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Psychological Injury at Work – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

After an accident at work, you are likely to have to deal with some physical pain and suffering until your injuries have healed. This could take weeks, months or even years. However, some workplace accidents can also cause psychological suffering that, in some cases, can last just as long (if not longer). As such, if you begin a personal injury claim against your employer, you could also claim compensation for your psychological injury at work.

This guide details how psychological injury at work claims are generally processed, including the types of evidence that can be used and how much compensation could be due. A specialist accident-at-work solicitor could deal with your claim for you on a No Win, No Fee basis. To check if that is possible, you can:

  • Call 0333 241 2519 24/7.
  • Make use of our free live chat service.

Please get in touch if you believe you should receive compensation for a work-related psychological injury or continue through this guide.

What Types of Psychological Workplace Injury Can We Help With?

Psychiatric damage covers a number of different forms of mental harm that we can help claim compensation for if caused by a negligent employer including:

  • Anxiety.
  • PTSD.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Embarrassment and distress.
  • Depression.

For instance, if you were injured after falling off a ladder, you might suffer from panic attacks or flashbacks when asked to perform similar tasks in the future.

PTSD can encompass all aspects of your life if you have been involved in a traumatic event. In severe cases, PTSD at work can prevent you from functioning normally which can have an impact on your relationships and ability to work.

Can You Claim for Psychological Injury at Work?

In law, you need to establish that you were owed a duty of care by the defendant in your case before you’ll be able to start a personal injury claim. In the case of work injury claims, this is usually quite easy because all employers must abide by the rules of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This means that they must take practical steps to protect your physical and mental well-being.

To claim compensation for psychological injury at work, it will generally have to be proven that:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care; and
  • That duty was breached by an act of negligence; and
  • You have been diagnosed with a psychological injury in the last three years as a result.

If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related psychological injury, please contact our team to find out if you have a feasible claim against your employer.

What Types of Negligence Can Lead to a Psychological Workplace Injury?

Psychological injury claims against employers are only possible if your suffering was caused by their negligence. Here are some examples of when that might be the case:

  • Traumatic Accidents: For instance, if you were seriously injured after poorly erected scaffolding collapsed. In the accident, you witnessed a colleague’s death and this has left you suffering from PTSD.
  • Workplace Assaults: If you are suffering from anxiety because you were assaulted whilst working in a pub because there insufficient security staff on duty.
  • Workplace Abuse: Bullying, harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace could all leave you feeling distressed, embarrassed and anxious. Your employer could be held liable if they were aware of what was happening but failed to take any action.
  • Facial Injuries: Some accidents at work can lead to facial injuries including scarring. If the accident occurred because your employer was negligent and you are embarrassed and anxious because of the way others react to your scars, you might be entitled to claim for your suffering.

Regardless of what incident you’ve been involved in, if it can be proven that your employer caused your workplace psychological injury, you could be entitled to a compensation payout.

What Should I Do If a Workplace Accident Has Caused Psychiatric Harm?

If you have been involved in a work-related incident or accident that has caused psychiatric harm, you should:

  • Discuss your symptoms with your employer and explain what has caused them.
  • Visit your GP. They may be able to prescribe medication or refer you for specialist tests or treatment.
  • Tell your employer about any suggestions made by your GP.

Keeping in contact with your employer is important if your mental health is suffering and it’s a good idea to follow up any conversations with emails so that there is a record of what’s been discussed.

If your employer fails to act after you’ve raised an issue, you could have grounds to start a psychological injury claim against them.

What Evidence Can Be Used for Psychological Injury Claims?

It is possible to strengthen a psychological injury compensation claim by supplying evidence to prove why you’re suffering, how you’ve been affected and why your employer is to blame. Examples of evidence you could use include:

  • Witness statements from colleagues, visitors or customers who witnessed your accident.
  • Video footage of the accident and photographs taken at the accident scene.
  • Copies of correspondence between you and your employer about your psychological injuries.
  • Medical evidence including GP records or those from qualified mental health specialists.
  • Accident report forms to help confirm where and when the accident occurred.

All of the above can go some way to improving your chances of receiving compensation for work-related psychological injuries.

How Long Do I Have to Claim Psychological Injury Compensation?

In the UK, accident at work claims have a 3-year time limit. This is defined by the Limitation Act 1980. In some instances, psychological injury claims will start on the date your accident happened. However, it’s also possible that your 3 years will begin from the date your injuries were confirmed by a medical professional.

In exceptional circumstances, the time limit might be effectively paused altogether. For instance, if the claimant has lost the mental capacity to deal with the claims process due to developing severe PTSD, there might be no time limit unless they regain their mental capacity.

Ideally, you should start a psychological injury at work claim as soon as possible. That should ensure your claim is filed on time and enable your solicitor to collect any evidence needed before starting the claims process.

Psychological injury caused by employer background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for psychological damage at work with our complimentary free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, giving claimants a risk-free way to pursue the compensation they deserve.

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Alternatively, call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak to a legal advisor now.

How Much Compensation for Psychological Damage at Work?

When calculating compensation for psychological damage at work, solicitors will often look at previous cases and the figures listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that defines compensation brackets for a range of different injuries.

So that you claim the right amount of compensation, your work injury solicitor will need to know exactly what psychological injuries you’ve suffered and how long they will affect you. They’ll use your medical records to do this and they might arrange for you to see an independent psychiatrist or psychologist as part of the psychological injury claims process.

Our psychological injury compensation table lists a few compensation brackets from the JCG. Please bear in mind that the values indicated are not guaranteed settlements.

  • For individuals with a significant psychiatric injury causing pronounced difficulties in managing life, educational pursuits, employment, and maintaining relationships with loved ones and where the outlook for recovery is notably poor, compensation can range from £54,830 – £115,730.
  • If the individual has experienced considerable psychological issues, yet the prognosis for recovery is more positive, compensation may range from £19,070 – £54,830.
  • For individuals who have encountered a variety of psychological challenges, but significant recovery has been made, and the future prognosis is favourable, compensation generally ranges from £5,860 – £19,070.
  • Compensation for a less severe psychological injury at work considers the duration of impairment and the impact on day-to-day activities and sleep and can range from £1,540 – £5,860.

In addition to compensation for your psychological injuries, you could also claim for any costs incurred because of them. For instance, you could seek damages to cover:

  • The cost of a carer at home.
  • Loss of earnings. For longer-term cases, future loss of earnings could be considered too.
  • Ongoing medical costs.
  • Any associated travel expenses.

To find out how much compensation for psychological injury at work you might be entitled to claim, please contact our team today.

Can I Claim for Psychological Injury Caused by Employer If I’m Not a Full-Time Employee?

If you’re a contractor, you’ll be owed the same duty of care with regard to workplace health and safety as full-time staff. That means that if your employer’s negligence has caused you to suffer psychologically, you could be entitled to start a claim against them.

The same is true for zero-hours workers, the self-employed, subcontractors, agency staff and consultants.

Want to check if you could begin a psychological injury at work claim? If so, please call our advice line today.

Will I Need a Solicitor to Claim Compensation?

Legally, there is nothing to stop you from starting a personal injury claim against your employer for psychiatric damage on your own. However, psychological injury claims can involve complex legal and medical evidence so instructing a specialist solicitor might make things easier to deal with.

If you use a solicitor from our team, their service could include:

  • Finding the evidence to prove your case.
  • Preparing your case and sending your claim on time.
  • Arguing your case and negotiating if there are any objections raised by your employer’s insurers.
  • Keeping you up to date with the progress of your case.
  • Trying to agree to a fair settlement rather than accepting the first compensation offer they receive.

Importantly, our solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service for all psychological injury at work claims they take on. To provide this service, they’ll ask you to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) before starting work on your case.

The CFA means that:

  • There are no upfront fees for your solicitor’s work.
  • You don’t pay for your solicitor’s work if they lose your case.
  • A percentage of any compensation you’re awarded is deducted as a success fee by your solicitor.

So that you retain as much compensation as possible, the success fee percentage is legally capped at 25 per cent when using a CFA.

You can find out if you’re eligible to start a No Win, No Fee psychological injury claim by speaking to a member of our team today.

Will I Have to Go to Court?

In theory, any psychological injury claim could be decided by a court. However, in our experience, that only happens in a very small number of cases. That’s because it’s far better to avoid the costs and time involved in court hearings. For that reason, solicitors and insurance companies will usually reach an amicable settlement out of court.

However, your claim could be taken to court if:

  • Your solicitor believes that you have a very strong case; and
  • Your employer won’t accept liability for the accident/injuries; or
  • They offer a settlement that is deemed to be too low.

Accident-at-work solicitors generally only take claims to a court hearing as a very last resort.

Contacting Us About a Psychological Injury at Work Compensation Claim

We’re here to help if you believe that you or a loved one should be compensated for a work-related psychological injury. We’ll assess your case in a no-obligation initial telephone consultation and provide legal advice about your next steps. To set this up, you can:

  • Call 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specially trained advisor.
  • Connect on the live chat system to let us know about your case.

The initial advice offered on psychological injury at work claims is completely free so please go ahead and contact our legal advisors now.

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