Suing for Damages for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was recognized as a mental condition by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980, but it’s been around for a very long time. Dating back to 1915 this condition was called Shell Shock or Battle Neurosis and was associated mostly with soldiers during wartime. Today the types of events that cause PTSD are known to be wide-ranging and unpredictable. Imagine an event so traumatic that it causes you bodily injury as well as triggering nightmares and constant flashbacks to that terrible event. While scientists are still trying to figure out what exactly causes PTSD and how to fix it, there are a few things you should know about it, especially if it was caused by someone else’s negligence. 

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

It’s estimated that 70 percent of Americans have gone through a traumatic event once in their lifetimes, and of those people 20 percent go on to develop PTSD. The Mayo Clinic defines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.” They go on to state that these symptoms can show up within a month of the inciting incident and can last a lifetime if left untreated. Some of the common causes of PTSD are:

  •       Living through a traumatic event
  •       Injury
  •       Seeing another person get hurt or witnessing a death
  •       Traumatic events during childhood
  •       An event that causes extreme fear or helplessness

If these types of events are then coupled with having little to no social support, extra stress from the death of a loved one, injury, or the loss of a job or home, your risk for developing PTSD increases exponentially.  If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic event and think that there is a chance that you are suffering from this disorder, you should contact a medical professional immediately.

Can You Recover Damages in Indiana if PTSD is Caused by Negligence? 

It is possible to collect damages if you have developed PTSD due to the negligence of another. Typically these kinds of cases come down to the testimony of expert witnesses or treating physicians and health care providers. An example of an expert witness your attorney may call is a psychiatrist. The expert will explain how the symptoms show the person is suffering from PTSD and also help to connect the traumatic event directly to the person’s PTSD. 

It’s also really important to document your experiences while dealing with PTSD. You can be your own witness in a way by saving your social media posts that talk about your difficulties and can help to demonstrate your state of mind. Your friends and family can serve as witnesses or support your case by writing down their recollections of conversations that show how PTSD has affected you and your everyday life. Other eyewitnesses, like officers at the scene or bystanders who can connect the described events and explain the situation may also be called. 

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic event and think you may have PTSD due to negligence, we want to hear your story. The Indianapolis personal injury attorneys at Cline Farrell Christie Lee & Bell want to help you get what you need to move forward in life with peace of mind. From listening to your story to fighting for you in court, we’re your advocates.