Psychiatric Injury Claims
There are many different types of injury claims that can be filed and some are naturally more straightforward than others. Physical events such as slips, trips and falls tend to be less confusing and challenging than other areas such as psychiatric damages. As this can be a bit confusing for the claimant, it is a good idea if we address some of the most frequently asked questions. You will then be able to take the appropriate actions when the time is right.
Making a Claim: What Needs to be Proven?
This is arguably the most important question to address before we continue. It is critical to note that a psychiatric claim is not necessarily associated with grief, shock, anger or stress caused by the actions of others. In order for any case to be justified, it has to be proven that the claimant has suffered an illness as is defined by psychiatric professionals.
What About Nervous Breakdowns?
There are many who believe that a person needs to have suffered what is called a “nervous breakdown” (in general terms) in order to have a valid claim. This is not the case whatsoever. We should recognise here that many forms of mental illness or emotional trauma will occur in individuals who appear to be completely calm and collected on the outside. Examples here can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe depression, prolonged anxiety or chronic fatigue syndrome. It is only necessary to prove that these conditions can be traced back to a specific set of circumstances.
How are Primary and Secondary Victims Defined?
Many psychiatric injury claims can be broken down by the type of individual involved. Primary victims are those who were physically involved with a situation (such as a driver or passenger in a car crash). Secondary victims are considered to be individuals who witnesses a traumatic event from the point of view of a bystander. In terms of filing a successful claim, secondary victims need to satisfy three requirements. These are:
- They had close emotional ties to those involved with an accident.
- They were present when the accident occurred or arrived soon after.
- They physically witnessed the accident or its outcome from a first-person point of view.
Please note that all three of these conditions need to be met in conjunction in order to be considered for any type of psychiatric injury claim.
There can also be times when a first responder (such as an emergency medical technician) suffers psychiatric damage as the result of attending to a victim. Although it is highly unlikely that they will meet the three criteria mentioned above, the fact that they were willingly responding to a situation may enable some claims to be valid.
Levels of Compensation
Of course, the levels of compensation that a claimant can expect to receive will be based upon his or her unique case. This will revolve around evidence such as an inability to maintain employment or the need for some type of specialised care. Damages will therefore involve the type and severity of suffering as well as the long-term prognosis of a trained psychiatric professional. Some severe claims were able to award the victim well over £50,000 pounds.
Putting it all Together
As we can see, psychiatric injury claims will need to take a number of factors into account before coming to any type of decision. If you would like to learn more or should you feel that you have a case, please feel free to contact WINWales at your convenience.
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