PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health disorder that is most commonly associated with soldiers engaged in military operations, but PTSD can occur in anyone who survives a traumatic event, including an accident while working in the maritime industry.

An accident or injury that occurred on a vessel during a rough voyage may cause a person to develop PTSD. Mariners that survive a vessel sinking or grounding frequently struggle with PTSD as a result of the harrowing experience.

PTSD can lead to temporary or permanent job loss. Treatment of PTSD through medication, counseling, and other means can be expensive and ongoing. Fortunately, under general maritime law, the cost of treatment by psychiatrists and psychologists is your employer’s responsibility if your condition manifested while in the service of a ship. The effects of PTSD can change one’s life. According to the American Psychological Association, people who suffer from PTSD are also more prone to commit suicide.

Over the past few decades, awareness of PTSD as a legitimate health concern has gained universal acceptance. PTSD can cause profound psychological changes in those who suffer from it and symptoms sometimes linger indefinitely, especially if left untreated.

Attorneys for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California

If you or your loved one has developed PTSD as a result of an accident that occurred while working in the maritime industry, you have the right to pursue compensation for the damages you incurred.

Whether your PTSD occurred as a result of an accident while you were employed on board a ship, in the harbor, or on the docks, Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP may be able to help you recover damages. It is your employer’s responsibility to have you evaluated if you suspect you have PTSD. We can help you get the treatment you need.

The attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP represent injured maritime workers throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California. We have offices in Seattle and Bellingham, WA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a free consultation about your maritime-related PTSD.

Information Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at Sea

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Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Maritime Industry

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder experienced by some people after a traumatic event. A car crash, a violent crime, a loud explosion, or some other life-altering event may result in PTSD, regardless of the degree of physical injury incurred. Some people with PTSD are physically unharmed in the traumatic event but do suffer psychological damage.

Anxiety, flashbacks, and depression are some of the symptoms of PTSD. Treatment of PTSD can be extensive and ongoing, and therefore, expensive. Nonetheless, it is vital to obtain treatment.

Some causes of PTSD in the maritime industry may include:

  • Vessel sinkings and groundings
  • Man overboard situations and near drownings
  • Hypothermia
  • “Unseaworthiness” of a ship or vessel
  • Explosion at sea or in port
  • Collision at sea or in port
  • Lost limbs or amputated fingers
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Head injury
  • Spinal Cord injury
  • Back injury
  • Neck injury
  • Shoulder injury
  • Knee injury
  • Broken bones
  • Assault or battery (including sexual assault) by a shipmate
  • Crane accidents
  • Defective equipment

The attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP are strong advocates for PTSD victims and accept cases from a variety of clients who work or operate in the maritime industry, including:

  • Dock and shipyard workers
  • Commercial fishermen
  • Commercial divers
  • Tugboat crews
  • Deckhands
  • Ferry workers
  • Barge workers
  • Ship and boat passengers
  • Victims of recreational boating accidents

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Symptoms of PTSD in the Maritime Industry in the Pacific Northwest

PTSD may prevent a person from returning to work, disrupt normal activities, and impose other difficulties that were non-existent before the traumatic event.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are four types of PTSD symptoms:

  • Reliving the event (or re-experiencing symptoms)
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  • Feelings of “hyperarousal” (keyed up)

According to the VA, among the many symptoms that a person suffering from PTSD may experience are nightmares, flashbacks, and sensations that trigger a reliving of the event. A person suffering from PTSD may avoid crowds and personal or intimate relationships; distrust almost everyone; and have trouble sleeping or concentrating.

The symptoms of PTSD may manifest right after a traumatic event, but sometimes they do not appear until months or even years later. Symptoms may also reappear after a long period of time during which the victim was asymptomatic.

Symptoms that persist and cause a major disruption to home or work life require attention from a doctor or mental health counselor. If you are suffering from symptoms of PTSD, it is important to seek medical attention. If you suffered a traumatic event that caused PTSD and your employer is not compensating you for your medical costs, the experienced attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP are here to help. Call 1 (800) 262-8529 for your free no obligations consultation.

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Financial Impact of PTSD in the Pacific Northwest

A person afflicted with PTSD due to a maritime incident or injury faces an uncertain future and may ask questions, such as:

  • Will my condition ever go away?
  • Will I be able to return to work in the same capacity as before?
  • Will I be able to resume all normal activities as before?
  • Who will pay for the costs of treatment, rehabilitation, or other services needed to restore my life to the way it was before?

A person who suffers from PTSD due to a maritime accident may experience difficulty in adjusting to a new life, especially if the effects of PTSD persist. The financial costs of PTSD may include:

  • Medical costs for doctors and treatment
  • Rehabilitation costs, including the costs of caregivers and therapists
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Temporary or permanent job loss

By law, a maritime worker need not bear financial responsibility when the PTSD occurs during the course of their service to the ship, regardless of fault. An experienced attorney specializing in maritime injury law in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, or California may be able to obtain damages for a maritime PTSD injury, including:

  • Maintenance and cure
  • Medical expenses arising from treatment and medication
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Ongoing payments for rehabilitation and caregivers
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life’s enjoyment

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Resources for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Pacific Northwest

United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — National Center for PTSD —The National Center for PTSD assists veterans and others with PTSD. Visit their website to learn about types of PTSD trauma and how to treat and cope with PTSD.

University of Washington — Programs for Trauma Survivors — The Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, is affiliated with the UW Department of Psychology. The program’s mission is to provide treatment services (medication or psychotherapy) to trauma survivors. As a research program for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the program seeks to offer the most innovative, empirically supported, and effective treatments for the disorder.

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Find an Attorney for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Pacific Northwest

Were you or a loved one afflicted with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while working in the maritime industry, either on a ship or on the docks, in the Pacific Northwest? If you suffer from PTSD as a result of a maritime incident, you may have a right to recover damages under maritime law. Call Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP today to schedule a free initial appointment to discuss your case.

The maritime attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP have extensive experience representing maritime workers suffering from PTSD and serve people throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California.

We pledge to fight aggressively for your rights and obtain the most favorable outcome in your personal injury case, whether we negotiate a settlement or proceed to trial.

Call Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, LLP today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to start your path to wellness and recover what you have lost.