Claim for psychological or psychiatric trauma following an accident
Psychological injury (also known as psychiatric injury) is common when an individual has been exposed to a traumatic and life changing event such as a serious accident, and there are certain types of injury, such as brain injury or head injury, which are more likely to result in serious psychological symptoms developing.
Psychological injury can include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Symptoms of psychological injury can include low mood, irritability, flashbacks, nightmares, grief, anger, guilt, social withdrawal. It is important to understand that psychiatric damage may not always be noticeable from the outside – in fact, the person suffering the injury may appear to be functioning normally. However, on the inside, symptoms can begin to mount, causing serious emotional distress and, ultimately, noticeable dysfunction.
If you or someone close to you has suffered a psychiatric injury alongside their serious physical injury, you should speak with a solicitor about claiming compensation. Talk to Thompsons today.
Primary and secondary psychological injury claims
Psychological injury claims can be made by both primary victims (the person who has directly suffered the serious or catastrophic injury) as well as secondary victims (someone who has witnessed a serious accident or near-miss involving a person who is classed as a “close tie of love and affection” – for example, a spouse, civil partner, parent, child or other immediate loved one.
However, in order to make a psychological injury claim, the secondary victim must have been witness to the serious accident or its immediate aftermath – i.e. they were physically located at the site of the accident.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder claims
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur following an acutely stressful or upsetting event – for example, being involved in, witnessing, or attending a road accident, work accident or any event which causes trauma and/or injury.
Army, police and medical workers are among the groups most likely to develop PTSD as a result of witnessing an accident.
There are three major types of PTSD. These are:
- Intrusive PTSD – The patient repeatedly relives the traumatic event, sometimes in response to specific stimuli – flashbacks and nightmares are common.
- Avoidant PTSD – The patient avoids reliving trauma by avoiding people, places, situations and stimuli.
- Hyperarousal – The patient becomes stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode so remains in a constant state of alert, unable to relax and prone to irritation and volatility.
Making a claim for psychological injuries is a complex undertaking. Providing the right evidence can be a challenging process, so it's important that you have the best and most experienced representation to guide you through.
Thompsons’ solicitors are experienced in dealing with compensation claims involving psychological injury and are very aware that psychological injury often affects the family and loved ones of the injured person as much as it affects the injured person himself.
We aim not only to secure the maximum amount of compensation for you or your loved one, in the shortest possible time but also to use our expertise and contacts to ensure you are able to make the best and speediest recovery possible.
Psychological injury compensation claims
There are a number of items that could be included when making a claim for compensation for a psychological injury. These include:
- Compensation for the pain and suffering experienced, now and in the future
- Compensation for rehabilitation or retraining
- Short term financial advice and assistance
- Long term financial advice and assistance
- Compensation for past and future financial losses
- Compensation for past and future medical and care needs