Experience Brings Results

PTSD may be a future trend in work comp claims

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has been better understood in the mental health and medical community over the past several decades. While it used to be seen as a condition affecting combat veterans, experts now understand that the condition can develop in anyone who has experienced trauma, even second-hand.

As such, PTSD can affect workers who experience something horrible at work or, for that matter, a series of difficult events that happen over a period of time. PTSD can particularly affect those who work in law enforcement, firefighting or as emergency responders to accidents and the like.

Historically, workers' compensation benefits do not get paid when someone suffers a purely mental injury without an accompanying physical illness or injury. This has been changing in some states as more and more people recognize that many workers experience symptoms of PTSD, and it is not fair to them to deny those benefits to those who have legitimate work-related injuries.

After all, over half of Americans will experience some sort of trauma that can trigger PTSD at some point. Since not everyone develops the condition, this translates to just under 10 percent of the population suffering from PTSD to the point where they will need some outside help and an opportunity to recover.

For Portland, Oregon, workers who believe they have experienced PTSD in connection with their work, it may be helpful to do some further research and perhaps speak with a lawyer about their options. While this doesn't mean everyone with PTSD will be able to get benefits, particular with the apparent change in the direction this area of the law is traveling, compensation might be available.

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