Personal Injury Claims

Psychiatric Injuries

Bringing a Psychiatric Injury Claim

You cannot claim for psychiatric illness/injury for mere mental suffering unless you have also suffered a physical injury and/or it leads to a positive psychiatric illness such as clinical depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The circumstances in which an accident can lead to psychiatric illness for which the perpetrator of the accident can be held liable are either that the accident put you in fear for your own safety, the incident was especially horrific, or you witnessed a relative being either killed or injured or you feared that they might be (although it later transpired that they were not). In the latter case, for the perpetrator to be held liable, the following 3 criteria must apply:-  

  1. You must have had a sufficiently close relationship with the relative which makes it reasonably foreseeable that you would suffer psychiatric illness/injury. Such a relationship is presumed for a parent and child, spouses, and fiancées. For other relationships (e.g. siblings), you must provide evidence which proves that the relationship was sufficiently close. A bystander would only be able to make a claim for psychiatric illness/injury if the incident was especially horrific. 

  2. You must have been in physical proximity to the incident or its immediate aftermath in both time and space. You must normally either witness the accident yourself or come upon the aftermath in a very short period of time. Identifying a relation several hours after death is not sufficient. Television pictures cannot be equated with actual sight or hearing of the incident or its aftermath, although there may be rare exceptions (e.g. a balloon carrying children at some live broadcast event suddenly bursting into flames).  

  3.  Your psychiatric illness/injury must result from the trauma occasioned by the shock at witnessing (through your own sight or hearing) the accident or its immediate aftermath. Communication by a third party is not sufficient.

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How To Contact Us

To contact The Accident Solicitors about a personal injury claim, please either telephone us on 0333 3010 700 or complete the short questionnaire above. Simply click the 'Send Now' button to submit the questionnaire once you have completed it. Upon receipt, it will be assessed by a solicitor who will then contact you to discuss the matter. The solicitor appointed to contact you, will be a specialist in your type of accident. The Accident Solicitors handle cases on behalf of clients throughout the country. Our head office is based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and we also have offices in Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Chester, Stoke-on-Trent, Leeds, Sheffield, Preston, Nottingham, London, Exeter, Bristol, and Birmingham.

This initial consultation is completely free of charge.