An overview of psychiatric injury
Psychiatric injuries or psychological personal injuries are less frequently dealt with by our personal injury solicitors but they are still highly adept at handling such cases. If you can establish that you are suffering from a medically recognised psychiatric disorder, evidence is gathered from hospital and GP records and a medical report is carried out by an independent expert, you may have a solid case.
Psychiatric injury is an umbrella term used to describe the behaviour of patients who are unable to cope with everyday life, work commitments, social situations and withhold relationships. Such injuries are usually caused by traumatic incidents and stressful situations and include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anaesthetic awareness.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This is a psychological condition which usually occurs after a particularly distressing event such as a car accident or the sudden death of a loved one. Characteristics include shaking, sweating, nightmares, flashbacks and difficulties with concentration, which, as you can imagine, all have a significant impact on sufferers' daily lives. Many victims of the July 7th London bombings made compensation claims for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Read more about PTSD.
The loss or severe injury of a child in a birth accident or the unexpected loss of a loved one in a non-fault accident can lead to depression. Depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and is almost twice as likely to affect women as it is in men. Symptoms include lack of energy, poor concentration, irritability and feelings of despair. The condition can often only improve with treatment such as anti-depressant drugs and/or counselling.
In around 1.15% of patients who undergo general anaesthesia the dose is insufficient to keep the patient unconscious. When anaesthetic awareness occurs during an operation the patient is usually conscious but unable to speak, move or communicate any distress due to anaesthetic paralysis.
In some cases patients may have a poor recollection of conversations, events, pain, pressure or difficulty of breathing whereas in the most traumatic cases full consciousness with pain and explicit recall of events may be experienced. If you have experienced anaesthetic awareness it is likely that you have a good case for medical negligence.
Psychiatric injury and medical negligence
Psychiatric injury may also result from clinical negligence in a psychiatric care home. There are many circumstances under which you, or a loved one, may have suffered personal injury at the hands of another while you were supposed to be under their care and supervision. For psychiatric care to be classed as negligent an injury must have resulted from inadequate
or inappropriate treaments where:
- The patient was not put under special observations and kept in sight of the care staff
- The patient was unsafely discharged into the community
- The patient's psychaitric injury was incorrectly diagnosed
Personal injury compensation amounts for psychiatric damage generally
Factors taken into account when valuing personal injury claims of this kind include:
- The injured party's ability to cope with life and work
- The effect on their familial relationships and friendships
- The extent to which treatment would be successful
- Future vulnerability
- Whether medical aid has been sought
- Whether the personal injury is a result of sexual and/or physical abuse and/or breach of trust. If so, the nature of the relationship between victim and abuser, the nature of the abuse, its duration and symptoms caused by it.
Severe - £30,000 to £63,000
The injured party is unable to cope with life and work, their future is vulnerable and their prognosis very poor.
Moderately severe - £10,500 to £30,000
The injured party is unable to cope with life and work, their future is vulnerable but their prognosis is more optimistic than above. Most cases are towards the middle of this bracket.
Moderate - £3,250 to £10,500
The injured party is unable to cope with life and work, their future is vulnerable but they have shown improvement by trial and prognosis is good.
Minor - £800 to £3,250
The length and period of disability as well as extent daily activities and sleep are affected will be taken into account. Awards below this bracket may be made for cases of temporary anxiety.
Claim for compensation with the help of our personal injury solicitors
If you would like to make a personal injury compensation claim then our personal injury solicitors are here to help.
They are highly experienced at working on all types of personal injury claim resulting from accidents at work, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, birth accidents and more.
We will appoint you the most suitable personal injury solicitor to your case and strive to appoint you a solicitor that operates in your local area, allowing you the option to talk to them face to face if you wish.
All of our compensation solicitors work on a no win no fee basis and, as well as offering the best representation and fighting to get you the most compensation available, they will talk you through each stage of the claims process in plain English and offer you free legal advice.
Find out more about our services by chatting to one of our claim advisors online via e-chat. To make a no win no fee compensation claim under the representation of one of our personal injury solicitors today give us a call on 0800 197 32 32.