Is it possible to claim compensation for a post-traumatic stress disorder?
Many people think that personal injury compensation claims are related to physical injuries, and unfortunately, this is, in part, a consequence of the stigma surrounding mental illness; despite efforts to dispel the stigma, mental illnesses still aren’t taken as seriously as they should be. We’ve previously touched on the issue of compensation claims for mental injuries when we discussed work-related stress, but did you know that we can also help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claim the compensation they need to help them make as full a recovery as possible?
PTSD is a mental illness which presents itself as excessive anxiety, brought on by a traumatic and distressing event. The most common causes of PTSD are military service, sexual assault, criminal assault, and even accidents at work or road traffic collisions, but any event that causes the victim to experience either genuine fear, heightened levels of terror, or fear for their life, can result in PTSD.
It’s perfectly normal to experience some level of anxiety or depression following a traumatic event, but people who suffer from PTSD experience more serious and prolonged psychological conditions that affect their ability to live a full life. What this means is that PTSD sufferers suffer from extreme anxiety or depression that dominate their lives and stop them doing simple things such as socialising with friends and family, or working. People who suffer from PTSD may also suffer from frequent anxiety attacks, flashbacks of the distressing accident or event, constant physical pain, and in some cases, drink and drug addiction.
Can you claim compensation for PTSD?
If you feel that you have a compensation claim for PTSD, it’s important to remember that the condition is not often considered a mental illness, rather a psychological one. It’s also very important to seek medical help as soon as possible; don’t wait until you’re ready to claim compensation, because your health is more important than any level of compensation. Plus, a doctor will need to provide medical evidence to support your claim. If you have been involved in an accident that wasn’t anyone’s fault (i.e. no blame can be assigned to any party), then you won’t be able to pursue any compensation claim, and you should focus on receiving the best possible medical care and support from friends and family.
If, however, your PTSD was brought on by an accident that was the fault of someone else, for example a road traffic accident or an accident at work, you may be able to claim compensation. When making a PTSD personal injury claim, you’ll first need to prove that you’re suffering from PTSD, which is why medical evidence from an independent doctor is required, and then you’ll have to prove that the other party was responsible for the distressing event that brought on the PTSD. It will depend on your case, but once you contact a personal injury solicitor, they will gather, with your help, as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This evidence may be in the form of police and hospital records, any eye-witness accounts, CCTV and photographic images, and possibly workplace accident records or vehicle documentation.
How much compensation will be awarded?
If you successfully win your PTSD claim, the amount of compensation you will receive will differ on a case-by-case basis. The amount will be calculated by assessing the severity of the injury, any expenses brought on by the PTSD, and any wages lost due to the condition. As an estimate, minor PTSD cases are typically awarded between £2,500 - £5,500, moderate cases are awarded between £5,500 and £15,000, moderately severe cases are awarded between £15,000 - £40,000, and finally, very severe injuries are often awarded between £40,000-£60,000, but this can differ depending on the case.
Here at Fonseca Law, our experienced personal injury solicitors can help if you are suffering from PTSD brought on by a traumatic accident or event that was the fault of someone else. To find out more about our services, get in touch today on 0800 156 0770, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop into our legal office based in Ebbw Vale, South Wales.