PTSD and Catastrophic Injury
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by a major physical or emotional trauma. It commonly affects traumatic accident victims.
According to the Oxford Medical Dictionary, the onset PTSD occurs at least one month after the traumatic experience. PTSD victims report flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety. PTSD victims also engage in avoidance behaviors. For example, motor vehicle accident victims often develop PTSD in the form of driving anxiety. Occasionally, the anxiety is so severe that these individuals avoid all forms of motor vehicle transportation.
PTSD is typically treated through a combination of counseling and medication. According to the Mayo Clinic, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are effective forms of PTSD psychotherapy. The Mayo Clinic also recommends antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications to treat the symptoms of PTSD.
There are legal implications associated with severe PTSD. Where PTSD has been caused by another person’s negligence, that person is responsible for the PTSD and its accompanying impairments. Moreover, severe PTSD can lead to a finding that one is “catastrophically impaired” for the purpose of no-fault accident benefits. Among other things, this will entitle the PTSD victim to increased funding for treatment.
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