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A Guide To Psychological Injury Claims

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 6th June 2024. Welcome to our guide looking at the question “How much compensation for psychological harm could I receive in psychological injury claims?”

If you have been involved in any type of accident, be it a car crash, an accident at work, an incident involving medical negligence, or any other type of accident, damages cannot only be physical, but psychological as well. When you are making a personal injury claim, you cannot only claim for the physical pain and suffering you have been subject to, but you can also claim the psychological impact as well.

While some types of personal injury claims regularly include psychological damages, for example, medical negligence that has led to birth injuries, the severity of the psychiatric damage will vary depending on the situation. For instance, the effect of a severe road traffic accident involving a head-on collision could cause someone to feel anxious or fear getting into another car, or they may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Whereas a minor slip, trip or fall at work could cause someone to suffer less severe anxiety while recovering from their injuries.

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If you’d like to learn about the key points from this guide, why not check out our video below:

Select a Section

  1. Eligibility Criteria For Psychological Injury Claims
  2. Examples Of When You Could Make A Psychological Injury Claim
  3. Psychological Injury Claims – Do I Need Evidence?
  4. Guideline Compensation Payouts For Psychological Injury Claims
  5. Make Psychological Injury Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

Eligibility Criteria For A Psychological Injury Claim

In order to have a valid mental health claim, you must be able to prove that you suffered your psychological injury due to a relevant third party breaching their duty of care towards you.

There are various instances where you are owed a duty of care, these include:

  • In the workplace – Your employer owed you a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Per this duty, they must take reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety whilst working and in the workplace. As part of adhering to this duty, your employer has a responsibility to comply with other relevant health and safety laws. 
  • In public places – Anyone in control of a public space (an occupier) owes a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. All occupiers must take all the necessary steps to ensure your reasonable safety while you are using that public space for its intended purpose.
  • On the road – Road users owe a duty of care under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They must navigate the roads in a way to avoid causing harm to themselves and others. Furthermore, they must adhere to the rules and regulations set out for them in the Highway Code.

To see if you could be eligible to make a psychological injury claim, you can contact one of our friendly advisors. They can help answer your questions and offer you free advice.

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What Is The Time Limit For Making A Personal Injury Claim?

Did you know that personal injury claims have a general time limit of 3 years? This means that you must begin making your claim before this limitation period has expired. The time limit is set out in the Limitation Act 1980.

However, in some cases, exceptions can be made to this period. If a claimant is unable to make legal proceedings themselves, whether they’re mentally incapacitated or they’re under the minimum age of 18, the time limit is frozen until they gain the ability to claim. Alternatively, a litigation friend can apply to claim on their behalf, securing their compensation in a trust that can be accessed for accident or injury-related expenses.

To see if you’re still within the time limit to claim or to see whether you could act as a litigation friend on behalf of another claimant, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today for a free consultation with our team of specialist advisors. In the meantime, if you’re wondering “how much compensation for psychological harm?”, please read on to learn more.

Examples Of When You Could Make A Psychological Injury Claim

As we discussed above, you could suffer a psychological injury in various types of incidents, including a workplace accident, a car crash or a public place accident. However, to have a valid mental health claim for the psychological injury you have suffered, you must prove that you were owed a duty of care, and when this was breached, you suffered mental harm.

Some examples of harm that could be included in a claim for a psychological injury include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a workplace accident. For example, if you were to fall from a height whilst working at a construction site, you could suffer from PTSD as well as a broken arm. Depending on the severity of your psychological injury, this could also prevent you from being able to return to a normal working life.
  • Generalised anxiety disorder may develop after suffering injuries in a road traffic accident. You can claim for anxiety in addition to your physical injuries under general damages, which we look at later in this guide.
  • You may experience depression due to your injuries. For example, you could break your leg in a pavement accident. This could result in no longer being able to carry out activities that you used to enjoy. You may also require a long amount of time in a plaster cast to recover. Either of these could cause depression.

Remember that you can claim for a psychological injury without suffering a physical injury. As you psychological injury could have been caused by the accident alone.

Call our advisors to discuss when you could make a claim for a psychological injury.

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Psychological Injury Claims – Do I Need Evidence?

One of the most important steps in the psychological injury claims process is collecting evidence. The right evidence can help you prove who is responsible for the psychological harm you suffered, as well as how it occurred and how it will affect the rest of your life.

For example, you may be able to support your claim with evidence such as:

  • Medical records: Your medical records may detail how the psychological harm you suffered has affected you, along with the treatment you need to recover.
  • Witness statements: Taking the statements of those who have witnessed how your PTSD has affected you, as well as the incident that caused it means that their statements can be taken later.
  • CCTV footage: If the incident that caused your PTSD was captured on CCTV, you may be able to request the footage to help prove your claim.
  • Symptoms diary: Keeping a diary of how your PTSD has affected you can offer insight into how your life has changed.

These are just a few examples of how evidence can help you support your psychological injury claim. To find out how one of our expert solicitors could help you claim compensation, contact our team today. Or, read on to learn more about claiming for psychological harm.

A visibly distressed woman with her head in her hands sat at a desk.

Guideline Compensation Payouts For Psychological Injury Claims

If you make a successful claim for psychological injury compensation, you will receive general damages. It’s provided to compensate for the pain and suffering you’ve endured due to your injury.

Those who value a mental health compensation claim for general damages may consult the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides guideline compensation amounts for several psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as numerous physical injuries. You can view some examples of these guidelines in the table below.

Please note that the first entry has not been taken from the JCG and that the table should be viewed as a guide only.

Injury TypeCompensation Amount
Severe Psychological Harm With Financial LossesUp to £200,000+
Severe psychiatric damage£66,920 to £141,240
Moderately severe psychiatric damage£23,270 to £66,920
Moderate psychiatric damage£7,150 to £23,270
Less severe psychiatric damage£1,880 to £7,150
Severe PTSD£73,050 to £122,850
Moderately severe PTSD£28,250 to £73,050
Moderate PTSD£9,980 to £28,250
Less severe PTSD£4,820 to £9,980

A mental health compensation payout could also potentially include special damages. This covers financial expenses or losses directly related to your injuries. Examples of what may be covered by special damages include:

  • Loss of earnings if the time you’ve needed to recover from your psychological injuries has required you to take unpaid time off work.
  • Payments you’ve made for certain medicines or medical treatments.
  • Travel expenses paid towards vital appointments. For example, train tickets or taxi fares.

To include special damages as part of your compensation, you’ll need to provide evidence, such as bank statements, invoices or wage slips.

For more advice on the potential payout for psychological compensation you may receive, get in touch with our advisors for free either online or by calling us today.

Make Psychological Injury Claims With No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you have valid grounds to claim compensation for a mental health injury, then you could connect with a solicitor who can support your claim. If you speak to our advisors, they can review your case and potentially connect you with one of our experienced No Win No Fee solicitors.

Our solicitors can support psychological injury claims under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. If you sign such an agreement, you won’t need to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor for their legal services. Also, you won’t be required to pay your solicitor for the work they have provided if your claim goes ahead but proves unsuccessful.

If your claim is a success, your solicitor will take a legally capped percentage of the compensation awarded to you. This is commonly referred to as a success fee.

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For more advice on claiming mental health compensation with a No Win No Fee solicitor, speak to our advisors for free today. You can reach them by:

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Thank you for reading our guide, which addresses the question of “how much compensation can be claimed in psychological injury claims?”

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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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