I’m A Police Officer Who Developed PTSD. Can I Claim Workers’ Comp Benefits?

Most workers know they can file a workers’ compensation claim if they get injured on the job. if you’re a police officer, you also know that you can access enhanced benefits in some instances. These benefits can cover medical bills and provide some level of income if you’re unable to work. Many workers assume that their injuries or illnesses need to be physical in order to claim compensation. This may be because of how society views mental illness or just how the workers’ compensation is described to workers. So, can you claim workers’ comp benefits for PTSD?

However, if you develop mental health problems because of your job, you may be able to get compensation. Some mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), are compensable. However, they must be caused by the job. Seeking advice from a Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer will ensure you don’t lose out on anything to which you’re entitled.

What’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a condition that’s typically triggered by either experiencing or observing a terrifying event. However, it can also result from repeated exposure to trauma. Symptoms of PTSD can include severe anxiety, flashbacks to the traumatic event, nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Almost everyone who experiences a traumatic event finds it difficult to cope. However, they typically get better with time and care.

If your symptoms have been ongoing for months or even longer and you find daily functioning difficult, you may have PTSD. You will need to get a professional diagnosis as well as treatment. This will help to reduce your symptoms and improve your ability to function. It will also support your claim for workers’ compensation in Maryland. It won’t be enough to simply say you’re traumatized by an event or series of events. A Maryland workers’ comp attorney can help you to build a strong case for compensation.

Symptoms of PTSD  

If you have PTSD, you will typically begin to see the signs within a month of the traumatic event. However, some people’s symptoms don’t appear until years later. PTSD can lead to problems at home, at work, and in social situations. Even routine daily activities can be difficult for someone with this disorder. There are generally thought to be four groups of PTSD symptoms. These are:

  • Avoidance
  • Changes in emotional and physical reactions
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood
  • Intrusive memories

These symptoms vary from person to person. Even in the same person, they can change over time.

Law Enforcement Officers May Be Able to Claim Workers’ Comp Benefits for PTSD

Most people don’t experience highly traumatic events every day. However, police officers deal with life or death situations daily. Some studies show that they experience PTSD at a similar rate to military veterans. Between 7 percent and 19 percent of police officers show symptoms of PTSD. Among the general public, the prevalence just 3.5 percent.

PTSD can develop from a single event like a shooting in the line of duty. Maybe you were injured or you saw your partner get a fatal wound. Witnessing a tragic event or trying to save a life but failing can also be traumatic. Diagnosing PTSD and linking it to an incident is not as easy as diagnosing a gunshot wound. However, a doctor can still present evidence to prove that you have a legitimate condition. If an opinion from another expert is required, a workers’ comp attorney can secure one to support your claim.

In many cases, police officers develop cumulative PTSD. This is because of repeated or prolonged exposure to extreme stress and trauma rather than a single event like a shooting. The effects of cumulative PTSD are just as devastating as traditional PTSD. Existing PTSD can also be exacerbated by a stressful work event. You will need to work with a medical professional and an experienced attorney to build a strong case. A competent workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to pursue all the benefits for which you’re eligible.

Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC Today to Get Expert Legal Advice

Even though you may be legitimately entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, it may not be easy to get them.  You’ll need to ensure your claim is backed by evidence and a workers’ comp law office in Maryland can help you with that. At Pinder Plotkin LLC, we’ll investigate your case, identify all the unique considerations, and build a strong case on your behalf. Our experienced team will fight for you so you don’t have to struggle on your own. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your claim.

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