Is PTSD a serious injury?


Gemma Stanley is a highly experienced claimant Serious Injury solicitor with extensive experience in serious and catastrophic injuries. Here she answers the question: “Is PTSD a serious injury?”

The effects of serious physical injuries can usually be seen. For example a wheelchair for someone who has a spinal injury, a prosthetic limb where amputation has been necessary, or scarring from burns. The effects of psychological injuries, often invisible or hidden, can be just as serious.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Over the last few decades, medical advances in the assessment and treatment of psychological conditions have led to a much greater understanding of these injuries. The public are much more familiar with them now.  One of the serious psychological injuries, which most people have heard of, is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD occurs following a life threatening traumatic event or situation. It could stem from a serious car accident, an accident at work or in public, acts of terrorism, natural disasters,  military or emergency service, medical accidents or from emotional, mental, physical or sexual abuse.

The NHS estimates that one in three people who experience trauma will develop PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD can develop straight after a traumatic experience, but in some circumstances it can develop in the following days, weeks or months. Symptoms of PTSD can vary in their intensity. They can be wide-ranging and affect all aspects of day to day life;  your work, your relationships, your friendships and your physical health.  Typical symptoms include flashbacks and nightmares, sleep disturbance and insomnia, difficulty concentrating, social withdrawal, short-temperedness and irritability. You might find you avoid situations you were used to. You might find that your lifestyle changes rapidly.  Sometimes PTSD can lead to addiction or other mental health issues.

You may not realise you have PSTD. Others who are close to you will probably start to notice things about your behaviour and symptoms before you do. They may say your personality has changed. This is not unusual.

Seeking medical help for PTSD

It is important to seek medical help if you think, or someone close to you thinks, you are suffering with PTSD. Doctors will assess the severity of your symptoms and recommend treatment to help recovery. Treatment can include anti-depressant medication and/or therapy, such as trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

The sooner treatment starts the more effective it will be and the sooner you will start to recover.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious injury in its own right and you can claim compensation for the harm it has done to you and the financial effects it has.

We have represented people from all walks of life, young and old, who have suffered from PSTD following trauma.  We understand the profound, damaging and frightening effects it has on people and their loved ones. We will prepare your case for you, apply for payments to get you through the recovery process, monitor your treatment and progress, help to provide support for you and your family and help you to reclaim and rediscover your life.

If you are affected by any of the issues outlined here, please get in touch today. We are here to help you.