Psychological trauma claims

An accident at work causes a physical injury but it is easy to forget that it results in a psychological injury as well. This is no less traumatic than the physical aspect and can have a long lasting effect.

Mental and/or emotional distress is a common feature of workplace accidents but can be harder to treat unlike the physical aspects of an injury.

If you have sustained an injury at work which has also resulted in psychological trauma then you may be able to claim compensation.

Employer responsibility

Your employer has a responsibility to protect you against the risk of an accident at work. There are health and safety guidelines which are designed to safeguard employees and these must be adhered to.

This duty of care includes your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing.

Your employer must take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of both a psychological injury and physical injury. Failure to do so can leave him/her liable for compensation.

Effects of psychological trauma at work

An accident causes physical and mental distress which may result in the following (and often unwelcome) consequences:

  • Time off sick from work
  • Forced to change jobs
  • Resulting drop in income
  • Pressure from the employer
  • Having to give up work

All of these will worsen the situation and cause additional stress and anxiety for the injured person. Post traumatic stress disorder often develops in these cases and is not uncommon.

The consequences of all of this involve not only the injured person but include their family as well.

If you are in this situation then your family has the difficult task of having to come to terms with your accident especially if it has resulted in a permanent injury. But they also have the accompanying mental distress as well.

This distress is further exacerbated if you have to change jobs or give up work. This loss of earnings and possibly pension rights is likely to further inflame that as will the subsequent drop in living standards.

Then there are additional expenses such as trips to hospital for treatment which means taxi fares or car parking charges; rehabilitation; specialist services; nursing care and specialist aids. All of these will aid with your physical recovery but the psychological aspects will require support and counselling, often on a long term basis.

This is where compensation can help. It can be used to pay for specialist treatment and/or care or even to pay for day to day items which will help to improve the current situation for you and your family.

Making a claim for compensation for psychological trauma

Find a personal injury law firm who has knowledge and understanding of the complexity of issues surrounding cases such as these.

The issue of mental health is a difficult one to deal with which requires the services of someone with the necessary skill and experience to deal with the finer points of your claim.

They will have handled many cases such as yours and will be able to advise and guide you during the claims process.

Mental health is also an emotive subject so your claim should be handled with tact, discretion and sensitivity.

The lawyer will first assess your claim before examining the supporting evidence. If you have legitimate grounds for pursuing a claim then he/she will assist you to do so.

For more information about the claims process, visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for psychological trauma

Personal injury claims have a strict 3 year time limit which runs from the date of the accident, injury or diagnosis of the illness.

There are a few exceptions to this so check with your lawyer about the deadline for claims which involve psychological injury.

Personal Injury Guide

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