Author | C.B. Scrignar, MD


PTSD, the Traumatic Principle and Lawsuits

August 01, 1999

The most common psychiatric sequelae following trauma include major depressive disorder, somatoform pain disorder, adjustment disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In law, trauma that precipitates PTSD is viewed as a tort, which stems from the root word "torquere" (to twist), as does the word torture. In a sense, plaintiffs do allege torture in personal injury cases. A tort constitutes a civil or private wrong, as opposed to a criminal wrong, and rests on the general principle that every act of a person causing damage to a legally protected interest of another obliges that person, if at fault, to repair the damage (Slovenko, 1973).