PTSD claims and compensation
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious and debilitating condition that develops after a traumatic event or a prolonged period of extreme stress and fear. Sufferers experience severe mental distress that can have devastating effects on their health and day to day life.
Last Updated November 6th, 2023
The most important things to remember when making a claim for PTSD
- PTSD can be treated through therapy or medication, although this is not always available through the NHS
- PTSD can have a significant effect on your daily life and compensation can help to give you access to the best care and eliminate any financial burdens due to your condition
- In order for your claim to be successful, you will need evidence to show that your PTSD was caused by another party
- Starting a claim can be a worrying time but Express Solicitors offer a no win no fee service to ensure you are never out of pocket for legal fees
- Any compensation that is awarded will be determined by the circumstances of your PTSD claim
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How does a PTSD compensation claim work?
At Express Solicitors we are committed to making the claim process as simple and risk free as possible for you. If you are considering making a PTSD compensation claim, we can offer you guidance and unlimited legal advice. So you know what to expect, we have summarised the different stages of making a PTSD compensation claim.
The first step in making a claim is to contact our no win no fee solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion. We can help you to decide whether or not to pursue your case and offer you advice on how to proceed.
Consultation and fact finding
Once you are happy to continue in the claims process, the next step is to gather evidence to support your case. We will also arrange for you to have a medical assessment with an independent medical professional. They will check your injuries and recommend any treatment you need.
This stage involves contacting the other party (defendant) who you are claiming against, and notifying them of your claim. We will then await their response.
After the defendant responds to your claim, we will enter discussions with them or their representative. They will either admit or deny liability at this point. If necessary, we will undertake further investigations to strengthen your case.
Settlement and payment
During the final stage of the claim process, a settlement may be offered, or your case may go to court. You will then receive your compensation within 21 days after a settlement has been reached.
Can I make a PTSD claim?
If your PTSD was caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault or the negligence, or breach of care of another party, then you may be eligible to make a PTSD claim. PTSD claims are frequently brought following car accidents, assaults in the workplace, medical negligence, workplace accidents or military injuries.
In order to make a claim, you will need to provide evidence that your PTSD was caused by the actions of another party. As PTSD solicitors, we can advise and assist you with collecting the proof you need to build your case.
We also work on a no win no fee basis, meaning you will never be out of pocket and you can focus on your case with no financial risk. You can learn more about how this works on our no win no fee page.
Signs and symptoms of PTSD
Following a traumatic incident most people feel some of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, such as bad dreams and inexplicable nervousness. However these negative and fearful feelings will decrease with time. Individuals suffering from PTSD do not experience this decrease, and therefore suffer from prolonged effects.
PTSD can cause a wide variety of mental, emotional and physical symptoms but this condition can affect different people in different ways. No matter how PTSD presents, the impact on the sufferer’s day to day life will be significant. The most common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Flashbacks to the event
- Intrusive thoughts or images
- Emotional instability
- Difficulty focussing
- Aggressive behaviour
- Physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating, pain and nausea
- PTSD symptoms can vary from mild to severe and life limiting
These are just some of the symptoms experienced by people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. If you suspect that you are experiencing PTSD, we recommend that you contact your GP as soon as possible.
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What causes PTSD?
PTSD will typically start following an extremely distressing event or ongoing trauma and can develop over time. The event(s) may have occurred during childhood or adulthood with debilitating effects. Certain situations and experiences are more likely to trigger PTSD than others and below we cover the most common causes of PTSD:
PTSD caused by assault
Assault is often the cause of PTSD, leading to flashbacks and severe mental distress. You may feel afraid to leave your home or to revisit the scene of the assault. PTSD could be triggered by assaults such as robberies, violent assaults, sexual assaults or home invasions.
If your PTSD was caused by someone else illegally assaulting you, you may be eligible to start a claim. In order to receive compensation, your PTSD needs to be caused by another’s negligence or criminal behaviour.
PTSD caused by childhood trauma
If you experienced a one-off traumatic event or ongoing trauma during childhood, you may develop PTSD. This could occur immediately after the event or later in life. Examples of childhood trauma that could lead to PTSD include physical assault, neglect or sexual assault.
A victim can claim for PTSD following childhood trauma between the ages of 18 and 21, however, a parent or guardian may be able to start the claim on their behalf before this time.
Work related PTSD claim
PTSD can arise after being involved in or witnessing a serious accident at work. If you were affected by a stressful accident, leading to PTSD, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation. In order to start a claim, you need to show that the accident that caused your PTSD, happened because your employer was negligent.
Please note, you do not have to be an employee to make a claim, you could be a contractor or visitor to the workplace where the accident occurred. In addition, you cannot lose your job if you start a claim against your employer for PTSD.
If you do develop PTSD after a traumatic event at work, it is important to keep a full record of any treatment you receive. This will help to build your work related PTSD claim. We can also help you to collect the evidence you need to start your case.
Military PTSD compensation
Unfortunately, PTSD is a common effect of serving in the Military. You may be exposed to life threatening situations, be involved in an accident, experience ongoing combat stress or witness a major accident.
If your PTSD was caused by a lack of care or negligence you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. This can help you to access the treatment you need and can reduce the financial burden of your PTSD. Our military accident claim page includes all the advice and information you need to start a claim for compensation.
Compensation for PTSD after car accident
Being involved or witnessing a major road traffic accident can cause significant injuries and distress that can develop into PTSD. No matter whether you were driving, a passenger, a pedestrian, a cyclist or otherwise in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim.
To learn more, visit our car accident claim page where we guide you through the process of making a claim following a road traffic accident.
What is a PTSD trigger?
PTSD is a complex condition that can worsen due to triggers. PTSD triggers can bring back memories and flashbacks of the traumatic event that caused your PTSD in the first place. You may feel like you are reliving the trauma, leading to overwhelming feelings of fear, anxiety and panic.
Triggers may involve noises, sights, scents or thoughts and you could be triggered by a person, a place, an object, the TV, a specific date, situation or certain sensations.
The key thing to note is that the trigger will usually be related to the event that originally caused the PTSD. For example, hearing someone shouting aggressively can make you think about the time you were assaulted.
If you experience a PTSD trigger, this will not be processed by your brain as a normal memory would be. Instead, the traumatic experience feels like it is happening now, causing flashbacks and severe psychological distress.
PTSD treatment and help options
If you suffer from PTSD, you will be aware of the life changing effects of this condition and without treatment, you may find it impossible to recover from your PTSD. Thankfully, there are various treatment options that are approved to help improve your PTSD. These include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Exposure therapy
- Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Medications such as SSRIs and SNRIs
You can also access support online and in support groups in your local area. Your GP is the best person to contact if you are interested in finding out more about post-traumatic stress disorder and potential treatments.
If however, you would like to speak to an experienced personal injury solicitor about a potential PTSD compensation claim, call us today for free legal advice and help with your claim.
Unlimited legal support
That’s right, we provide unlimited legal support for our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim, or if you even want to make a claim? You can speak with us for as long as you like and as many times as you like. We’ll let you know your legal rights, completely free of charge and with no obligation to make a claim.
PTSD claims time limits
If you experienced a traumatic event that led to you developing PTSD, it is important to start your claim as soon as possible. You will have three years following your accident or traumatic event to make a post traumatic stress disorder claim.
Having said that, if you are bringing a PTSD claim for childhood trauma, you will have three years after you turn 18. Parents may be able to claim on behalf of their child up to the age of 18. Although, if the child has a reduced mental capacity, there is no time limit on making a post traumatic stress disorder claim.
How much PTSD compensation could I receive?
Following a traumatic accident or event, getting the support and care you need is more important than anything else. However, PTSD can be an overwhelming condition that can mean you are unable to work, leading to financial pressure. Bringing a PTSD claim can help to eliminate any financial stress, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Financial compensation awarded to PTSD sufferers is intended to compensate them for the pain and suffering they have experienced as a result of another person’s criminal activity or negligent behaviour. It will also help to cover loss of earnings, bills and rehabilitation and therapy costs incurred as a direct result of the disorder.
Compensation amounts awarded for PTSD can be anything from £4,000 (for individuals who experience a full recovery within a three year period), to £45,000 (for individuals whose symptoms are severe and seemingly permanent).