Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is covered under the Jones Act. PTSD is a serious psychiatric disorder caused by traumatic experiences. If you developed PTSD after a traumatic incident at sea, you might be entitled to compensation through the Jones Act.
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
According to the National Institutes of Health, PTSD is caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It is characterized by having a damaged “fight or flight” response.
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If you don’t have PTSD, your typical reaction to being in danger is to prepare to either fight or run from the source of threat or danger.
With PTSD, this response is triggered even when you are not in danger. Anything that reminds you of the traumatic experience can trigger the alarming sensation of needing to run or fight.
Not everyone who experiences something traumatic will develop PTSD. If you have been involved in or witnessed an accident at sea, you could be at risk for PTSD and should be aware of the symptoms.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Re-living the event through flashbacks or nightmares
- Avoiding anything that reminds you of the event
- Being easily startled into a “fight or flight” response
- Feeling on edge, frightened, and angry
- Displaying angry and irrational outbursts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Losing interest in everyday activities
How Is PTSD Treated?
If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, there is hope and treatments that can help. It isn’t always easy to overcome, and it can seriously disrupt your everyday life.
Psychotherapy is one primary type of treatment for PTSD. It might include exposure therapy or facing what scares you about the trauma you experienced. Medications can also help treat PTSD.
There is no cure for PTSD, but many people can recover normally with dedicated treatment.
The best treatment for it is prevention. Having immediate support can help people cope with trauma in healthy ways and may prevent the onset of the disorder.
If you experienced trauma aboard a vessel, your employer should provide mental health services immediately.
Jones Act Compensation for PTSD
Any accident that occurs on your vessel caused by negligence and has impacted your mental or physical health can result in medical bills, lost wages, and other types of pain or suffering.
To qualify for PTSD Jones Act compensation, you must demonstrate that you have experienced at least one of the disorder’s symptoms. If you think you may qualify, be sure you are diagnosed by a professional and can show medical records proving that you are suffering from symptoms.
Getting Legal Help for PTSD
If you think that you have developed PTSD because of an event you experienced while aboard a vessel, you may qualify for compensation under the Jones Act.
You can file a claim and make a case that a negligent event aboard the vessel has impacted your life and that you have symptoms. An experienced maritime lawyer who has worked with seamen to get Jones Act compensation can help you make your case and get well-deserved compensation for your suffering.