Texas Workers’ Comp gets tricky and confusing. Learn which kinds of injuries are and are not covered.
What Does Texas Worker’s Comp Cover?
You’re at work at your construction job. A truck driver backs over your foot. That’s an obvious work-related injury. Workers’ comp has to cover it.
Now, let’s say you’re getting depressed. The people you work with aren’t the nicest human beings. Fights and arguments are common where you work. You don’t like what you do all that much.
Does worker’s compensation cover your depression?
Workers’ Compensation Covers Injuries that Happen on the Job
Not all on-the-job injuries are covered by workers’ compensation (more on that in a second), but most are. Generally, if you’re doing something related to your employment, and you get injured, you should be covered by workers’ compensation.
Anything at your physical workplace should be covered. If you’re injured while traveling for work, or if you’re at a conference, or you run to the office to pick up supplies, those injuries are covered too. Those tasks were done clearly as a part of your employment.
But Worker’s Compensation Doesn’t Cover All Workplace Injuries…
Say you and some buddies decide to goof around with a nail gun at work. You accidentally shoot yourself in the foot. Because you were behaving irresponsibly, you’re injuries likely won’t be covered.
Any situation where you choose to act in violation of company policy puts you at risk for not getting covered. Coming to work intoxicated, hurting yourself on purpose, picking fights with other employees, or committing a felony at work greatly jeopardize your ability to recover compensation.
So Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Your Depression?
Mental pain and suffering gets tricky in the legal world. In Texas, however, the law is abundantly clear. The mental trauma must be traceable to a specific time, place, and cause.
So in this case, given the fact that your depression did not arise from a single specific event, worker’s comp likely wouldn’t cover it.
However, if your depression arose because you witnessed someone killed at a workplace accident, then you have a stronger case.
Who Has the Burden of Proof in Texas Workers’ Compensation Cases?
You, the injured party, does.
If you believe you have experienced “mental trauma” as a result of a workplace incident, you must show:
- The mental trauma results from a definite time, place, and event
- It must have happened within the scope of employment
- The trauma did not result from a legitimate personnel action
So those are some of the ins and outs of compensable workplace injuries. If your employer disputes the validity of your injuries, contact a personal injury law firm today.