PTSD Lawyer | Defense Base Act Attorney | DBA Help
If you are a civilian contractor and developed symptoms of PTSD while working overseas, call DBA attorney Niles Sneed today. Niles has helped thousands of workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder obtain compensation and benefits under the Defense Base Act.
Here at Sneed|Mitchell LLP, we understand the impact traumatic events have on federal employees stationed on U.S. military bases and how these zones of danger trigger PTSD. Although contractors are not supposed to engage in offensive combat, workers are nonetheless exposed to the same multitude of stressors known to have physical and mental health implications for military personnel.
Many civilian contractors return home unaware they are suffering from this mental distress disorder and symptoms often may not appear until years after the event. PTSD often prevents private contractors from socializing with friends or family, maintaining employment, or finishing daily tasks. We can help. If you suffer from any negative changes in your physical or emotional wellbeing, contact our DBA attorneys today.
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Symptoms of PTSD
Civilian Contractors suffering PTSD symptoms generally experience one of four categorical symptoms;
Negative mood changes
Physical and emotional symptoms
Intrusive memories includes workers reliving a single traumatic event, have flashbacks, or nightmares involving near death experiences.
Avoidance occurs when a person either avoids thinking or talking about events that occurred while they were fulfilling their contract, or they avoid social events, activities, and gatherings.
Negative mood changes involve feelings of hopelessness, memory issues, lack of interest, difficulty having positive feelings, and feeling emotionally numb.
Physical and emotional symptoms are arousal symptoms such as being startled or easily frightened, destructive behavior, always feeling the need to be on guard, and emotional outbursts.
Important to note, actions such as excessive eating or alcohol misuse are also common indicators a contractor is experiencing PTSD health conditions related to their employment.
How Civilian Contractors Develop PTSD
Civilian contractors can develop PTSD from any terrifying event, either by experiencing it or witnessing it. Some of these traumatic events include;
Violent personal assaults
Traveling in territories containing explosive devices
Witnessing the death of others
Losing friends to military combat
For other individuals, just the stress of being stationed overseas in a military combat is enough to cause them to develop this psychiatric condition.
A recent study found that twenty-five percent of contractors are probable for PTSD. Longer deployments and increased combat exposure was also linked to higher rates of PTSD and depression. Military men are provided treatment through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, while contractors recover through the U.S. Department of Labor.
Treatment Options Available To Civilian Contractors
The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) allow injured civilian contractor to choose their own medical doctor, which means a claimant has all medical treatment obtains available to them.
The leading treatment for people with PTSD is counseling, medications, or both. Although there are a number of treatment options for PTSD, how a patient response to treatment changes person to person and certain options benefit some people more than others.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is main type of counseling used to assist civilian contracting suffering from traumatic experiences that occurred overseas. With CBT, the therapist works with the claimant to better understand and alter the thoughts and beliefs associated with the trauma, and to disassociate the event from the mental and emotional reaction. The types of CBT include prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive therapy, processing therapy, stress inoculation training, and therapy for insomnia. CBT has been shown to be successful in treating PTSD.
Sometimes, before medication is proscribed, a therapist will use natural or homeopathic remedies alongside therapy sessions. This complimentary approach can include herbal and dietary changes, acupuncture, or Yoda, all aimed at destressing the body and mind.
The pharmacological approach to PTSD is sometimes couple with CBT, and includes antidepressant medications that increase the bodies natural release of serotonin. Other types of medication target trauma-related nightmares.
How To File A PTSD Claim Under The Defense Base Act
New PTSD claims under the Defense Base Act are normally filed through use of Longshore's Secure Electronic Access Portal (SEAPortal) to electronically upload documents directly to the OWCP case file. The SEAPortal can be found at this website: https://seaportal.dol.gov.
However, our law firm does not recommend that claimants attempt to file or handle their DBA claim without legal counsel. DBA insurance companies normally deny claims involving impaired mental capabilities, especially when there are no accompanying and debilitating physical injuries. An attorney is needed to acquire the evidence necessary to prove that your PTSD was caused by your overseas service.
Winning A PTSD Claim Require The Best DBA Lawyer
Winning a PTSD claim is not a simple task, because not knowing how DBA laws work makes your case susceptible to being denied. Unlike physical injuries that require immediate filings of work injury reports and medical treatments, psychological injuries are often not reported while the civilian of fulfilling the service contact.
Instead, claimants often don't become aware of this mental condition until months or even years afterwards, which forces civilian contractors into complicated reporting requirements, but you don't have to do this alone. An attorney experienced at helping government employees suffering from PTSD understands how to navigate the complicated guidelines and will ensure you obtain the medical treatment necessary to support your claim of PTSD.
Your attorney will advocate for a settlement that includes the benefits your are entitled to. If the insurance company refuses to handle your case in good faith, your attorney will take the case to trial.
What Benefits Can A PTSD Settlement Include?
Although a DBA settlement does not compensate for “pain and suffering” a PTSD settlement does include various forms of financial losses. Although the insurance company charged with providing DBA benefits will always put up a fight a PTSD settlement should include:
Medical expenses, including any unpaid
Future medical costs
Lost wages in the past
Anticipated lost wages in the future
Prolonged disability benefits
Total disability benefits
The amount of medical and compensation benefits accessible to a worker are determined by a lawyer analyzing his or her past and current emotional and mental status to determine whether the person will make a full recovery, or have extensive impairments due their degree of emotional impairment.
How Much Is A PTSD Claim Worth?
In our experience the average PTSD settlement is between $50,000.00 and $120,000.00 when government employees did not also suffer a physical injury. When civilian contractors also experience physical injuries that triggered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the rate of compensation increases is relation to the severity of injury and the degree of future physical impairment.
PTSD Lawyer Niles Sneed
If your looking for a lawyer to file your PTSD claim under the Defense Base Act, attorney Niles Sneed can help. Niles specializes in injuries that involve civilian contactors and regularly helps claimants secure PTSD benefits and settlements. You deserve medical treatment and compensation for the trauma your continue to experience. Call Niles today at 866-434-0014 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights and recovery options.