Repetitive injuries count as a form of physical stress, but many people interested in making a stress-related personal injury claim against their employer are suffering from mental or emotional stress instead. This form of personal injury is only recognized in some states, and even in those places, it's tricky to establish your claim and your employer's negligence. Hiring or requesting testimony from the right people can make all the difference in your stress-related personal injury case.
1. Psychiatrist or Therapist
If you're trying to prove a mental or emotional claim, you'll obviously need treatment records and the professional opinion of the doctor handling your care. Whether you decide to seek help from a psychiatrist, psychology, or therapist for your work stress, you'll need the records of those treatments to prove you were seriously impacted by the stress. If the stress-related symptoms weren't severe enough to justify treatment, you're unlikely to win a claim in court either.
2. Expert Witness
Some doctors and therapists are either unwilling or unable to testify in court on behalf of their stressed patients. When you can bring in the professional that treated you, they can testify as both a fact witness and expert witness. Fact witnesses verify your experiences due to their personal experience with you or the workplace setting, while expert witnesses explain to the jury the general requirements for workplace stress to qualify as a personal injury. Bringing in expert witnesses that aren't familiar with you personally can still help sway a case by proving your medical records and other evidence qualify for the legal requirements of the case.
3. Career Peer
In order to make a claim against your employer, you'll need to do more than just prove your job was stressful and caused you injury or loss. The stress must be greater than what's expected for your particular position and career. Expected stress levels obviously vary greatly depending on the job, with EMTs expecting different stresses than bookstore employees. Bringing in a coworker or peer employed at the same exact position at a different company can help you establish what's regularly expected of you and how your experience went beyond that level of stress.
4. Supervisor or Manager
Stress-related personal injury claims require negligent behavior on someone's part. If your stress was due to harassment or bullying from a coworker or customer, bringing in a supervisor or manager who was present for the situation can help. Even if the manager was negligent in their handling of the situation by failing to discipline or fire someone who harassed you, you can collect their testimony to bolster your own claims.
Contact a personal injury lawyer for more information on filing a claim.