Many people assume that to make a personal injury compensation claim, you must have sustained a physical injury — such as a broken bone or head injury — as a direct result of an accident. However for some, the fear and anxiety associated with an accident could also lead to them suffering a psychiatric injury. Psychiatric injury symptoms may not be apparent to you immediately and can take months, or even years, to advance.
Claims for psychiatric injury in the workplace
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Since the case of Alcock v Chief Constable of Yorkshire Police was decided following the Hillsborough disaster in , it has been well established that certain criteria must be met by the Claimant, to successfully bring a compensation claim for psychiatric injury as a secondary victim. In other words, a secondary victim is someone who suffers psychiatric injury solely as a result of witnessing the injury or endangerment of another. The House of Lords held that those watching the disaster on live television, in other parts of the stadium to the 96 victims or through the radio, could not claim as secondary victims. To successfully recover compensation for psychiatric injury as a secondary victim, the following criteria must be demonstrated by the Claimant:. However each case must be judged on its own facts. In the Court of Appeal considered in the case of North Glamorgan NHS Trust —v- Walters, whether the Claimant was able to recover damages for psychiatric injury caused by her witnessing the death of her child. The hospital had failed to diagnose acute hepatitis and the Claimant awoke to witness her baby having an epileptic fit. The hospital initially informed the Claimant that her son had not suffered any brain damage but, following his transfer and diagnosis at a second hospital, she was then told that her son had been severely brain damaged and would have no quality of life.
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Psychiatric injuries are likely to occur as a result of a traumatic or stressful experience. These trigger incidents can be as wide ranging as a car accident or criminal assault, or exposure to excessive pressure or demands in your working environment. The figures provided above are average amounts of compensation claimed by sufferers of similar injuries, and are to be used as a guide only. If you think you could be entitled to compensation, get in touch with us today for a clearer idea of what you could claim for your injury. On the outside, someone suffering from psychiatric damage may appear to be functioning normally. However, on the inside they may be suffering from a mental illness, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic fatigue. These illnesses can be incredibly debilitating, causing problems at work, difficulties maintaining relationships with partners, friends and family, or an inability to leave the home. When it comes to compensating someone for a psychiatric injury, there are a number of factors that are taken into consideration.
Law Bulletin - June Liability. Five police officers brought claims for psychiatric injuries they had suffered as a result of a fatal shooting. They had all witnessed the shooting. They alleged their employer had negligently created the circumstances of the shooting and that had caused them injury. Even if they had witnessed the shooting, they would have had no claim as secondary victims as they had no family or emotional tie to the victims and it followed that the officers in question were even more remotely affected than that and they could have no claim either White -v- Chief Constable of South Yorkshire 3 WLR Nor could they have a claim for criminal and disciplinary proceedings that followed, which caused them psychiatric injury as they could not show, following Barber, that they were particularly vulnerable to work-related stress in these circumstances. The Human Rights Act could not be used retrospectively to deprive the defendants of accrued rights to plead the fixed six-year limitation period. A -v- Hoare and Others.