Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a recognized medical condition. This psychiatric disorder can have a huge impact on a victim’s life, including family relations, personal relationships, working career, and long-term income.
As a consequence, with mental injuries now treated on a par with physical injuries, you may be able to claim compensation if this occurred as a consequence of negligence by one or more third parties.
There are various issues to take into account with PTSD, different scenarios, different symptoms, and varying impact on an individual’s life. We will now take a look at various aspects of PTSD and ultimately, what level of compensation may be available.
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What Are the Most Common Scenarios Where PTSD May Occur?
The medical profession is now able to prove that PTSD can occur as a consequence of a one-off trigger event or repeated events such as domestic abuse. This perfectly illustrates the intricacies and complexity of PTSD claims, which often require specialist evidence.
Some of the more common causes of PTSD include:-
- Witnessing an event such as a terror attack
- Caught in the middle of a natural disaster
- The unexpected death of a loved one
- Facing up to a life-threatening medical condition
- Witnessing acts of violence
- Being mugged or robbed
- Victims of sexual abuse
- Victims of physical abuse
- Victims of domestic abuse
In many ways, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential issues/scenarios which may develop into PTSD.
Historically this psychiatric condition was often ignored and dismissed, but thankfully we have seen significant changes in recent times.
On average 20% of people who get injured at work make a compensation claim.
What Are the Main Symptoms of PTSD?
There are numerous symptoms of PTSD, some of which may relate to other injuries/medical conditions, but cumulatively they can point towards this often debilitating psychiatric condition.
Some of the more common symptoms of PTSD include:-
- Wild mood swings
- Constant nightmares
- Replaying traumatic memories over and over again
- Mental instability
- Inability to concentrate
As PTSD is a psychiatric disorder, it can emerge in very different ways for different people. However, as you will see above, there are a number of common symptoms which in isolation may not necessarily cause any concern.
It is when you experience two, three, or more of these symptoms in tandem that this can point towards more serious issues such as PTSD. At this point, you should seek medical assistance.
How Do I Prove Negligence?
Proving negligence for PTSD claims can be challenging, and sometimes specialist assistance would be required. If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, then you will need to gather as much evidence as possible to demonstrate negligence. This evidence might include:-
- Photographic evidence
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Details of post-incident pain and suffering
- Evidence of similar issues in the past
- Psychiatric assessment
It is very difficult to put down a comprehensive list of evidence which may be used to prove negligence in a PTSD case. You will find that the evidence available/required can vary quite widely depending on the situation.
Do I Need a Claims Management Company to Represent Me?
Personal injury claims management companies have become very popular in the UK over the last 20 years or so. While a claimant can pursue compensation in their own right, with no outside assistance, this can often be a challenging move.
Especially when you bear in mind that many claims management companies will offer a “no-win, no fee” arrangement, which indemnifies the claimant from any costs they may incur pursuing your case.
However, before you can appoint a claims management company to work on your behalf, you need to present them with your case details and evidence.
How Do I Appoint a Claims Management Company?
When presented with details of your case/evidence, a claims management company will advise you of your chances of success. As they will likely offer a “no-win, no fee” arrangement, claims management companies will only take on cases where they believe there is a minimum 60% chance of success. In exchange for indemnifying you against costs incurred pursuing your case, they will look to negotiate a success fee.
What Is a Success Fee?
A success fee is an agreement with your claims management representatives that they will receive a share of any compensation awarded. The traditional level is around 25%, although it can vary from case to case. This is the claims management company’s “reward” for taking on your case on a “no-win, no fee” basis.
Will I Need to Go to Court?
The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court, with estimates suggesting as little as 1% of claims actually make it to the courtroom. However, if negligence is disputed or both parties cannot agree a level of compensation, you may be asked to attend court.
While often a challenging scenario for many people, it is worth remembering that you are not on trial!
What Level of Compensation Should I Expect With a Successful Prosecution?
The range of compensation available for PTSD will vary depending on the severity of your psychiatric disorder. For example:-
- Low moderate PTSD will attract compensation from £3,150 up to £6,520
- Moderate PTSD could see compensation from £6,520 up to £18,450
- Moderately severe PTSD tends to attract compensation in the range £18,450-£47,720
- Severe post-traumatic stress disorder attracts the highest rate of compensation, anywhere between £47,720 and £80,250
As you can see, there is a huge variation in the level of compensation available to those suffering from PTSD.
This is another reason why many people now prefer to use the services of claims management companies to maximise their chances of success.
Can I Claim Compensation for Loss of Earnings?
Many people suffering from PTSD will experience short to long-term loss of earnings as a consequence of the condition. The above compensation figures are known as general damages, financial compensation for pain, and suffering.
There are also special damages, which relate to recompense for costs incurred, future expenses, including medical treatment, special needs, and loss of earnings. There are guidelines and limits on general damages, but special damages are, in theory, unlimited.
While it is much easier to diagnose PTSD today than it was in years gone by, it can still be a relatively challenging condition when seeking to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the vast majority of those pursuing PTSD compensation claims tend to use the services of claims management companies.
Research shows a significant increase in the chances of success, with many claims management companies negotiating compensation often multiples of that negotiated by individuals acting on their own.
Even though nothing is guaranteed, research does show that your chances of success are certainly enhanced by using claims management companies.
Quick Personal Injury FAQs
RIDDOR stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. This 2013 legislation requires that you report workplace incidents. A report should be made no later than ten days after the occurrence.
Reports are made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They should be made by a responsible person such as a supervisor, manager or business owner. Not all incidents need to be reported, though a majority do. You should file a RIDDOR report online.
Even if you’ve claimed compensation and taken your employer to court, they are not legally allowed to dismiss you after an injury. If you can prove that your dismissal is a direct result of your injury, you could be entitled to further compensation to rectify the way you’ve been treated.
Any accidents in the workplace need to be properly recorded. That’s the case whether they happened to you, another member of staff or a customer. Your place of work should have an accident book that they maintain.
Make sure that any accident is recorded in the accident book. The document should be signed by those involved, to show that it’s an accurate record.
It’s always a good idea to report an injury outside of work. Even if you have no intention of claiming any money, reporting an incident means that any oversights won’t go unnoticed for long. Reporting incidents provides those responsible with a chance to set things right, whether they need to make some repairs or change the processes they have in place.
How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.