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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
Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
Tamara L.
02:10 15 Apr 24
I want to thank Garling & Co so much for all the help they have given me and helped with my claim. We got the win last week and it was the best news I have gotten considering how much my life has... been turned upside down the past 2 years. Emma and Rebecca have been incredible to work with and explained everything from the start even when I had hesitation to go ahead regarding how much everything would cost or how fair it could go or even if I had a chance, but they explained everything thoroughly, so I understood it all. Thank you for making this process seamlessly easy and helping me get the win it will make things a little easy for me that's for sure financial thank you for all your help I cannot recommend you and your services enough. Thank you again.read more
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

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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You won’t be required to pay any fees until we win your case.

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Ray H.
07:33 13 Jun 24
Matthew Garling and Team are kind, patient, polite, professional, empathetic and efficient. I was treated terribly by the at fault insurer. Garling and Co. had my back. Matthew gently and patiently... kept me up to speed on all the steps to go through. From my personal experience I recommend these guys. They are safe hands. Thank you team.read more
Jo L.
05:58 07 May 24
So very impressed with the professional team who looked after me throughout the last 4 and 1/2 years. A special mention to Kerry and Nathan who navigated each request to fight for my right to gain... access to further treatments and physio and to ensure medical treatment would be covered moving forward. I was so grateful I could hand it all over to you and not have to go through this very challenging time without your support.I thank you for the compassion you have provided to me, from the first contact with Matthew and Natasha, to finalisation with Kerry and Nathan.I highly recommend the team at Garling and Co for any third party compensation claims. You are in good hands with them all.read more
Linda O.
21:53 06 May 24
Emma, Rebecca and the team at Garling and Co have worked diligently throughout my workers compensation claim. The level of professionalism, support and communication has been faultless. Of particular... note has been the sensitivity displayed to me throughout the lengthy process. Worker’s compensation claims are complex and not easy to navigate, particularly when you are unwell. I do not hesitate to recommend Garling and Co to help you find a way through this otherwise unfathomable system.read more
Keith H.
20:51 23 Apr 24
After my case stalled with another firm, I decided to give Matthew Garling a call. He took my case and not only won, but achieved an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. This firm is the best... in the business in my opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.read more
Anthony T.
00:50 16 Apr 24
Thank you Matthew and his team who guided me through the legal process, a truly positive experience with total professionalism.
Mikaele N.
03:01 15 Apr 24
Garling &Co Lawyers were awesome, I called every compensation law firm and was told that I couldn't claim for compensation.The whole experience and process was simple and stress free.Mr Matthew... Garling and Allison deserve an accolades for the very best in client service. I would highly recommend their service to anyone.read more
Tamara L.
02:10 15 Apr 24
I want to thank Garling & Co so much for all the help they have given me and helped with my claim. We got the win last week and it was the best news I have gotten considering how much my life has... been turned upside down the past 2 years. Emma and Rebecca have been incredible to work with and explained everything from the start even when I had hesitation to go ahead regarding how much everything would cost or how fair it could go or even if I had a chance, but they explained everything thoroughly, so I understood it all. Thank you for making this process seamlessly easy and helping me get the win it will make things a little easy for me that's for sure financial thank you for all your help I cannot recommend you and your services enough. Thank you again.read more
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

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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