Litigation and Compensation Seeking In Children with PTSD: The Parent-Child Relationship Context
Victims of traumatic events are often involved in litigation processes and pursuit for financial compensation. These conditions were identified as associated with elevated distress and symptom over-reporting among patients diagnosed with PTSD. Although there is a dispute on the interpretation of the evidence, it seems that litigation and compensation seeking may have the undesired effect of impeding recovery.
Sayer reviewed some empirically supported explanations for this effect: First, trauma survivors who file claims were found to be more psychiatrically impaired than those who do not. This group difference in symptom reporting may reflect real differences in trauma related symptoms and impairments. Second, individuals who are involved in litigation may exaggerate trauma related symptoms so as to establish a basis for their claims or to maximize compensation. A third possible explanation is that the claim process itself may act as a stressor that triggers genuine symptom increases.