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PTSD at Work – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

If you or a loved one has developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at work linked to the employer’s negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation. In this guide about work-related PTSD claims, we explain how PTSD compensation claims work and when you might be entitled to make one.

If you are thinking of claiming compensation for PTSD at work, we can help. Our team offers a free initial consultation so that a specialist advisor can review your case and explain your legal options. If they believe your claim is feasible, they could partner you with one of our specialist solicitors. If they offer you legal representation, they’ll work on your PTSD claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

To contact our legal advisors you can:

If you’ve developed or had a diagnosis of PTSD at work, seeking legal advice promptly can greatly improve your chances of receiving compensation for the suffering and financial losses you’ve incurred.

What Is Work-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Work-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a specific form of PTSD that develops as a direct result of traumatic experiences or incidents occurring in the workplace. Just like PTSD that might be experienced by individuals outside of the workplace, work-related PTSD involves intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic events that persist long after the events have occurred.

Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Re-Experiencing: Nightmares, flashbacks and distressing images. These symptoms can trigger physical sensations like nausea, sweating, trembling and pain.
  • Avoidance: Where the injured party tries to avoid certain people or places to stop them from being reminded of their experience.
  • Hyperarousal: A state of feeling on edge that can cause anger, insomnia, irritability and concentration problems.
  • Mental Health Problems: Including phobias, anxiety and depression.
  • Physical Symptoms: Such as chest pains, stomach ache, dizziness and headaches.

Sometimes, PTSD can also lead to destructive behaviours including alcohol or drug abuse, self-harming and suicidal ideation which can also impact the injured party’s ability to deal with relationships and to continue working.

Can I Make a Work-Related PTSD Claim?

When you begin a personal injury claim, the first step is to prove that the defendant owed you some type of duty of care. In work-related PTSD claims, this is usually fairly simple because all employers are duty-bound to adhere to the rules of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA).

The duty of care established by HASAWA means that employers must take practical steps to prevent traumatic events at work. It could also mean that they should have procedures in place to support you following such events.

As such, a work-related PTSD claim could be made if:

  • The employer neglected their duty of care or failed to adequately protect the employee’s mental health.
  • As a direct consequence, you’ve developed PTSD in the workplace in the last three years.

If you suspect that your claim meets the criteria described above, please get in touch with our legal advisors to review your case in detail and advise you about your options.

What Types of PTSD Compensation Claims Can We Help With?

Any type of accident at work has the potential to cause emotional distress or harm. Some examples of the more serious accidents and incidents that could result in PTSD compensation claims we can help with include:

  • Being trapped in an office accident while it was on fire because poorly maintained emergency exist failed to open.
  • Falling from a cherry picker because you had not been properly trained on how to work at height safely.
  • Witnessing a colleague being burned at work in a severe accident caused by your employer’s negligence.
  • Being assaulted while working as a police officer due to a lack of backup.
  • Witnessing a workmate being killed in a fatal workplace accident.

These are just a handful of examples of accidents at work that could lead to PTSD. Don’t worry if you’ve been affected by a different type of accident, we could still help you to begin a PTSD at work claim so please feel free to contact us.

What Should I Do If I Have PTSD at Work?

To try and avoid the long-term consequences of PTSD and other mental health conditions, it’s a good idea to act early if you have any concerns. Some steps you could take if you’re worried about work-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder include:

  • Talking with your employer about your concerns and any changes you’d like made to improve your working conditions. It is a good idea to follow this up with an email.
  • Seek medical advice from your GP about any work-related PTSD symptoms you’re concerned about.
  • Tell your employer about any suggestions made by your GP.

Taking these steps might give your employer the opportunity to adapt your working conditions to help improve your mental health. If they ignore your requests or decide not to act, they could be held liable for any future suffering from workplace PTSD you endure.

What Evidence Can Strengthen Work-Related PTSD Claims?

If you are to receive compensation from your employer for work-related PTSD, you’ll need to present as strong a case as possible. You’ll therefore need evidence to prove why your employer was responsible for your accident, that you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and how badly you’ve been affected.

Examples of what evidence you could use include:

  • Medical records and reports to help prove your PTSD diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Accident scene photographs and video footage.
  • Witness statements from anyone who saw how your accident occurred.
  • Copies of correspondence between you and your employer.
  • Details of any financial costs linked to your diagnosis.

If your PTSD claim is accepted by one of our solicitors, they might try to obtain further evidence if required. For instance, if an accident at work was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), they could request copies of any subsequent report.

How Long Do I Have To Claim PTSD Compensation?

In UK law, personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit. Generally, this starts from either:

  • The date of the accident; or
  • Your date of knowledge i.e. the date a medical professional diagnosed PTSD and linked it to your accident.

Additionally, severe PTSD can leave the claimant without the mental capacity to begin a claim. While that is the case, there is effectively no time limit. Importantly, a loved one could seek compensation for them by acting as their litigation friend.

If this is something you’d like further advice about, please contact one of our specialists today.

PTSD at work background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for PTSD 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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Call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a legal advisor.

How Much Compensation for a PTSD at Work Claim?

If you make a successful claim against your employer for PTSD, you’ll receive a compensation payment which is normally based on general and special damages.

General damages is a compensation payment to cover the pain and suffering caused by PTSD. When calculating PTSD compensation, your solicitor will gather medical records and reports to understand how you’ve been affected and then compare your suffering with past cases and settlement brackets listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

We’ve used some JCG’s figures in our table below to indicate possible PTSD compensation payouts. Please note, however, that the amounts are only guidance and cannot be guaranteed.

  • Individuals with severe PTSD facing significant, life-altering challenges across daily activities, with minimal hope for improvement might see a compensation payout of £59,860 – £100,670.
  • Similar to above but the individual has a good chance of partial recovery with appropriate medical support, £23,150 – £59,860 compensation.
  • Moderate cases of PTSD where considerable improvement is noted, with any remaining symptoms not critically affecting day-to-day functionality might expect compensation of £8,180 to £23,150.
  • £3,950 – £8,180 compensation where PTSD is diagnosed as less severe leading to an almost full recovery within one to two years with minimal lasting effects.

Special damages could also be covered in PTSD at work claims if you’ve lost out financially because of your symptoms. That means you could receive compensation for:

  • Loss of income and future lost earnings.
  • Specialist medical treatment and support.
  • The cost of a carer at home.
  • Travel expenses.

To find out what PTSD claim amount you might be entitled to, please contact our legal advisors.

Can I Claim PTSD Compensation if I’m Not Employed Full-Time?

Earlier, we discussed the duty of care employers owe to their staff when it comes to workplace health and safety. Importantly, that duty is owed to all workers not just full-time employees.

As such, claims for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the workplace can be started by temps, agency staff, subcontractors, consultants, the self-employed and zero-hours workers.

Remember, though, you’ll only be able to claim compensation for PTSD at work if your suffering can be linked to your employer’s negligence.

Will I Need a Solicitor to Make a PTSD Injury Claim?

There can be a lot of medical evidence needed to win a PTSD injury claim and ensure that you receive the right level of compensation. Therefore, while it is possible to claim on your own, having a solicitor who specialises in workplace injuries on your side can be beneficial.

If you work with a solicitor from our team, some of the services they might offer include:

  • Reviewing evidence and obtaining further information to support your claim.
  • Sending your claim to your employer and their insurers on time.
  • Dealing with all communications so you’ll avoid any direct questioning.
  • Sending you updates about your claim regularly.
  • Trying to reach a fair settlement rather than accepting a low offer to finalise the claim quickly.

To alleviate the financial risks often associated with specialist solicitors, ours provide a No Win, No Fee service for all work-related PTSD claims they undertake. To do this, they’ll ask you to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) at the start of the claims process.

The CFA means that:

  • No upfront fees are payable for your solicitor’s work.
  • If the claim fails, your solicitor is not paid by you for their efforts.
  • You’ll have a success fee deducted from your compensation payout if the claim is won.

Legally, the maximum success fee percentage is 25 per cent if you use a CFA. That means you’ll retain the bulk of any settlement for PTSD that you receive.

To see if you could start No Win, No Fee PTSD at work claim, please contact our team today.

How Long Do PTSD at Work Claims Take?

There is no set amount of time to process a PTSD at work claim because each case is different to the next. One of the key factors that will affect your claim is whether your employer accepts liability for your PTSD diagnosis quickly.

Another is whether you’ve recovered from your symptoms or whether you’ll continue to suffer in the future.

A straightforward PTSD claim could be finalised in around 6 months. However, if it takes a while for your prognosis to be properly understood, the claims process could take more than a year. In these circumstances, it might be possible for interim payments to be made before the claim is settled so long as your employer has admitted that they were to blame.

Contacting us About a Work-Related PTSD Claim

You are free to contact us at any time to discuss a PTSD at work claim. Doing so enables us to assess your claim for free and provide legal advice about how to proceed.

If you’d like to do so you can:

  • Call us free on 0333 241 2519.
  • Use our 24/7 online chat service.

If you get in touch we won’t pressure you but, if your work-related PTSD claim is feasible, we could connect you to one of our No Win, No Fee work injury solicitors.

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