Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, describes a range of psychological symptoms caused by a single stressful incident. These symptoms were widely recognised during World War I, when returning soldiers displaying them were said to be suffering from ‘shell-shock’. Now, PTSD is much better understood.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms of PTSD include:
- Poor concentration
- Nightmares & Flashbacks
- Constant recollection of traumatic event
- Physical effects, like trembling.
In most cases, symptoms of this sort arrive within moments of the stressful event, and fade over time. In PTSD-sufferers, however, they stick around for the long term. They might not develop for months, or even years, after the event – but once they manifest, they’ll persist for a long time.
What do I need to make a claim?
If you’ve suffered PTSD as a result of an event that wasn’t your fault, then you might be entitled to compensation. Perhaps a lack of precaution on the part of an employer created the unsafe environment which made an accident possible. Perhaps another motorist caused a car accident which ultimately caused you to suffer these symptoms.
The list of potential triggers is incredibly varied, stretching from a bereavement to a natural disaster. In every case, to make a claim you’ll need to demonstrate that you are, in fact, suffering from PTSD, and that there’s culpability – that someone else is responsible for your suffering.
Like many mental health problems, PTSD is a disorder whose extent is difficult to convey to people who aren’t suffering from it. We can all imagine what it might be like to break a leg; empathising with someone suffering from a mental health problem requires a little more effort.
Determining exactly how much a PTSD sufferer should be entitled to in damages is the job of a competent solicitor with experience with this area of law. To do this, a diagnosis from a doctor is essential.
You might also claim against financial loss incurred as a result of your being unable to work because of the symptoms. This is something which might be evidenced through a paper trail. Payslips and doctor’s notes can give the case a far greater chance of success. If you’re self-employed, then providing proof of earnings up until the point that the symptoms started to manifest can be very useful.