Manifestations of PTSD in Police Officers

According to the Department of Justice, roughly 15% of law enforcement officers in the country experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If left untreated, PTSD can be a debilitating disorder that can lead to dangerous consequences – especially in first responders such as police officers.

The Washington state government has allowed first responders to file workers compensation claims for PTSD. If you or a loved one is a police officer in Washington and is currently suffering from PTSD symptoms, contact the first responder and PTSD lawyers at Colburn Law immediately to discuss your situation. We can help you file for the benefits necessary to seek the treatment that is required to live a normal, happy life.

Why Choose Us?

At Colburn Law, we are leading the charge on PTSD claims for first responders, in the hopes that they all receive the help they need.

  • We have years of experience in filing worker’s compensation claims in all types of occupations.
  • We were one of the first law firms to successfully file a claim for PTSD on behalf of our clients.
  • Our founder, Greg Colburn, has personal experience with the worker’s compensation system, and uses that personal account to help facilitate the needs of our clients in a more efficient way.

We are committed to the wellbeing of any first responders who have developed PTSD as a result of their occupation.

Symptoms of PTSD in Police Officers

PTSD can typically manifest in three different ways:

  • Physical signs. Officers may experience illness-like symptoms such as nausea, fatigues or chest pain, or other disorders including insomnia, grinding of teeth, excessive sweating, and more.
  • Behavioral signs. This can include general withdrawal from family and friends, suspicion and paranoia, sudden emotional outbursts, restlessness, and heavy self-medication through alcohol or drugs.
  • Emotional signs. Those with PTSD often experience guilt, fear, irritability, anxiety and depression, sudden intense anger, and other troubling emotions.

While one of these symptoms alone isn’t enough to make a definitive diagnosis of PTSD, a prolonged history of such signs may require intervention and treatment.

Am I Eligible for a PTSD Claim?

If you are a first responder who had developed PTSD as a direct result of your occupation, you are most likely eligible to file a worker’s compensation claim for your PTSD. In the state of Washington, the Industrial Insurance Act and Senate Bill 6214 enable first responders to file for PTSD claims, whether it occurred due to a singular traumatic event or it was developed through years of stress and trauma. However, you must meet the following requirements.

  • If your PTSD was due to a singular traumatic event, you must file a claim within one year of the date of the event.
  • If your PTSD developed over time, you must have worked as a police officer for a minimum of ten years in order to be eligible. If this is the case, your claim must be filed within two years of the date that you receive an official diagnosis by a physician in writing.
  • Your claim may be rejected if your PTSD is caused by any actions taken in good faith by your employer. This includes layoffs, terminations, demotions, disciplinary actions, and other work evaluations.

It is highly recommended to retain the services of an experience worker’s compensation attorney during the claims process. A lawyer with knowledge of the Industrial Insurance Act and the recently passed Senate Bill can help facilitate your claim with ease, reducing additional stress on your end through the process.

Contact us Today

Police officers who have developed PTSD due to their stressful job have a right to be compensated for their hardships. If you or a loved one is a law enforcement officer with symptoms of PTSD, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation. Let us help you get the assistance you deserve to make a full recovery.


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