What are Psychiatric Injury Claims?
Psychiatric disorders can manifest themselves after a particularly upsetting experience which leaves the victim with a disturbed state of mind. Specifically, this experience is known as suffering with a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The term has become closely tied with those who were in the armed forces but our experience of the emotional effects of extreme trauma are far wider. The threat of death or an actual death can be a trigger for a psychiatric injury, such as when a woman has been through a traumatic childbirth experience. A claim for PTSD can be attempted if it can be shown that the defendant failed to address the psychiatric issue and help the sufferer.
How Might I Suffer a Psychiatric Injury?
Situations in which a person can experience a trauma great enough to develop PTSD include:
- Terrorist attacks
- Military combat
- Serious accidents
- Victim of violence
- Natural disasters
- Witnessing a death
- Being held hostage
People who are serving in the armed forces are at risk of such situations, but this also extends to those in other forms of public service such as the police force, fire service and medical professions. Health professionals and partners of perinatal women have also been known to succumb to secondary traumatic stress and experience PTSD as a result of witnessing a medical trauma such as a complicated or tragic childbirth. Shocking incidents affect different people in different ways and to various extents. Some people are lucky enough to be able to brush off or bounce back from an extreme event while others will be significantly troubled. It’s not unknown, for example, for car accident victims to avoid driving after a serious incident or to never drive again. Mental injuries can continue to linger long after physical wounds have healed.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur at any time after a traumatic event, from immediately to some months later. Like depression, it can have a powerful effect on your mental well-being and this can go on to affect your life in general. Symptoms often include:
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Feelings of guilt
- Losing interest in activities which might ordinarily hold your attention
- Becoming emotionally remote
- Being unable to get the events of the traumatic experience out of your mind
- Increased feelings of anxiety and/or anxiety attacks
- Depression, feeling hopeless and even suicidal thoughts
- Physical responses when thinking about the traumatic event, including sweats, nausea, headaches or heart palpitations
In relation to postnatal situations, women can also find their behaviour is highly influenced by PTSD following childbirth (PTSD FC). This can include having trouble being intimate with a partner, feeling highly anxious about, or even rejecting the possibility of, becoming pregnant in the future or avoiding vaginal delivery before a subsequent childbirth. Maternity-related professionals should hopefully be able to identify when a woman is vulnerable to PTSD FC, and be able to make a referral to a mental health professional, but this does not always happen. PTSD FC can also be found to be experienced alongside postnatal depression.
Asons Keep It Simple
At Asons we like to keep it simple. We promise to:
- avoid the complicated legal jargon, wherever we can. We ﬁnd it confuses people and makes them feel like they don’t know what’s going on.
- give you a dedicated claims handler, who will deal with your case from the beginning right through to the end. Of course, there may be times when this is not possible. When this happens, you will be kept fully informed of why and who will be taking over.
- explain what’s happening with the psychiatric injury case, as it progresses, in a clear and concise manner.
- be available for you when you need us. It’s important that you feel like you can contact us, to ask questions or for clarification, whenever you need to.
In short, we’ll take all the stress, so you don’t have to!
Making a claim for compensation needs to be a matter of urgency. There is what’s called a ‘statute of limitations’ on making claims for compensation. This means you can only do it for up to three years after the accident took place. Trying to start a claim after the three years has passed will be unsuccessful and there are, unfortunately, no exceptions!
‘No Win No Fee’
At Asons Solicitors, we have taken the risk out of making a psychiatric injury claim for all of our clients, which is why over 98% of our claims are No Win No Fee. This way, we can allow everyone access to justice, regardless of their financial position. If you choose to make a claim with us, there are no upfront fees or unexpected costs. as we take on the risk for you.
More on No Win, No Fee.
The process is easy. All you need to do is contact one of our specialist psychiatric injury claim solicitors, for a quick, informal chat. There’s no obligation and it’s free. We’d need just a few minutes of your time to assess the chances of your case being successful. And, if you’d like to go ahead, we can start your case straight away.