Have you suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following an accident that was caused by a third party breaching their duty of care? If so, you may wonder whether you could be eligible to begin a serious injury claim for severe PTSD. It is possible to claim for a psychological injury alone, or alongside a physical injury. We have covered both instances in our guide and have discussed the criteria that need to be met in order for you to have valid grounds to pursue personal injury compensation.
Later in this guide, we discuss the duty of care certain third parties owe and provide examples of how PTSD could be suffered following an accident. We have also included a figurative case study for the purpose of showing you how a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder could be made.
Furthermore, we provide guidance on how PTSD compensation is calculated and what settlements could comprise following a successful claim.
In the final section of our guide, we examine how a personal injury solicitor from our panel could help by offering a No Win No Fee agreement.
Please continue reading for more information on serious injury claims. Alternatively, you can contact an advisor for free advice regarding your specific case. To get in touch, you can:
Choose A Section
- When Are You Eligible To Claim For Severe PTSD?
- Case Study: £500,000 Payout In PTSD Compensation
- How Much Compensation Could You Receive When Making A Claim For PTSD?
- Evidence That Could Help You Claim For Severe PTSD
- Claim For PTSD On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Learn More About Serious Injury Claims
According to the NHS, PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by someone experiencing stressful, frightening, or distressing events. The condition can have a significant impact on a person’s life and can cause nightmares, flashbacks, problems sleeping and difficulty concentrating. There are several causes of the condition, such as serious health problems like a physical injury, or any situation that a person finds traumatic, like witnessing a fatal accident.
Different third parties, namely an employer, road user, or occupier, owe a duty of care to protect your safety and well being. If either of these parties failed to uphold their duty of care, and this led to you experiencing PTSD, you might wonder whether you could make a serious injury claim for severe PTSD.
To be eligible to seek personal injury compensation for PTSD, you must meet the following criteria:
- You were owed a duty of care.
- This duty was breached.
- You experienced a physical injury and/or psychological injury as a result.
Road Traffic Accidents
A duty of care is placed on road users to navigate the roads and operate their vehicles in a way that prevents one another from becoming injured or experiencing damage. To uphold this duty of care, road users must follow the rules and regulations in the Road Traffic Act 1988 as well as the Highway Code.
If there is a failure to uphold this duty, it could lead to a road user experiencing PTSD in a road traffic accident. For example:
- An HGV driver may have failed to check it was safe to move between lanes on a motorway. As a result, they may have crashed into the side of a car causing the passenger to suffer fatal injuries. The driver having witnessed the death of the passenger may develop PTSD.
Accidents At Work
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) requires employers to take reasonable and practicable steps to keep employees safe from harm at work and as they perform their work-related duties. This is the duty of care they owe.
If an employer has failed to uphold their duty of care, it could lead to a workplace accident in which an employee experiences a psychological injury. For example:
- An employer may have instructed an employee to use faulty equipment. As a result, the employee suffers a fatal crush injury after the faulty piece of equipment falls on them. A colleague who witnessed the fatal accident may suffer PTSD as a result.
Accidents In A Public Place
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 describes the duty of care those in control of a public space owe. They must take steps to ensure the reasonable safety of those visiting the space and using it for it’s intended purpose.
A failure to do so could result in a public place accident. For example:
- A shelf in a supermarket is fitted incorrectly. Despite several reports being made about the faulty shelf, no steps are taken to fix it. This results in a customer sustaining brain damage after the shelf falls on them. Due to the impact of the brain injury and the experience of the accident they also suffered mentally as well.
To discuss your specific case and find out whether a serious injury claim for severe PTSD could be possible, please contact an advisor on the number above.
Below, we have provided a figurative case study to help you understand the process of making a serious injury claim for PTSD.
Miss. Jenkins was driving herself and one of her friends to work one morning. She reached a junction on which she had priority. However, another driver sped through the junction without checking it was safe to proceed. As a result, they crashed into the passenger side of Miss.Jenkins car causing the passenger to sustain fatal injuries. Due to the traumatic nature of the accident, Miss.Jenkins suffered from PTSD.
After seeking legal advice, she decided to pursue a claim for severe PTSD. She instructed a solicitor who had experience handling PTSD claims to help her seek compensation. The solicitor helped her gather evidence such as witness contact details and dash cam footage. They also submitted correspondence on her behalf and made sure the claim was started within the relevant time period.
Miss.Jenkins’ claim was successful and she was awarded a £500,000 payout which consisted of compensation for the way the PTSD had affected her quality of life. It also consisted of compensation for the financial losses she incurred as a result of the PTSD. For example, she was required to take time off work for a long period of time and was unable to drive for a while after the accident. She also needed counselling to help her deal with the PTSD. This meant she incurred loss of earnings, travel expenses and medical costs.
To discuss your specific case, please contact an advisor on the number above.
If your serious injury claim for severe PTSD is successful, the settlement awarded can comprise of two heads of claim called general and special damages.
General damages compensate for the physical and/or psychological injury, looking at the impact it has had on your quality of life. In order to place a value on this, legal professionals turn to a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines.
The guidelines contain award brackets for different types of harm. You can find an excerpt of these below. However, please use them as a guide only, rather than as guaranteed amounts.
|Type of Harm||Severity Level||Guideline Amounts||Notes|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||(a) Severe||£59,860 to £100,670||All areas of the person's life are negatively affected and they can't return to a pre-trauma level.|
|(b) Moderately Severe||£23,150 to £59,860||A better prognosis is present due to some recovery which has been achieved through professional help.|
|(c) Moderate||£8,180 to £23,150||The person has made a significant recovery and any ongoing issues won't be hugely disabling.|
|(d) Less Severe||£3,950 to £8,180||Almost a total recovery seen within a 2 year period and only mild symptoms seen to persist past this date.|
|Brain Damage||(c) Moderate (iii)||£43,060 to £90,720||Concentration and memory are affected and their ability to work is reduced. They may also face a small risk of epilepsy.|
|(d) Less Severe||£15,320 to £43,060||The level of award in this bracket will be influence by, for example, depression, and the extent of any personality change.|
Special Damages When Claiming For PTSD
The second possible head of a claim is special damages. This compensates for monetary expenses and losses incurred as a result of the injury. For example:
- The costs of psychotherapy and counselling.
- Loss of earnings for time spent off work to recover, as well as lost future earnings if you cannot return to work at all.
- Travel costs.
- Care costs.
If you intend to seek special damages as part of a personal injury claim, you would need to submit evidence of these expenses such as payslips, bank statements and directly related receipts.
Our advisors are happy to answer any questions you might have about compensation for PTSD if you get in touch.
Evidence can help to support a claim for severe PTSD by showing that you suffered harm due to a third party breaching the duty of care they owed you. As such, you could benefit from gathering:
- Medical evidence, such as reports from your GP and psychotherapist.
- A diary of events, key treatments and an indication of your mental state.
- Witness contact details.
- Clear CCTV footage of the incident.
The experienced personal injury solicitors from our panel could assist you with your serious injury claim for severe PTSD, provided it’s valid. Additionally, they are able to offer their services through a version of a No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This typically means:
- A fee for the solicitor’s work is not required upfront, as the claim proceeds, or if it fails.
- A success fee is taken from the compensation if the claim succeeds. This is taken as a percentage which has a legal cap ensuring you keep the majority of your awarded settlement.
If you would like to find out more about working with a solicitor from our panel, or to discuss your PTSD claim, please contact an advisor. They can offer free guidance and answer any questions you might have. To reach them, you can:
- Call 0161 696 9685
- Contact us online for a callback.
- Use our live webchat at the bottom of the screen.
For more of our guides:
- Read about work related stress compensation claims.
- Learn how to claim for psychological injury.
- Find out if you can claim if you were attacked as a lone worker.
For more external resources:
- Information on coping with PTSD from Mind.
- Helpful road accidents and safety statistics from GOV.UK.
- Useful health and safety statistics for workplace accident and injuries from the Health and Safety Executive.
Thank you for reading this helpful guide on when you could be eligible to make a serious injury claim for severe PTSD. If you have any other questions, please call an advisor on the number above.
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