Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very serious disorder of the mind which can have devastating effects on a person’s life to the extent that it is possible to claim compensation to offset the effects of the condition. 

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? 

It is a very severe anxiety disorder that can occur after an event which has frightened, injured or distressed a person so much that they are affected in such a way as to be quite debilitated and unable to function normally in some cases. The condition can appear immediately after an event or it can take weeks, months or even years before symptoms appear.  

Symptoms of PTSD 

The symptoms can vary from person to person but include: 

  • Nightmares and flashbacks where the event is relived over and over again. 

  • Pain, including chest or stomach pains, sweating, uncontrollable trembling or nausea. 

  • Repeated negative thoughts about the event which can hamper the ability to cope. 

  • Sleeping problems and difficulty in concentrating. 

  • Irritability and uncontrollable anger or conversely emotional withdrawal and numbness. 

  • Depression or the development of phobias. 

  • Descent into self-harm. 

What causes PTSD? 

There are many and varied things which can result in a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Disorder Syndrome. One with which we are increasingly familiar concerns those men and women returning from military combat who may have life-changing injuries or who have witnessed distressing events. Serious road accidents can have long-term psychological injury even if there is minor or no physical injury. People who have witnessed a natural disaster or catastrophe or who have witnessed or been a victim of serious crime often report symptoms of PTSD. Other causes can include: 

  • Involvement in the aftermath of a terrorist attack 

  • Prolonged neglect or abuse either at school or within a family circle 

Examples of Incidents that have caused Post Traumatic Stress

One example of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder comes from the recent archives of the Health & Safety Executive and refers to an incident where a Wiltshire estate agent was fined after a member of the public fell 30ft down a well during a property viewing. The person found herself submerged in water and waiting an hour for rescue. She received head injuries and concussion from the fall and afterwards developed PTSD. It was found that the estate agents knew about the well but didn’t take steps to secure it. At the HSE hearing it was acknowledged that the woman suffered severe trauma and this would certainly be a good claim for compensation as a result of neglect. 

Another example concerns a refuse collector who received post-traumatic stress disorder compensation after an accident at work. This distressing incident caused severe panic attacks and affected his home and working life very badly to the point at which his employment contract was terminated. In this case we were able to secure a substantial amount of compensation for him. 

In another recent case, London Container Terminal (Tilbury) Ltd was fined a six figure sum following a serious incident where a worker was injured after the ‘straddle’ carrier he was driving overturned due to inadequate safety measures and poor weather conditions. This worker suffered life-changing head injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The HSE confirmed that this was a wholly preventable accident. As such, there could well be a case for compensation for the affected worker. 

What are the treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? 

The NHS advises that the main treatments for this debilitating condition are medication and psychotherapy following a professional assessment. Whether your symptoms are mild, or severe and immediate or they surface years after a traumatic event, you can still be successfully treated. Recommended medications usually involve anti-depressants but it is widely acknowledged that psychological treatments are often the most effective way to combat PTSD. These can include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Group talking therapy or even Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy. All of these treatments together with the initial assessment will be under the full supervision of a medical professional. 

Can you claim Compensation for PTSD? 

If you believe you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of an accident or incident that wasn’t your fault you may be able to claim for compensation. It won’t be straightforward though because of the variety of ways you can be affected and because of the length of time it can take to reach a diagnosis, however, your claim could be worth anywhere between £3000 for mild PTSD to £81000 for severe cases. To find out whether you are eligible for compensation call us today on 01782 608744, where our friendly, compassionate team can talk you through the process, and see if you could make a claim. 

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