It has been more than two years since the collision between the ACX Crystal and the USS Fitzgerald, but many crew members continue to suffer mental and physical effects of their injuries. Our attorneys stand ready to assist maritime clients nationwide who are suffering as a result of this collision, and encourage them to call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY or complete our online contact form today.

Sailors Still Showing Signs of PTSD in Aftermath of USS Fitzgerald Collision

Even after their physical injuries have healed, sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald remain at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for years into the future. Sailors may Navy Worker Suffering From PTSD After the USS Fitzgerald Collisionhave gone through initial treatment stages for PTSD, experienced relapses by returning to sea, or even remain undiagnosed for this condition, which directly relates to the night of the collision.

PTSD can have many manifestations and consequences, including:

  • Flashbacks. The majority of sailors were asleep when the ACX Crystal struck the destroyer, jarring them from a calm sleep into rushing, waist-deep water. Those waters rose as the sleeping quarters flooded, sending crew members scrambling for ladders over falling debris—and each other—in the darkness.
  • Survival guilt. Guilt is common after incidents involving loss of life at sea. A victim’s mental anguish of losing shipmates, making sense of the tragedy, and inability to process his survival can have debilitating effects.
  • Reassignment. Following the event, the Navy broke up the remaining USS Fitzgerald crew to other surface forces to make up for a manning deficit in the Seventh Fleet. While this has allowed some sailors to return to their normal duties, others still struggle with full-duty service.
  • Discharge. Unfortunately, some of the sailors who witnessed the tragedy may never be able to serve on a ship again. Through no fault of their own, some have already been discharged on disability, cutting their promising careers in the Navy short.

If you are a service member who was aboard the USS Fitzgerald when it was struck, you may be owed damages for your suffering. However, the June 2020 deadline for filing a claim is fast approaching. Call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY or complete our online contact form today to set up your free case evaluation.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.
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