Being involved in an accident can result in a lot of physical pain and suffering. Additionally, the accident or any subsequent injuries can lead to anxiety, depression, stress and other forms of mental health problems. Importantly, if you decide to make a personal injury claim because your accident was caused by somebody else, you could claim compensation for both physical and mental health injuries. In this guide, we’ll concentrate on the process of making a mental health claim, the types of injuries you could claim for, and the amount of compensation you might receive.
Our team of specialist advisors are here to help you begin a mental health compensation claim. By calling our advice centre, you’ll receive a no-obligation review of your claim and your options will be explained. If it looks like you have a viable mental health claim, we’ll connect you with one of our solicitors. Importantly, they’ll reduce the stress associated with legal action by representing you on a No Win No Fee basis if your case is taken on. As a result, you won’t need to pay any legal fees whatsoever unless you are compensated.
Please call us on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like to discuss a claim right away or read on to learn more about mental health injury claims.
Table of contents
- What Is A Mental Health Injury?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Mental Health Compensation Claim?
- Common Accidents Leading To Mental Health Claims
- How Much Compensation Do I Get For A Mental Health Injury?
- Evidence To Support A Mental Health Injury Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Mental Health Compensation
- Starting The Mental Health Compensation Claims Process
A mental health injury is where you suffer some form of distress following an accident. Some of the most common reasons mental health claims are made include:
- Anxiety. It’s quite normal to feel anxious following an accident. Some of the main symptoms include heart palpitations, fear, chest pains, nausea, sweating and trembling. However, longer-term anxiety following an accident i.e. anxiety after a car crash can cause ongoing problems and would need to be factored into any claim.
- Depression. Physical injuries that prevent you from doing your normal hobbies or activities can cause you to feel low or depressed. Other symptoms of depression caused by an accident can include low self-esteem or mood swings.
- Insomnia. Some people find it difficult to sleep following an accident and this can lead to problems working or functioning “normally”.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Flashbacks, difficulty sleeping and nightmares are all symptoms of PTSD. The condition can affect people differently and have a massive impact on life. While PTSD can be treated in some cases, in others it can be overwhelming and affect all aspects of your life.
- Embarrassment. Some injuries like facial scars can cause quite a lot of embarrassment and stop you from wanting to work or participate in your usual activities. Therefore, mental health claims based on embarrassment could be possible.
Essentially, any form of mental illness that has been diagnosed and linked to an accident that was not your fault, could lead to a mental health injury claim.
Before looking at some common causes of mental health claims, let’s look at the eligibility criteria for making a claim. Realistically, our solicitors can only take on claims where there is a fair chance of success. Therefore, they’ll check whether:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- You were involved in an accident or incident caused by the defendant’s negligence; and
- You suffered a mental health injury because of the accident.
If you’re not sure whether you meet the criteria for making a mental health compensation claim, please call our team for free legal advice.
Our personal injury solicitors could help primary and secondary accident victims to make a mental health claim.
Primary victims are those that were actually injured during an accident. For example, if you were a cyclist hit by a car, you are the primary victim. You could claim for any physical injuries and any ongoing mental health problems.
Secondary accident victims are those who saw the accident happen or arrived on the scene immediately after it happened. Realistically, you could claim mental health compensation if you are related to the primary victim or you’re a very close friend.
Any type of accident can lead to a mental health claim. Here are some examples:
- Accidents at work – Long-term mental health problems can result from falls, machinery injuries, being hit by a falling object and other workplace accidents.
- Road traffic accidents – The sudden nature of an RTA can often cause ongoing mental health problems like flashbacks and panic attacks.
- Life-changing injuries – Dealing with a serious or catastrophic injury can often affect a patient mentally. For example, the realisation that you’ll never walk again or the fact that you’ve lost a limb can lead to depression, distress and anxiety.
- Slips, trips and falls – While these types of accidents tend to lead to physical injuries, you can also claim for any mental harm caused by a fall.
- Military injuries – PTSD and other forms of mental harm could lead to a military injury claim if linked to an accident or incident whilst working for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
- Medical negligence – You could also claim if your mental health has suffered following negligence by a medical professional. This could include surgical errors, a misdiagnosis or birth injuries.
Remember, mental health claims are only possible for accidents caused by somebody else’s negligence. We’re here to help if you’d like to check whether you might be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
There isn’t a specific amount of compensation you’d get for a mental health injury. Instead, your solicitor will typically split a personal injury claim into two separate parts (general and special damages) and then calculate how much compensation for a mental health injury you should get. This could mean that (where applicable) you’re compensated for:
- Any physical injuries.
- Loss of earnings.
- The cost of replacing items damaged during your accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of your usual social or family activities and your hobbies.
- Care costs if somebody else needed to support you.
- Medical expenses including private treatment in some cases.
- Travel costs.
- Loss of future income if there will be a long-term impact on your ability to work.
If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll try to secure the maximum compensation possible by ensuring they fully understand how you have suffered because of your accident.
As mentioned above, there isn’t a set amount of compensation paid out for mental health injuries. However, each year, the Judicial College releases guideline compensation figures for injury claims including those that affect mental health. We’ve used their data below to give you some idea about the levels of compensation that could be awarded.
- £54,830 – £115,730 compensation for a severe mental health injury.
- £19,070 – £54,830 compensation for a moderately severe mental health injury.
- £5,860 – £19,070 compensation for a moderate mental health injury.
- £1,540 – £5,860 compensation for a less severe mental health injury.
As part of a mental health injury claim, you will need a medical assessment by a qualified medical expert. During your meeting, they will review what happened and discuss how your mental health problems have affected you. Their report will be used by your solicitor to calculate the amount of compensation you’ll claim. This is not anything that you need to worry about. Our solicitors can usually arrange everything for claimants as close to their locality as possible.
When making a mental health injury claim, you’ll need to prove to the defendant’s insurers how your accident happened, who was to blame and how you’ve been affected by your injuries. To try and do so, your solicitor will usually look to obtain:
- Accident report forms. Therefore, you should always report any accident where possible.
- Witness statements. At the time of the accident, it’s always a good idea to take the names and contact details of any witnesses.
- CCTV or dashcam footage. Try to secure any such evidence quickly as it’s likely to be deleted within a matter of weeks.
- Medical records. This could include hospital records, GP notes or reports from psychiatrists or psychologists when claiming compensation for mental harm.
- Financial records. Any expenses you wish to recoup should be backed up by receipts, wage slips or bank statements.
- Photographic evidence. Finally, you could use photographs taken at the accident scene to show how the incident occurred.
As part of our free consultation, we’ll check any evidence you’ve already secured so please have it nearby when you call.
In the UK, there is a 3-year time limit for any type of personal injury claim. This can begin from a) the date you were injured or b) the date your injuries were diagnosed. The latter is more likely when making a mental health claim.
Importantly, the time limit can be extended in certain circumstances. For example, where a claimant doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim compensation themselves, a representative could do so on their behalf. In this situation, the time limit does not apply. Should the claimant regain their mental capacity to manage their own affairs, the time limit would re-start from the date that happens.
If you have decided to start the compensation claims process for mental health injuries caused by a no-fault accident, call our team on 0800 6524 881 today. There’s no obligation to proceed with us but during your call, your claim will be reviewed and free legal advice will be given.
If you do decide to act and one of our solicitors agrees to manage your claim, they’ll do so on a No Win No Fee basis so you won’t be asked to pay any legal fees upfront.
Please use our live chat service if you have any further questions about making a mental health claim.