Last updated on May 11th, 2022
As you may be aware, when you’re injured in an accident that was caused by somebody else, you could make a personal injury claim for your suffering. But did you know that as well as claiming for cuts, bruises and broken bones, you could also seek damages for any psychological injuries too? While any initial pain at the scene of the accident might be caused by your physical injuries, the psychological impact could affect you for many weeks, months, or years in the future.
In this guide to psychological injury compensation claims, we will show you how the claims process works, explain the symptoms of conditions like anxiety, emotional distress, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and provide some settlement amounts to demonstrate what level of compensation could be awarded.
Our specialist personal injury solicitors are here to help if you are thinking about claiming. To begin the claims process, your case will be reviewed by a claims advisor during a telephone consultation. This is a free service and you’ll receive legal advice about your options. If your advisor believes you could sue for psychological damage, they could partner you with one of our personal injury solicitors. Our solicitors have many years of experience in helping clients claim compensation, and importantly, your claim will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis if it is accepted.
If you’d like to begin a psychological injury claim with us today, please contact us using the number above. To find out more about what compensation you could claim for before getting in touch, please continue reading.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For Psychological Injuries?
- Psychological Injuries You Could Claim Compensation For
- Accidents And Incidents That Could Result In A Psychiatric Disorder
- Evidence To Support A Psychological Injury Claim
- How Much Compensation For Psychological Injury Could I Claim?
- Time Limits For Psychological Injury Claims
- How A Solicitor Can Help With Psychological Injury Claims
Before a personal injury solicitor starts a psychological injury claim, they’ll want to check how likely it is that your claim will be successful. To do this, they will assess whether:
- A legal duty of care was owed to you by the defendant.
- A negligent or illegal act meant the duty of care was broken.
- You suffered psychological injuries because of it.
The first point, duty of care, can be checked when your case is reviewed. If your case is accepted, your solicitor will determine which law might be relevant. For example, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 might be relevant if you’ve suffered mental health problems at work.
There are various forms of psychological damage you could claim compensation for, and come under two main categories.
- Psychiatric Damage Generally.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Psychiatric damage can encompass various forms of suffering. They include but are not limited to, anxiety, distress, depression, embarrassment, panic attacks, and personality disorders.
For example, if you’ve suffered anxiety after a car crash caused by somebody else, and you find it difficult to drive for a while because you’re scared of being hit again, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and anxiety.
PTSD is where you suffer from psychological trauma following a traumatic event. PTSD can affect many parts of your life and prevent you from working or enjoying life. Some of the symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-arousal, sleeping difficulties, suicidal ideation, dizziness and headaches.
As part of a psychological injury compensation claim, you’ll have a meeting with an independent medical expert. If their prognosis is that you have suffered or will continue to suffer because of PSTD or other psychiatric damage, this could be factored into your claim.
For information on making a PTSD compensation claim, please see this guide.
- Assault at work. For example, following an assault in the workplace, you may have severe anxiety or suffer panic attacks at the thought of going to work.
- Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs). You may suffer psychological injury after being involved in a fatal accident.
- Facial scarring. If your face is scarred following an accident, you could become self-conscious or worried about what others say about you causing stress and depression.
- Sexual abuse. You’ve experienced sexual abuse at some point in your life and as a result, now suffer from PTSD.
Whatever type of incident has happened to you, we could help you claim psychological injury compensation.
Any personal injury claim needs to be supported by evidence. Without it, you are unlikely to be compensated. Therefore, to try and prove who was liable for your psychological injury and how it’s affected your mental health and quality of life, you could:
- Report the incident. If you were injured in a public place, on a business’ premises, or at work, you should report the accident. By law, the accident must be recorded. Your copy of the report could be used to confirm the location, date and time of the accident.
- Speak to witnesses. Where liability for psychological injuries is denied by the defendant, your solicitor could ask any witnesses for a statement. Therefore, write down their contact details.
- Obtain camera footage. If possible, ask for a copy of any dash-cam or CCTV footage if your accident was recorded.
- Take pictures. To help prove what happened, it is a good idea to take photographs as soon as possible following an accident.
- Seek medical treatment. Although your psychological injuries are unlikely to present immediately, you should attend A&E for treatment of any physical symptoms. Later on, a medical assessment will be arranged where any psychological suffering would be reviewed.
After you have collected as much evidence as possible, or want to know how we can help in collecting evidence, please contact us today.
The amount of compensation you could receive for psychological injury will be based on the severity of the injury and how it has affected your life. In general, any settlement will be based upon two heads of loss:
- General damages. This part of the claim is where you’ll request compensation for physical and/or psychological injuries, and any loss of amenity. The amount you’ll receive will be based on the extent of your pain and suffering.
- Special damages. Here you can claim for any costs associated with your injuries. For example, if you suffer psychological injuries, you may find it difficult to return to work for a while. Therefore, you could claim for lost earnings.
To see what could be included in your claim, please contact our team for free advice.
- £54,830 to £115,730 compensation for severe psychological injury.
- £19,070 to £54,830 compensation for moderately severe psychological injury.
- £5,860 to £19,070 compensation for moderate psychological injury.
- £1,540 to £5,860 compensation for less severe psychological injury.
The settlement amounts above are based on compensation guidelines for psychological injuries advised by the Judicial College for general damages and are referred to by legal professionals when calculating compensation settlements. As such, they should be used for guidance only, and special damages may also need to be added to the final figure.
If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will provide a more detailed compensation figure once your medical assessment has been completed.
Generally, personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit. This will either start from the date you were injured or from when your psychological injuries were diagnosed.
However, if your psychological injuries mean you don’t have the mental capacity to claim for some time, the start of your limitation period could be extended. If you believe this to be the case, you may wish to talk to us for legal advice on litigation friends and on your options.
In our opinion, it is a good idea to start the claims process as soon as you can. That’s because your solicitor will need some time to collect evidence, book medical appointments and complete other tasks.
To check how long you’ve got left to make your psychological injury claim, please contact us today.
If you proceed with a compensation claim, the defendant will likely pass it to an insurance company. Before they pay any compensation, they will want clear evidence that their client was liable for the accident. Even if you can prove that they may argue over how serious your physical or psychological injuries were.
So that you don’t need to deal with complex legal or medical arguments from the insurer, you may wish to use an experienced personal injury solicitor. If your case is taken on by one of our specialists, they’ll do all they can to try and secure the maximum amount of compensation possible for your suffering.
Throughout the claim, you’ll be kept up to date and your solicitor will be on hand to answer any queries you may have. If you would like to find out more about how we could help you, call us on 0800 6524 881 today. We’ll provide free legal advice on your making a psychological injury compensation claim and could partner you with a No Win No Fee solicitor right away.