A new Department of Industrial Accidents ruling prevents insurers from taking advantage of their own failure to bring up an argument during the hearing.
After an appeal from the original ruling, which said that the employee was not entitled to benefits for loss of psychiatric function because she had failed to prove that it was a permanent impairment, the DIA made the following determination:
"We affirm the judge's decision that psychiatric loss of function benefits are recoverable pursuant to s.36(1)(j). However, because the self-insurer did not raise the issue of permanency at hearing and stipulated to the amount due should s. 36(1)(j) be found to contemplate an award of benefits for that loss, we reverse the decision on that issue, and order payment of the stipulated amount."
Furthermore, the DIA noted with specificity that mental damages have historically always been recoverable, despite what the insurer argued. They stated that "(n)o other statutory or decisional authority supports treating mental and emotional injuries/disabilities any differently than physical injuries/disabilities. "
Those who suffer mental anguish or other emotional or psychiatric injuries following a workplace accident have less to fear now and should be getting compensated for all their injuries.
If you have been in a work place accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.