Delivering the compensation you deserve.
Psychological injury claims
Everyone experiences stress – however, certain types of stress can be physically and psychologically harmful. If you have witnessed a serious accident or been directly involved in a serious accident yourself, you could be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a severe emotional reaction to a disturbing or shocking experience, such as a life-threatening event – and may be evident in depression and/or increased anxiety, or even a change of character. If you think you are suffering from PTSD, you may be able to make a psychological injury claim. Our specialist solicitors can provide a free initial consultation and then investigate your claim to determine if you have a case.
“Anne Maguire’s skills, knowledge, and experience are unrivalled, and she has the knack of being able to get the best out of anyone she works with, whether that be a disinhibited young person with a brain injury, a very concerned family member, or an expert or barrister whom she has instructed.” Dr Neil Brooks, Neuropyschologist, Milton Keynes
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CASE STUDY: Employee receives £20,000 compensation for a psychological injury
It is well established that someone who has been physically injured through the fault of someone else can make a claim for compensation, eg the victim who suffers a whiplash injury through the actions of a negligent motorist.
It is not so straight forward if someone suffers a psychological injury through the negligence or breach of duty of another.
Ann Summerling acted for a client who was employed by a Police Authority as a civilian member of staff. She was taken out by police officers as a ‘ride along’ to gain experience of day to day routine police work.
As part of their duties on the day, the police officers had to attend a ‘sudden death’ incident where someone had committed suicide by hanging. Ann’s client went into the house and witnessed the person hanging, and was asked to help handle the deceased’s body and search the property for a suicide note and other evidence.
She was not given any training prior to this incident and did not receive any de briefing or support afterwards. This was despite the fact that police officers are given training before attending ‘sudden death’ incidents.
At first the client did not seem to be too badly affected by what she had seen, although she was initially shocked. However, over the following weeks and months she started getting panic attacks and symptoms of anxiety, depression and flashbacks of the incident.
She was normally a happy and positive person and living in a secure and stable relationship with a supportive partner, and she could not understand why she was feeling like she did. She did not initially connect it to the incident at work.
Her GP and Occupational Health Department diagnosed her as suffering from PTSD as a consequence of what she had witnessed at work and she was given antidepressants and underwent a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treatment. She had several months off work and when she returned, certain things would crop up which would remind her of the incident. Eventually she left the police force as the work was a constant reminder of what had happened and was affecting her ability to recover.
Despite an apology from the Chief Inspector, an acknowledgement that the client should not have been present at the scene of the hanging and an assurance that lessons would be learned, liability was denied by the Police Authority.
Ann persevered with the claim and was successful in achieving an agreed compensation in the sum of £20,000.00 for the psychological injuries and cost of future counselling treatment, enabling her client to put the distressing incident behind her and move on with her life.
The Personal Injury Team
Navdip Gill Partner
Personal Injury 01908 689338Navdip has been a Partner at Geoffrey Leaver for 10 years. He is based within the Personal Injury department. He has over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury litigation and has built up a strong network with spinal surgeons, neurologists and plastic surgeons.
Sam Seaford Partner
Personal Injury 01908 689349Sam Seaford is a serious and catastrophic personal injury solicitor who has over a decade of experience in handling personal injury claims including but not limited to employer’s liability, road traffic accidents and occupier’s liability claims. Sam has extensive experience in claims against insurance companies, large scale employer’s and their representatives, Councils and the Police. He specialises in high value and complex, pedestrian, motorcycle and cyclist claims.
Anne Maguire Consultant
Personal Injury 01908 689365Anne is a Consultant to the Personal Injury Department. Anne is ranked as a leader in her field by Chamber and Partners Legal Directory. She has more than 30 years’ experience representing clients who have suffered serious brain or life-changing injuries, clinical negligence and fatal accidents.
Kerry Gibbs Litigation Executive
Personal Injury 01908 692769Kerry has worked in the legal industry for over 20 years, in various roles acting on behalf of claimants and defendants. The majority of her experience has been gained in Personal Injury, where she worked her way up to client account manager for a large corporation before specialising in claimant based work.