Making a Personal Injury Claim for Mental Health

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By Crispin Bateman

on Friday 18 January 2019

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It is often very easy to see the physical and medical signs for most compensation claims. Making a personal injury claim for a broken leg, for example, leaves little room for confusion or argument.

Does this mean that a personal injury compensation claim for something which has happened that has affected your mental health is impossible? Far from it. With an ever-increasing understanding regarding mental health, the law provides a solid ground from which you can make a claim for financial recompense.

Can I claim compensation for work-related stress?

We spend most of our waking life at work, and for most of us, it is impossible to simply ‘switch off’ once we’ve left the workplace - our work-oriented worries follow us throughout the day and into our sleep. When the pressures of work cause a negative affect of your mental health, it is time to take a step back and seek help.

The knock-on effect of stress at work can be considerable. In the short term, you may rack up expenses which combine with a loss of earnings (due to being unable to work) and put you in significant financial difficulty – a situation which can only increase your level of stress and anxiety.

Long-term effects may include difficulty sleeping, a fear of returning to work and secondary mental health conditions that have grown from the initial stress.

Thankfully, you can claim financial compensation from a stress condition that was caused by your work. Your employer has a duty of care under law to maintain a healthy workplace environment, and while that is usually thought of in terms of the physical (making sure the workplace is hazard-free and safe to work in), it extends to the mental wellbeing of staff. If your employer has failed in that duty of care, then a personal injury claim for stress or depression may well be successful.

What does stress at work mean?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified the causes of stress at work to be one of six factors:

  • Demands - Becoming overloaded or unable to cope with the demands of the job.

  • Control - Lack of control over your workload, in terms of management of workload processes and timing.

  • Support – Not having the support of management or co-workers regarding your job or your general mental state.

  • Relationships – Lacking good relationships with colleagues and clients, it is easy to become bullied or feel like an outsider.

  • Role – Understanding your job and how you fit into the company is imperative to a good working life.

  • Change – Badly managed change leads to uncertainty and a lack of trust regarding your position in the company.

If you are suffering or have suffered from any of these issues, then it is important to report them to your employer to give them the opportunity to improve your working conditions.

Should they fail to provide support and help, or to make the required changes, and the level of stress doesn’t improve, then you may be entitled to personal injury stress compensation.

Can I claim for trauma?

Work-related stress is far from the only mental health issue that affects people in the world today and physical trauma is not the only type of injury that can be sustained in an accident. Mental trauma is a very real condition and is as valid an injury as any other when it comes to a personal injury claim.

If you have been involved in an accident, whether a road traffic accident, an incident at work, or while out in a public place, and that accident has left you with a mental trauma injury then you are entitled to make a claim for compensation.

It is also possible to make a claim for compensation against an attacker in the case of an assault or similar situation.

Psychological trauma can take many forms, including PTSD, anxiety or depression and often the psychological damage is far more debilitating than the physical injury with longer-lasted effects.

Do I need to prove my trauma to get a personal injury psychological damage payout?

Proving psychological trauma is very important if a successful compensation claim is going to be awarded.

Unlike a physical injury, which is very often reported immediately following the accident, psychological injury needs to have symptoms which have shown themselves over an extended period before psychological trauma compensation can be won.

It is important that you have visited your GP or other medical professional and are able to show the extent of your trauma and how it affects your life. These details will also ultimately affect your psychological trauma compensation calculation and a fuller report can increase the final level of financial award.

Like a physical injury, however, there is a three-year limitation on psychological trauma, so it is important that any claim for compensation is started as soon as possible. Don’t delay in giving Accident Line Direct a call, at no obligation.

How much compensation can I expect for a psychological injury?

In order to keep the level of compensation uniform across the country, the courts use a set of guidelines for the amount awarded in depression compensation payouts and other mental health compensation calculations.

These guidelines are also well-known to any legal representatives involved in your compensation claim and will be used to dictate any out-of-court settlements.

Will I need to appear in court?

Thankfully, most compensation cases are settled before having to involve the court, meaning you do not have to go through any further psychologically-difficult times presenting your care in a very formal setting.

At Accident Line Direct, we work with your best interests at the core and do our best to produce a positive outcome without needing to get to the stage where a full hearing is required. Of course, this may not always be possible and you may be required to come to a formal hearing.

What are the mental health compensation payout guidelines?

The following chart details the amounts that courts are likely to award for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compensation claims:

Severity Compensation
Less severe- full recovery within two years with minor persisting symptoms£3,150 to £6,520
Moderate- will have largely recovered with minial continuing effects£6,520 to £18,450
Moderately severe - better prognosis for recovery with professional help£18,450 to £47,720
Severe- Permanent effects - all aspects of life will be badly affected£47, 720 to £80,250

For other psychological damage and psychiatric claims, the guidelines are as follows:

Psychiatric Damage Generally

  • Severe: £43,710 to £92,240
  • Moderately severe: £15,200 to £43,710
  • Moderate: £4,670 to £15,200
  • Less severe: £1,220 to £4,670

Please note that these are just guidelines (provided by the Judicial College) and as each personal injury claims case differs, the compensation payout for your case may well fall outside of these amounts.

Contact us today to find out more about the amount of your potential payout.

How do I make a claim for compensation?

At Accident Line Direct, we believe that everyone is entitled to proper legal representation when making a claim for rightful compensation. Understanding that the costs of legal services can be prohibitive for many, we work on a No Win No Fee basis – meaning that if we cannot win the case for you, you are not charged a single penny. There are never any hidden fees and there is no small print to worry about – we act in a transparent fashion to help you feel secure throughout.

All our personal injury lawyers are specialists who will work their hardest to obtain the highest value compensation award possible.

To make a claim, give Accident Line Direct a call today – or fill in our contact form to have one of our experienced advisors call you at a convenient time.

0808 1454275

Accident Line Direct can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!