Compensation and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

by Criminal Defence Blawg on March 20, 2013

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Post regarding compensation and PTSD, whether or not caused by criminal injuries.

When considering the idea of making a claim for compensation following personal injury, most people’s thoughts tend, naturally, to err towards clearly obvious physical injuries. If someone has been involved in a car accident which wasn’t their fault, for example, and as a result of the accident they’ve lost a leg, than it seems frankly obvious that they should receive compensation to allow them to live the rest of their life. In the case of a missing leg, this would entail direct expenses such as medical bills and the cost of any adaptations which need to be made to the home of the person in question. On top of this there would be an amount calculated on the basis of the severity and type of the injury, and then upon any earnings which have been lost, either now or in the future. To put things simply, the compensation would be intended to ensure that the person involved could, as far as possible, go on living their life, at least in financial terms, as if the accident never happened.

It’s not always as clear cut as a missing limb or other obvious physical disability, however, since compensation claims can often revolve around conditions or illnesses which have arisen due to long term poor conditions in the workplace, meaning that the ‘accident’ in question took place many years ago over a prolonged period of time. The popular view of the so called ‘compensation culture’ is that it revolves around incidents such as someone tripping at work or suffering whiplash following a minor car accident, but the truth can be much more complicated and subtle.
It’s possible and, indeed, reasonable to make a claim for psychological distress, for example. Though less obvious to the casual observer, and more difficult to diagnose, psychological distress can be just as debilitating as physical injury and can have a hugely detrimental effect upon a person’s life. If you’ve been involved in a violent incident or accident, for example, then there’s a very good chance that you may end up suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The causes of PTSD can be hugely varied. Put simply, it is a condition which can arise following an event which the victim found to be frightening, distressing or stressful. Examples of such an event can include being caught up in or witnessing a violent crime, road traffic accidents, natural disasters and military action. Other examples might include natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, but if the situation in question arose as the result of another party’s negligence, then the after effects may well represent a reasonable case for claiming compensation on the Claims4Free website.

One of the factors which makes a claim in the case of PTSD more difficult is the fact that the symptoms can vary from person to person and can take days, weeks, months or even years to actually emerge. When they do emerge, these symptoms may include the victim actually reliving the events in question in the form of flashbacks or nightmares. Allied to this could be problems such as insomnia, loss of concentration, irritability and feelings of guilt and a sense of being isolated.
Clearly, any combination of these symptoms could have a major detrimental effect upon a person’s social and/or working life, and there’s no need for PTSD to be taken any less seriously than a more plainly visible physical trauma. When the time comes to consider personal injury and the effect it can have on a person’s life it should always be remembered that the mind of a person is, in many ways, their most vital and delicate organ.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
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