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A Guide To Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Claims

By Cat Way. Last Updated 17th July 2024. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be deeply debilitating for a person. And if the condition developed due to an accident, you could be entitled to PTSD compensation.

In this guide, we cover everything related to making a PTSD compensation claim. We discuss the potential causes, such as workplace accidents, military service, a car accident and other traumatic events.

You can also find details on the requirements to make a psychological injury claim, such as the personal injury claims time limit, and discover potential post-traumatic stress disorder payouts.

We appreciate that not everyone likes to read, so we offer a free case check over the phone if this is what you’d prefer.

We can advise you on your legal rights, potential settlements and, if you’d like to make a PTSD claim, we can connect you with one of our specialist personal injury solicitors.

To learn more about PTSD claims, please keep reading. You can also watch our video which gives you the key points from the guide:

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Select A Section

  1. Am I Eligible To Receive PTSD Compensation?
  2. Time Limits For PTSD Claims
  3. How Could You Suffer PTSD?
  4. What Evidence Do I Need To Make A Claim For PTSD Compensation?
  5. Compensation For PTSD – How Much Could You Receive?
  6. Claim Compensation For PTSD With Legal Expert

Am I Eligible To Receive PTSD Compensation?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder caused by a traumatic event in a person’s life. Sometimes, PTSD may last just over a month. However, in some cases, PTSD symptoms can last for years or may even be permanent.

It can reoccur through flashbacks, such as reliving the traumatic memories and panic attacks. This might be the case if you have been involved in a serious car accident, for example. 

If you seek compensation for PTSD, you’ll first need to determine your eligibility to make a personal injury claim. As such, the following should be considered:

  • Did someone owe you a duty of care?
  • Was that duty of care breached?
  • Did you suffer a psychological injury as a result?

Depending on where the traumatic incident happened that triggered your PTSD injury, you are owed a duty of care by certain parties. For example:

  • On the road – all road users must take reasonable care to avoid causing injury to any other road users as per the Road Traffic Act 1988
  • In the workplace – employers should ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of their employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • In a public place – as outlined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, occupiers of a public place have a duty to ensure visitors are reasonably safe on their premises 

On the basis you can provide evidence that highlights somebody else’s negligence caused your personal injury, you may have valid grounds to claim PTSD compensation.

You will also need to begin the PTSD compensation claims process within the limitation period. Continue reading for more information about seeking compensation for a psychological injury caused by a traumatic event. 

White pieces of torn paper with the words PTSD and post traumatic stress disorder printed on them.

Time Limits For PTSD Claims

If you would like to make a compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder, you must start legal proceedings within the limitation period.

This is set at typically three years by the Limitation Act 1980. It can be set at three years from the date of the diagnosis when claiming for PTSD. This is known as the date of knowledge.

However, if an injured party cannot begin legal proceedings themselves, the time limit is suspended. For example, if an injured party lacks the mental capacity to start a claim, the time limit is suspended indefinitely.

A litigation friend can start proceedings on their behalf. However, if the injured party regains their mental capacity, the time limit is no longer suspended. This gives them three years from that date to start a claim if a litigation friend has not already begun proceedings.

The time limit is paused for children until their 18th birthday. However, as with those who lack the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend can start a claim at any time during the suspension.

Call our advisors to find out more about claiming for psychological injuries. In addition, they can assess your claim’s eligibility. If it seems valid, our advisors can help you get a claim for your psychological injury started right away.

How Could You Suffer PTSD?

As previously discussed, you can develop PTSD following a variety of different traumatic events. These include:

  • An accident at work. You could suffer a life-changing physical injury in a workplace accident, such as a traumatic amputation, experience a near-miss or witness a colleague sustaining a fatal injury and develop PTSD as a result. 
  • road traffic accident. As with workplace accidents, you could suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in a road traffic accident. For example, if you are severely injured in a car accident and the injury has a significant impact on your life, it could lead to you experiencing psychological harm as well. Alternatively, you could be hit by a car as a pedestrian suffering very serious spinal injuries leading to paralysis which has a knock-on effect on your mental health. Finally, you could witness a loved one suffer fatal injuries in a road traffic accident. 
  • An accident in a public place. Experiencing PTSD could also occur following a public liability accident. For example, you could witness a fatal accident in a supermarket in which someone falls from a height. Similarly, you could slip and fall in a supermarket and suffer a serious brain injury which brings with it symptoms of PTSD.

Contact one of our advisors to discuss whether you might be eligible for PTSD compensation.

What Impact Could PTSD Have On Your Life?

PTSD can have a devastating impact on your life, causing severe physical, mental, and financial effects.

In terms of physical and mental impacts, PTSD can cause:

  • Panic attacks.
  • Nightmares.
  • Flashbacks.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.

These symptoms can completely remove your ability to work, socialise, and enjoy things like hobbies. Loss of enjoyment is also known as loss of amenity, and this can be included as part of the general damages head of your claim.

The inability to work can have serious financial effects. For example, if you are unable to work, even temporarily, this can lead to lost earnings. In some cases, you may never be able to work again, resulting in a lifetime of lost income. This is something that PTSD claims can help you with, since lost earnings can be included under special damages.

If you’d like to find out if you could be entitled to make a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder compensation claim, contact our helpful team today. Or, you can keep reading to learn more about the claiming process.

What Evidence Do I Need To Make A Claim For PTSD Compensation?

Evidence is crucial when pursuing compensation for PTSD. The right evidence can help support numerous areas of your claim, including showing the severity of your PTSD, how it occurred, and who is responsible.

One of the benefits of working with a solicitor throughout the psychological traumat claims process is that they can help you collect evidence and find other relevant ways of strengthening your claim.

Some examples of evidence that you could use to support a claim for PTSD include:

  • Medical records: Your medical records can provide more details about the severity of your PTSD symptoms, and the way it affects your life. Your medical records may also contain details about what psychological treatment you require. You may also be able to submit a letter from a psychiatrist or therapist with further information about your psychological injury caused by the traumatic experience.
  • Witness statements: While you can’t take witness statements yourself, you can take their details so a professional can take their statement at a later date. This could include people who witnessed the traumatic event that caused your PTSD, or the effect the psychological trauma has had on you.
  • Symptoms diary: Keeping a diary of how your psychological injury has affected you and your life could also be useful. You may also include details about your medical treatment.

These are only a few examples of evidence that you could use to support your claim. To learn more about claiming PTSD compensation payouts, or to find out if you could be eligible to make a compensation claim for an anxiety disorder, contact our team of advisors today.

A brown folder labelled evidence on a white keyboard.

Compensation For PTSD – How Much Could You Receive?

If your PTSD claim succeeds, your compensation could contain up to two heads of claim. The first is general damages, which is awarded to all successful claimants.

This head of claim covers the pain and suffering you endure as a result of your injuries, both physical and psychological.

Those who value this head of PTSD compensation may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for help. This is a text that offers guideline compensation brackets for a number of different physical and psychological injuries, including PTSD.

You can find some examples below, but please note that the first entry is not taken from the JCG.

InjuryCompensation Amounts
Mental Harm And Severe Injuries Plus Financial LossesUp to £150,000
Psychological Damage - Severe£66,920 to £141,240
Psychological Damage - Moderately Severe£23,270 to £66,920
Psychological Damage - Moderate£7,150 to £23,270
Psychological Damage - Less Severe£1,880 to £7,150
PTSD - Severe£73,050 to £122,850
PTSD - Moderately Severe£28,250 to £73,050
PTSD - Moderate£9,980 to £28,250
PTSD - Less Severe£4,820 to £9,980

The second head of claim is known as special damages. This heading covers the financial losses caused by your PTSD, and can include the cost of:

  • Lost earnings due to taking time off work to recover.
  • Counselling, including cognitive behavioural therapy and other costs towards PTSD treatment.
  • Prescriptions and other costs towards medical treatment.
  • Travel costs.

These are just a few examples of expenses that could be covered under special damages if you claim compensation for PTSD.

When claiming under this heading, you must be able to provide proof of your losses, which could come in the form of bank statements or receipts.

To learn more about claiming compensation for a psychological injury such as PTSD, contact our team of advisors today. They can evaluate your claim for free, and could potentially put you in contact with one of our solicitors.

Claim Compensation For PTSD With Legal Expert

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim for PTSD compensation, one of our solicitors could help you. They could help you with gathering evidence, arranging an independent medical assessment and providing you with more information on compensation payouts for PTSD. Additionally, they may offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement.

When claiming with a solicitor under this arrangement, you will not need to pay them any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. Furthermore, you will not need to pay them for the work they have done on your case should your claim fail.

Should your claim succeed, your solicitor will take a success fee, which is deducted from your settlement award. This is a small percentage with a legal cap.

To learn more about how our solicitors could help you with your PTSD claim, contact our team today.

Our advisors can offer a free consultation in which they can offer advice and potentially connect you with one of our solicitors. To get started:

A personal injury solicitor holds a glowing bubble with the words personal injury law inside.

We hope our guide to making a PTSD claim has answered your questions about claiming for a psychological injury caused by a traumatic incident. If you would like to speak to an advisor about claiming compensation, then please get in touch.

Useful Links On Claiming PTSD Compensation

In this final section of our guide, we’ve included some links to help you further with learning about PTSD claims. Remember, if you need free legal advice, give us our team of solicitors a call.

  • MIND PTSD Guide – The mental health charity MIND has put together a comprehensive guide on PTSD compensation claims.
  • Advice On Driving With PTSD – A government guide providing advice when it comes to driving with PTSD
  • Car Accident Claims – PTSD can often develop following traumatic road traffic accidents. If this affects you, our guide may help.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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