Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Your PTSD May Be Considered A Work Related Injury In Minnesota Beginning October 1, 2013.

For years, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was NOT a compensable or payable workers compensation claim in Minnesota even where all parties agreed the condition was related to a work injury.  This changed effective October 1, 2013 and in many situations your PTSD may be found to be work related.

What is PTSD?

When someone feels in danger, it’s a natural response to feel afraid. This fear triggers multiple split second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the individuals reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who is diagnosed with PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or even strangers.

What are some symptoms of PTSD?  

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are three primary categories for PTSD.

1. Re-experiencing symptoms
  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.
2. Avoidance symptoms
  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having difficulty remembering the dangerous event.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms
  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having trouble sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
If you have been diagnosed with PTSD due a work related injury OR incident, you may be entitled to 100% coverage of your medical costs, wage replacement, and vocational assistance in finding new work or paid retraining.  Since the enactment of Minn. Stat. §176.011 in 2013, our firm has represented multiple individuals relative to PTSD claims including a store worker who was robbed at gunpoint and a worker who witnessed a traumatic suicide.  The attorneys of Atkinson Law Office have over 45 years combined experience handling injury and workers compensation claims in Minnesota.  Each attorney has a minimum of over 20 years experience and are widely recognized as experts in our fields.  Experience matters!  Contact our office today for a free consultation at 651-333-3636.  We represent clients across the entire state of Minnesota.  Also visit our website at www.mndisability.com for more information.