UMKC Law Review


This Comment proposes that PTSD be reconceptualized, and reclassified, as a bodily injury in personal injury cases. In Part II, this Comment reviews the way courts describe PTSD in personal injury cases. Part III examines psychiatric literature and discusses the symptoms and classification of PTSD as both an emotional and medical condition. It also identifies several structural and functional brain alterations associated with PTSD, in addition to physiological changes that occur as a result of PTSD. Part IV asserts that the brain processes physical and emotional pain almost identically, and that most injuries include both emotional and physical components. In Part IV, this Comment details the symptomological and neurological similarities between PTSD and traumatic brain injury ("TBI"), a psychiatric condition usually classified by courts as a bodily injury. Finally, Part V discusses how PTSD may be substantiated legally as a bodily injury for purposes of tort and other litigation.