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PTSD and Tort Law

  • Terri R. DayEmail author
  • Ryan C. W. Hall
Reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter will provide a primer on tort law and the history of post-traumatic stress disorder as related to disability and negligence causation. Key court cases will be referenced, illustrating the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on tort law specifically negligence claims. post-traumatic stress disorder, due, in part, to being recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, has become a vehicle for plaintiffs’ claims to progress through the legal system where in the past stand-alone (e.g., no physical harm) emotional harm claims would have been dismissed. This is why it is important for mental health professionals to understand how courts view these cases and to recognize what their role will be in cases like these. There are special ethical and treatment considerations mental health practitioners need to consider before serving as either a fact or expert witness in these types of court cases due to the potential effect on the treatment relationship.

Keywords

PTSD Torts Negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) Expert witness Ethics 

List of Abbreviations

AAPL

American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

AMA

American Medical Association

APA

American Psychological Association

APA

American Psychiatric Association

DSM

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

IIED

Intentional infliction of emotional distress

NIED

Negligent infliction of emotional distress

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of LawOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical EducationUniversity of Central Florida College of MedicineLake MaryUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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