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  • Delayed stress reaction.

    Hi there. I have a bit of a unique situation in that my boss has an MFT intern who lost a client due to an accidental overdose about a month ago. We are also in the process of getting workers comp insurance and all was well until last week when it seems our intern is having a delayed stress reaction. I wanted to know if the main traumatizing event happened prior to the insurance being in effect, but the symptoms built up following it, would our intern be able to claim workers comp? Or should she go with state disability? Either way our biggest concern is getting our intern the help she needs to process the loss.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    No, the WC carrier is not responsible for claims which might have happened before they were the carrier. Who was the carrier before this new carrier came onto the scene? Please tell me the company was not just uninsurered. Upset over a client overdose more likely than not would not be covered as WC unless there is whole lot you left out. Your state makes a huge difference here.

    Is the intern asking to file it as WC? If not, I would have them use their own insurance and not go down the road of WC.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      Agreed. I hope you had a previous WC carrier, unless you are in TX where employers can still opt out but only with lots of notices to the state and to employees.

      If not, I agree they won't cover something that happened prior to the coverage going into effect.

      If your state has disability, which TX does not, and they ask her how/why this is occurring and she answers that it is work-related, you might have subrogation issues where the state then wants to be paid back by the WC carrier and if you didn't have one, the employer might be liable.

      One question though -- was she a true intern (unpaid, not an employee, etc)? If so, you might have a little more leeway on not being liable. But since she had clients, I doubt she was a true intern/trainee.

      I would strongly suggest getting an attorney would specializes in the employer side of WC to see what your liabilities are and hope you have an E&O or EPLI insurance policy to cover the mistake.

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      • #4
        We are just starting out and didn't realize we needed workers comp. Now that we have it as well as our liability insurance we're covered. Our intern is not asking about WC and honestly, if she did I would advise her against it as I worked with a WC psychologist for a few years. Since I am new I just wanted to know so I can get familiar with policies. Thanks again for all of your help! You guys are the best.

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        • #5
          Jilly, what state are you in?
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            Per prior thread & OP's IP address - California. Intern "probably" works Ca.

            Ca. has SDI.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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