minute to make decision and pushed me to accept the disappointed outcome and what she said totally different with what she said earlier. I don't trust her at all, her words is not consistent.I would like to express my appreciation to Matthew Garling who had stepped in to handle my weekly payment issue with the insurance. He is very professional, knowledgeable, easy to talk to and very humble. My disappointment earlier has melted away by his kindness and caring to resolve my issue which has came out the great outcome. Now I am satisfied with his expertise therefore I would not hesitate to let him to handle the case I might have in the future.read more
Lynda S
00:34 04 May 22
For such complicated matters, it is extremely important to have a good team in your corner. The right team.Garling and co is just that and much more.They listen to you and care. They support you... during the entire process. You will have so many questions and they always return your calls and reply to your emails.Thank you so much to Renee, who explained everything to me and what to expect in details and really reassured me. The process felt less heavy and stressful because she was there. She was professional and so efficient. She took over my case from previous lawyer and I wish I could have met her first. She was available to answer the many questions I had along the way. There is also Kelli, she was the first person I got on the phone most of the time when I called and she is nice and very helpful, I had so many questions and doubts, I was stressed yet she had the patience to explain and seek answers to my questions.Natasha took over my case towards the end and she also was great in listening and supporting me and made sure to defend my best interests against the other side at all time.The Worker’s compensation process is very stressful, it can last for a long period. In my case it was three years and it is to the upmost importance to have people who treats you well, are professional and efficient.I am very satisfied with the outcome and I hope that this reviews helps the next person.Your assistance made the difference and I would have not been able to do it without your precious help.read more
Melinda B.
23:57 04 Apr 22
Workers compensation and the medical-legal process is a complicated and a difficult process.If you are looking for a highly professional compensation/personal injury lawyer, I would without... hesitation definitely recommend Matthew Garling who is a genuine, caring & dedicated lawyer.Matthew, Allison Luck and co. are extremely professional, clear and concise with all communication and an exceptional support during the whole process of my claim, I felt confident and secure that I had made the right decision having Matthew represent me, they worked tirelessly and where 100% committed to getting me the best possible outcome.My case was complicated and Matthew never gave up fighting for me, he didn’t just take the first option for a quick and easy resolution.He and his team got me the best possible outcome for my WPI and I will be forever grateful for their hard work and diligence. I now have peace of mind knowing I have lifetime medical assistance and payment till retirement age.read more
Jim M.
12:25 27 Mar 22
Garling and Co lawyers you have done again with Success for my TPD claim! Ms. Emma Perkins and her team have assisted my TPD claim with great success after the hard work, She is a very down-to-earth... person, professional, and highly knowledgeable with insurance claim law. She is very approachable and always willing to help and often reply my question of email after business hours. I will most delighted to recommend Garling and Co Lawyers. Ms. Emma Perkins and her team to any person who needs insurance claim law service like me. by Julieread more
Anthony N
22:13 17 Mar 22
I had Garling & Co Lawyers handle my workplace dispute, I could not be happier with the outcome, handled in such a professional way with excellent communication throughout the entire process.Natasha... and Kelli were very understanding in every aspect, requesting information via phone or email was never an issue, fast response times and helpful in every way. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the team @ Garling & Co Lawyers. 👍read more
Yvonne M.
05:03 21 Jan 22
Zee
14:20 15 Jan 22
I would like to thank the entire team at Garling and Co for being in my corner throughout the worst years I've experienced in my life.I chose Garling and Co in the end after being seriously injured... at work and needing representation, something I should have done years prior.I met with over 12 other legal firms in Sydney. Large,medium, small and all in between. Some were friends, some family, some were sharks, many were pressuring, many promised the world, Matthew was not like that.Matthew was the benchmark as he was one of the first I spoke with and ultimately he stood out in the end as I felt he was the most genuine.From the outset to the conclusion, I found Matthew to be very polite, easy to communicate with and extremely down to earth.He explained everything simply, he had answers for any questions along the way. He told me it how it was, not just what I wanted to hear.Matthew is a genuine nice guy that runs a very efficient and professional law firm. I made the correct choice engaging him in my claims and would not hesitate in recommending him.Renee was also terrific in handling my TPD claim which was literally finalised faster then international postage.Allison, Rebecca and Kelli were all great, always.Thanks again Garling and Co.read more
mark S.
06:30 23 Dec 21
I found from my very first meeting With Matthew that he was upfront honest and to the point . He thoroughly investigated my claim and we agreed too proceed.The staff at Garling and Co are wonderful... and helpful and I was kept informed and upto date from day one till the end .They made me feel confident and secure and I know I had the best team possible for my best outcome .I can’t thank Matthew and the team for their wonderful serviceread more
Daniel F.
08:48 10 Nov 21
My wife suffered psychological injury.Never having similar experience she had to get legal advice.Workers compensation law is complex and she needed someone to help her navigate her way through.... There are many compensation lawyers but not all with enough experience and strong reputation . We have finally decided to go with Matthew and his team based on the independent website reviews .Looking back now we have made the right choice .There is lot of hurdles and having trustworthy lawyer with great communication skills on your side can make huge difference .My wife can now try to move on with the compensation she deserved.Thanks to Matthew ,Allison ,Emma,Rebecca and rest of the team. Thank you again.Daniel and Veerayaread more
K B.
07:35 28 Oct 21
When you work for an employer for a number of decades and suffer a debilitating injury, you expect compassion, support and belief that you are genuine. When you don’t get that and then also have to... deal with Workers Compensation Insurers it slowly breaks you.That's when you need amazing support like Matthew Garling and his team. From my first meeting with Matthew I was confident I was referred to the right guy. I couldn’t be more pleased with my outcome. Matthew is the Guru of workers compensation, he is professional, easy to work with, nothings a bother and most importantly he gets great results. Do not think twice about using Garling and Co Lawyers.Thank you Matthew, Renee, Allison and Kelli for your invaluable support.read more
READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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Yanthi S.
01:51 18 May 22
I engaged with Garling and Co to assist me for my weekly payment dispute with the insurance. I was upset with Natasha, as she didn't prepare me to the worse outcome or kind of negotiation in the... hearing. I assumed that as a Lawyer she should experience with the process or the way to solve the case. Even though I asked her what should I do or what would be happened in the hearing a week before but she didn't mentioned anything, and told me not do anything. But in the hearing she and the Arbitrator only gave me less than 5 minute to make decision and pushed me to accept the disappointed outcome and what she said totally different with what she said earlier. I don't trust her at all, her words is not consistent.I would like to express my appreciation to Matthew Garling who had stepped in to handle my weekly payment issue with the insurance. He is very professional, knowledgeable, easy to talk to and very humble. My disappointment earlier has melted away by his kindness and caring to resolve my issue which has came out the great outcome. Now I am satisfied with his expertise therefore I would not hesitate to let him to handle the case I might have in the future.read more
Lynda S
00:34 04 May 22
For such complicated matters, it is extremely important to have a good team in your corner. The right team.Garling and co is just that and much more.They listen to you and care. They support you... during the entire process. You will have so many questions and they always return your calls and reply to your emails.Thank you so much to Renee, who explained everything to me and what to expect in details and really reassured me. The process felt less heavy and stressful because she was there. She was professional and so efficient. She took over my case from previous lawyer and I wish I could have met her first. She was available to answer the many questions I had along the way. There is also Kelli, she was the first person I got on the phone most of the time when I called and she is nice and very helpful, I had so many questions and doubts, I was stressed yet she had the patience to explain and seek answers to my questions.Natasha took over my case towards the end and she also was great in listening and supporting me and made sure to defend my best interests against the other side at all time.The Worker’s compensation process is very stressful, it can last for a long period. In my case it was three years and it is to the upmost importance to have people who treats you well, are professional and efficient.I am very satisfied with the outcome and I hope that this reviews helps the next person.Your assistance made the difference and I would have not been able to do it without your precious help.read more
Melinda B.
23:57 04 Apr 22
Workers compensation and the medical-legal process is a complicated and a difficult process.If you are looking for a highly professional compensation/personal injury lawyer, I would without... hesitation definitely recommend Matthew Garling who is a genuine, caring & dedicated lawyer.Matthew, Allison Luck and co. are extremely professional, clear and concise with all communication and an exceptional support during the whole process of my claim, I felt confident and secure that I had made the right decision having Matthew represent me, they worked tirelessly and where 100% committed to getting me the best possible outcome.My case was complicated and Matthew never gave up fighting for me, he didn’t just take the first option for a quick and easy resolution.He and his team got me the best possible outcome for my WPI and I will be forever grateful for their hard work and diligence. I now have peace of mind knowing I have lifetime medical assistance and payment till retirement age.read more
Jim M.
12:25 27 Mar 22
Garling and Co lawyers you have done again with Success for my TPD claim! Ms. Emma Perkins and her team have assisted my TPD claim with great success after the hard work, She is a very down-to-earth... person, professional, and highly knowledgeable with insurance claim law. She is very approachable and always willing to help and often reply my question of email after business hours. I will most delighted to recommend Garling and Co Lawyers. Ms. Emma Perkins and her team to any person who needs insurance claim law service like me. by Julieread more
Anthony N
22:13 17 Mar 22
I had Garling & Co Lawyers handle my workplace dispute, I could not be happier with the outcome, handled in such a professional way with excellent communication throughout the entire process.Natasha... and Kelli were very understanding in every aspect, requesting information via phone or email was never an issue, fast response times and helpful in every way. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the team @ Garling & Co Lawyers. 👍read more
Yvonne M.
05:03 21 Jan 22
Zee
14:20 15 Jan 22
I would like to thank the entire team at Garling and Co for being in my corner throughout the worst years I've experienced in my life.I chose Garling and Co in the end after being seriously injured... at work and needing representation, something I should have done years prior.I met with over 12 other legal firms in Sydney. Large,medium, small and all in between. Some were friends, some family, some were sharks, many were pressuring, many promised the world, Matthew was not like that.Matthew was the benchmark as he was one of the first I spoke with and ultimately he stood out in the end as I felt he was the most genuine.From the outset to the conclusion, I found Matthew to be very polite, easy to communicate with and extremely down to earth.He explained everything simply, he had answers for any questions along the way. He told me it how it was, not just what I wanted to hear.Matthew is a genuine nice guy that runs a very efficient and professional law firm. I made the correct choice engaging him in my claims and would not hesitate in recommending him.Renee was also terrific in handling my TPD claim which was literally finalised faster then international postage.Allison, Rebecca and Kelli were all great, always.Thanks again Garling and Co.read more
mark S.
06:30 23 Dec 21
I found from my very first meeting With Matthew that he was upfront honest and to the point . He thoroughly investigated my claim and we agreed too proceed.The staff at Garling and Co are wonderful... and helpful and I was kept informed and upto date from day one till the end .They made me feel confident and secure and I know I had the best team possible for my best outcome .I can’t thank Matthew and the team for their wonderful serviceread more
Daniel F.
08:48 10 Nov 21
My wife suffered psychological injury.Never having similar experience she had to get legal advice.Workers compensation law is complex and she needed someone to help her navigate her way through.... There are many compensation lawyers but not all with enough experience and strong reputation . We have finally decided to go with Matthew and his team based on the independent website reviews .Looking back now we have made the right choice .There is lot of hurdles and having trustworthy lawyer with great communication skills on your side can make huge difference .My wife can now try to move on with the compensation she deserved.Thanks to Matthew ,Allison ,Emma,Rebecca and rest of the team. Thank you again.Daniel and Veerayaread more
K B.
07:35 28 Oct 21
When you work for an employer for a number of decades and suffer a debilitating injury, you expect compassion, support and belief that you are genuine. When you don’t get that and then also have to... deal with Workers Compensation Insurers it slowly breaks you.That's when you need amazing support like Matthew Garling and his team. From my first meeting with Matthew I was confident I was referred to the right guy. I couldn’t be more pleased with my outcome. Matthew is the Guru of workers compensation, he is professional, easy to work with, nothings a bother and most importantly he gets great results. Do not think twice about using Garling and Co Lawyers.Thank you Matthew, Renee, Allison and Kelli for your invaluable support.read more

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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