Attorney Jeff Sheppard Weighs in: Can You File a Worker’s Compensation Claim for Mental Stress

Posted on: February 23, 2018
NEW JERSEY. Worker’s compensation claims are most often associated with physical injuries on the job. We often think of workplace injuries as encompassing slip and falls, broken bones, and car crashes. These claims allow victims to collect money to cover their medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. However, if you find yourself suffering from stress on the job, you may also be able to collect worker’s compensation.

According to the American Bar Association, if you can prove that the stress was work related, that the stress has resulted in permanent disability or impairment, and that the stress of the job was above normal, then you may be entitled to seek worker’s compensation for your injuries.

Some teachers across America may be suffering from increased stress on the job.

In the wake of the school shooting in Florida, lawmakers have proposed many solutions (few of them actually involving the ban of assault rifles like the one used on students and teachers). According to the New York Times, one of the solutions President Trump has proposed is arming teachers with guns and giving them bonuses if they choose to be armed. The National Rifle Association supports the arming of school teachers, though many critics worry that the solution won’t reduce the number of people killed in school shootings and that teachers won’t be properly trained to handle an active shooting situation.

It is difficult enough for schools to get the money they need to pay for books, supplies, and teacher salaries, so it doesn’t seem that governments would be able to afford these bonuses. However, one reality few are talking about in the wake of the Florida shooting is the added stress it puts on teachers.

When the school shooting took place, teachers were on the job when their school became a war zone. This can certainly be defined as a high-stress situation, even the kind of high-stress situation that could lead to a serious condition like post-traumatic stress disorder. Could the teachers who survived the school shooting potentially be able to collect worker’s compensation for the shooting?

If school shootings or public shootings become the norm due to lack of political action, we may see more workers seeking compensation for job related stress. Shootings have taken place at movie theatres, schools, and concerts. Many people were just doing their jobs when these shootings took place. The aftermath for those who are emotionally affected can be incredibly difficult, especially because there are still many gaps in mental health coverage in America. Insurance doesn’t always cover all forms of mental health care.

If you have suffered serious or severe on-the-job stress, you may be entitled to make a worker’s compensation claim. Jeff Sheppard, Esq. is a worker’s compensation attorney in New Jersey who works closely with victims and families, helping them seek the justice they may deserve under the law. As tragedies continue to unfold in America, Jeff Sheppard is closely watching to see how the law will respond. If you’ve been hurt or if you’ve suffered emotionally while on the job, you may have important rights. Visit our firm at to learn more about your options.