How To Claim Compensation For A Psychological Injury

By Danielle Nicholson. Last Updated 23rd February 2024. In this guide, we discuss the process of making a psychological injury claim. There are many types of incidents that could potentially cause psychological harm.

If you have suffered psychological harm due to another party breaching their duty of care, then you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Within this guide, we’ll look more closely at the types of psychological injury claims that can be made and the evidence that could be used to support these types of claims.

We’ll also look at potential compensation payouts for psychological damage and how these amounts are calculated.

Additionally, we’ll talk about the benefits of making a claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

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If you would like to speak to an advisor about making a claim for psychological injuries, then you can contact our team online or on the phone. You can:

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Select A Section

  1. How To Claim Compensation For A Psychological Injury
  2. How Much Compensation Could You Get For A Psychological Injury
  3. Do I Need Evidence To Make A Claim For Psychological Damage?
  4. Psychological Injury Claim Time Limits
  5. Make A Psychological Injury Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  6. Learn More About How To Claim Compensation For A Psychological Injury

How To Claim Compensation For A Psychological Injury

Personal injury claims don’t just apply to physical injuries; they also cover psychological injuries.

If you’ve suffered a psychological injury such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or general emotional distress, you may be able to make a claim.

For you to be awarded compensation for damage to your mental health, as with any type of personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove that the defendant acted negligently.

In order to establish negligence in a psychological injury claim, you’ll need to determine:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care
  • The defendant breached this duty of care
  • You suffered psychological harm because of their actions.

When Could You Be Owed A Duty Of Care?

Depending on the circumstances that you suffered a mental health injury, there is different legislation in place that sets out when someone owes you a duty of care. For example:

Continue reading to find out how much compensation you may be awarded. Or, contact our team today to learn more about claiming compensation for mental injuries.

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How Much Compensation Could You Get For A Psychological Injury?

In the UK, compensation for distress can be awarded if the other party owed you a duty of care and breached this duty. The compensation you could be awarded in a claim for a psychological injury will try to take into account the severity of your injury, and the effect this in turn has had on you.

For example, if your mental injury had left you unable to work, or needing private care that has left you out of pocket.

The severity of the injury, and the distress caused, will be addressed in a head of claim known as general damages. We can give you example awards for general damages for psychological injuries by using the compensation brackets listed in the April 2022 edition of the Judicial College Guidelines.

This publication collates figures from past court case settlements to help legal professionals value claims.

While this is not an exact reflection of what you will be awarded, it can give you an idea of potential compensation for psychological injuries. Please note that the first entry in this table is not taken from the JCG.

Judicial College Guidelines Compensation Brackets

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Claim Severity Range of compensation Further info
Severe psychological injury and financial losses Severe Up to £150,000+ If you’ve suffered a severe psychological injury which has altered your day-to-day life in a fundamental way, you could also claim for associated financial losses. For example, you may be unable to return to work, meaning you lose out on salary, bonuses and your pension.
Psychological injury Severe £54,830 to £115,730 Very poor prognosis and will affect the ability to cope with life and relationships. Treatment will likely be unsuccessful and the victim will vulnerable in the future
Moderately Severe £19,070 to £54,830 Similar issues to the severe category but with a better prognosis
Moderate £5,860 to £19,070 The victim will have suffered symptoms similar to above but treatment will have had a positive affect and prognosis is good
Less Severe £1,540 to £5,860 For injuries that happen for a shorter period and a lesser impact on daily life
PTSD Severe £59,860 to £100,670 Severe cases of PTSD where the victim is unable to functioning anywhere near pre-trauma levels. All parts of the claimants life will be affected
Moderately Severe £23,150 to £59,860 Injuries as above but with a better outlook for recovery
Moderate £8,180 to £23,150 The claimant will have largely recovered from their symptoms in this range (but some minor effects may still exist)
Less Severe £3,950 to £8,180 Cases where a full recovery occurs within 1 to 2 years

We’ll explain more about making a claim for the financial effects of an injury below, but if you are looking to make a claim for a psychological injury, please speak to our advisors today.

What Are Special Damages?

Your distress compensation in the UK may also consist of special damages. Special damages are paid out to compensate for any financial losses caused by your psychological damage.

Some examples of special damages that might be included in your compensation for a psychological injury include:

  • Therapy costs.
  • Loss of earnings for time spent off work to recover.
  • Medication costs.
  • Home help, such as a cleaner or childcare if you require help with these.

In order to include special damages as part of your claim, you should submit proof of your costs. For example, receipts or invoices.

If you would like a free valuation of your potential personal injury claim that includes special damages, get in touch with one of the advisors from our team.

Do I Need Evidence To Make A Claim For Psychological Damage?

Evidence is one of the most important aspects of a personal injury claim. This is because the right evidence can help you prove that the other party was at fault for your accident and can also illustrate how severe your injuries are and how they will affect you in the future.

Some examples of evidence that you could use to support your psychological injury compensation claim can include:

  • Witness contact information: Statements could be taken from potential witnesses to the accident that caused your psychological injury later into the claiming process.
  • Medical information: Your medical records or correspondence with a psychologist confirming your psychological injuries and their severity could be used as evidence.
  • Independent medical assessment: In some cases, you may be asked to undergo an independent medical assessment, during which a medical professional will assess your injuries and write a definitive report on your condition.
  • Video footage: If the accident that caused you psychological injury was caught on CCTV or a dashcam, for example, this could be used as evidence in your claim.

If you choose to work with a personal injury solicitor, they can help you gather evidence to support your claim. For example, a solicitor could arrange an independent medical assessment, talk to potential witnesses, and collate other forms of evidence to help strengthen your case.

To find out if working with a personal injury solicitor from our panel could be right for you, contact our team of helpful advisors today.

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Psychological Injury Claim Time Limits

The personal injury claim time limit for psychological damage compensation is typically three years as set by the Limitation Act 1980.

This could be three years from the date of the incident that caused your psychological injury or three years from the date that you first realised (or would have been expected to realise) that the incident caused mental health harm.

However, in some circumstances there are exceptions to this limitation period. These include:

  • Parties under the age of 18. In these cases, the limitation period is frozen until the injured party turns 18. Prior to this, a court-appointed litigation friend can initiate proceedings on their behalf.
  • However, if they turn 18 and the claiming process wasn’t started for them, they will have 3 years from that date to file their claim.
  • Parties without the mental capacity cannot initiate legal proceedings themselves. However, they have an indefinite suspension applied to the time limit that lasts for as long as they’re unable to begin a claim.
  • During this time, a litigation friend can file a claim on their behalf. However, if the party regains this capacity and one was not already filed, they will have 3 years from that date to start the claiming process.

To find out if you are still within the time limit and how much compensation for psychological damage in the UK you might be able to claim, get in touch with an advisor from our team.

Make A Psychological Injury Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you have suffered psychological damage due to a third party’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation. If you decide to make a claim, you may wish to have the support of a solicitor during the claiming process.

One of the solicitors from our panel could support you with your psychological injury claim. Additionally, they may offer to work with you under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.

When working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, they usually won’t ask you to pay for their services upfront.

They typically don’t charge ongoing fees either. If your solicitor is successful, they will take a success fee out of your mental health compensation payout. The percentage they can take as a success fee is capped by law. Alternatively, if your solicitor doesn’t succeed, they usually won’t ask you to pay for their services.

To see whether you could make a claim for your psychological injury, contact our advisors.

They can offer you free advice and assess the eligibility of your potential claim. If they think you could make a claim, they could put you in touch with one of the solicitors from our panel.

Contact Our Team To Learn More

To speak to an advisor:

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Learn More About How To Claim Compensation For A Psychological Injury

Hopefully, you’ve now read all of the information you need to begin your own claim or to know what you need to do next.  For further information, we’ve included some useful information:

Other Useful Compensation Guides

If you have any further questions about making a psychological injury claim for depression, PTSD or anxiety, or want to know what to do next to start a personal injury claim for psychological damage at work, please contact one of our friendly team.