How To Claim Compensation For A Psychological Injury

By Danielle Nicholson. Last Updated 14th November 2023. 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. Examples include car accidents, accidents at work and criminal acts such as sexual abuse.

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.

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:

Psychological Injury Claims

Psychological Injury Claims Guide

Select A Section

  1. Can You Claim 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. Advice And Resources Relating To Psychological Injury Claims

Can You Claim For A Psychological Injury?

Are you wondering, ‘can you claim for a psychological injury?’. 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.

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 emotional distress compensation you may be awarded.

How Much Compensation Could You Get For A Psychological Injury?

In the UK, compensation for emotional 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.

ClaimSeverityRange of compensationFurther info
Severe psychological injury and financial lossesSevereUp 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 injurySevere£54,830 to £115,730Very 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 £54,830Similar issues to the severe category but with a better prognosis
Moderate£5,860 to £19,070The 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 £5,860For injuries that happen for a shorter period and a lesser impact on daily life
PTSDSevere£59,860 to £100,670Severe 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 £59,860Injuries as above but with a better outlook for recovery
Moderate£8,180 to £23,150The claimant will have largely recovered from their symptoms in this range (but some minor effects may still exist)
Less Severe£3,950 to £8,180Cases 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 emotional 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 emotional distress in the UK 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?

When making a psychological injury claim, the success of proceedings hinges on the strength of the evidence. Without proof to back up your case, it’s unlikely a defendant will agree to compensate you.

To attract a mental health compensation payout that accounts for all of your suffering and losses, it can help to provide your No Win No Fee solicitor with evidence such as:

  • Medical notes and letters – If you’re receiving treatment for a psychological injury, any letters or documents from your healthcare professional that detail your suffering can prove very useful.
  • Independent medical report – To prove that the damage to your mental health was caused by the defendant’s negligence, it’s necessary to undergo a medical assessment as part of your compensation claim. This has to be conducted by an independent expert, not your treating doctor. This expert owes a duty to the court to provide an honest opinion of your injuries and the cause.
  • Witness information – If someone saw the accident that caused you psychological damage, they could provide a statement in support of your case. If you can supply their contact details to your solicitor, they can arrange to take this statement.

If you’d like advice on what evidence to obtain and how to gather it, get in touch. We offer free guidance over the phone or via our live chat to help you build your case.

And if you’d like to proceed with a claim for psychological damage compensation, we can connect you with our panel of specialist No Win No Fee solicitors.

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.

To speak to an advisor:

Advice And Resources Relating To Psychological Injury Claims

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.