Different people respond to accidents in different ways. Within any compensation award for personal injury there is an element that takes into account that some psychiatric injury will have been suffered.
However, where the psychiatric response to an accident is more serious than the norm additional compensation can be obtained.
In general terms, you can claim for psychiatric injury where you were the victim of an accident, were present at the accident or attended the scene shortly after the accident.
What to look for
Classic symptoms that would indicate that an additional award may be appropriate are:
- Avoiding discussing the accident;
- Being very upset, usually in tears, when having to discuss the accident;
- Sleeplessness and nightmares as a result of the accident;
- Avoiding going anywhere near the place the accident occurred;
- A breakdown in relationships with family and friends
- Heightened fear of travel, whether on a motorbike or even in a car;
- Problems coping with work or life in general.
The overall level of injury can range from anything as simple as travel anxiety through to depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). GP’s generally appear to be slow in identifying any psychiatric injury. A further difficulty in relation to psychiatric injury is that the person suffering from the injury is rarely conscious of the fact that this particular injury has been sustained, all they know is that life is not as good as it was before the accident.
Where a psychiatric injury may be an issue it is important that it is addressed at an early stage. The sooner treatment is obtained the more likely a full recovery will occur.
Awards for psychiatric injuries can range from as little as £800 to in excess of £65,000, dependent on the severity and how long it has or will last. Treatment can also be expensive and can be claimed on top.
Example guideline awards are as follows:
|Severe psychiatric disorder
|£32,000 to £67,200
|£36,650 to £58,500
|Moderately severe psychiatric disorder
|£11,200 to £32,000
|Moderately severe PTSD
|£13,500 to £33,800
|Moderate psychiatric disorder
|£3,450 to £11,200
|£4,825 to £13,500
Should you (or someone that you know) have sustained a psychiatric injury as a result of an accident, whether they were involved in the accident, witnessed the accident, or witnessed the immediate aftermath of the accident then you should contact us on 0800 783 6191 to discuss the matter further.