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Psychological Injury Claims – How Much Compensation Could I Receive?

By Megan Black. Last Updated 28th November 2023. 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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Psychological Injury Compensation Claims Guide

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Compensation Payouts For Psychological Injuries

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim, you may be wondering, ‘How much compensation for psychological damge in the UK could I receive?’.

Compensation payouts for personal injury claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis with the specific factors of each claim being taken into consideration. However, should your claim be successful, your mental health compensation payout will include general damages.

This head of claim compensates you for the suffering your psychological injuries have caused you. Those in charge of valuing this head of your claim may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides compensation guidelines for various physical and mental injuries, and some have been featured in the table below. Please only use it for guidance.

We must also note that the first entry does not appear within the JCG.

Injury TypeDescriptionTypical Award Bracket
Severe Psychological Harm With Financial LossesSevere mental harm plus compensation for subsequent financial losses, such as lost earnings.Up to £200,000+
Severe psychiatric damageIn these cases the injured person will have marked problems with respect to their ability to cope with life, education and work and relationships with family and friends. The prognosis will be very poor.£54,830 to £115,730
Moderately severe psychiatric damageIn these cases, the person will suffer with significant issues, but the prognosis will be much more optimistic.£19,070 to £54,830
Moderate psychiatric damageWhile the person may have suffered with various issues, marked improvements will have been made and the prognosis will be good.£5,860 to £19,070
Less severe psychiatric damageThe level of the award will take into consideration the length of the period of disability and the extent to which daily activities and sleep were affected.£1,540 to £5,860
Severe PTSDIn these cases, PTSD will prevent the injured person from working at all or at least from functioning at anything approaching the pre-trauma level. £59,860 to £100,670
Moderately severe PTSDThe effects are still likely to cause significant disability for the foreseeable future, however, there is room for some recovery with professional help.£23,150 to £59,860
Moderate PTSDThe injured person will have largely recovered and any continuing effects will not be grossly disabling.£8,180 to £23,150
Less severe PTSDA virtually full recovery will have been made within one to two years and only minor symptoms will persist £3,950 to £8,180

You might also be awarded special damages as part of your settlement. This head of your claim compensates you for the monetary losses you have incurred due to your injuries. Examples may include:

  • A loss of earnings due to taking time off work.
  • Medical expenses such as therapy costs.
  • Travel expenses, such as transportation to medical appointments.

To see whether you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation for your mental health injuries, contact one of our advisors today.

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.
  • 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.

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.

Psychological Damage – Do I Need Evidence In Order To Claim?

Evidence can help to support your claim. If possible, you should collect and retain any evidence you can of:

  • Liability for your injuries and the accident that caused them
  • The extent of your injuries
  • The impact that your injuries have had on your life

In a claim for a psychological injury, you could present evidence such as:

  • CCTV footage or other recordings accident
  • Medical evidence of any psychological damage you may have suffered
  • Bank statements, receipts or payslips that can show the financial impact of your injuries

What you may need will be specific to you and the circumstances of your claim. Our advisers are able to provide you with a free consultation over the evidence that could be helpful to you and give you information on either how to collect it or how to reach a solicitor to help you do so.

If you are seeking compensation for emotional distress, or any other form of psychological injury please get in touch with a member of our team.

Claim For a Psychological Injury 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.

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:

Helpful Links

Other personal injury claim guides:

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 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.