Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops after a particularly traumatizing event occurs. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, PTSD:
is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
The effects of PTSD are often long-lasting and can deeply affect the victim’s daily life, yet many people who suffer from PTSD are afraid to seek legal compensation for their affliction. Many people believe they don’t suffer from an actually ailment, but rather that they are just emotionally weak and need to learn to cope with their trauma.
This could not be farther from the truth. According to the Virginia Court of Appeals, which sided with a man suffering from work-related PTSD:
There is no physical trauma involved [in PTSD]. Rather, exposure to the incident(s) result in neurochemical alterations in multiple neurotransmitter systems . . . . These changes appear to be a result of the organism’s adaptive survival responses. These responses, initially beneficial to the individual, also result in long-term negative symptoms of PTSD.
Since organic brain damage is the result of PTSD, Ashburn Village and South Riding Virginia disability lawyer Doug Landau takes the position that the disorder should be treated in court just like other types of work-related brain injury. Lawyer Landau points out that the trick is that, if PTSD develops from a single event, it is classified as a "sudden, work-related injury," while if it develops gradually it is classified as an occupational "disease." Both, however, can be ruled as "compensable" in court if the evidence supports such a finding. Loudoun County brain injury lawyer Landau notes that the medical records will be carefully reviewed by the Court before making such a ruling.
If you or a loved one is suffering from work-related PTSD, you may be able to seek legal compensation. At the very least, do some research, and talk to a doctor or a lawyer about your rights. There is no reason that you should suffer needlessly any longer.