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Boyes Turner’s injury claims lawyers understand that experiencing a serious accident or medical negligence can have life-changing effects which go beyond physical injury. Alongside their injuries, regardless of severity, many who have been injured in accidents also suffer long- term debilitating effects from a psychological reaction to their traumatic experience, accident or medical treatment, or the resulting physical injury.  

Psychological injury can range in severity from reactive depression and anxiety disorder to the highly intrusive and distressing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). Where someone suffers from PTSD or psychological injury, depending on the circumstances of the traumatic event or injury, they may be entitled to compensation.

We recover compensation for ‘primary victim’ adults or children whose PTSD and/or psychological injury was caused by negligent medical care, accidental or traumatic injury. We also act for ‘secondary victims’ who have suffered severe psychological injury from witnessing their loved one’s death or injury.

Previously settled PTSD claims cases

What is PTSD?

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition experienced by people who suffer psychological trauma in response to a life-threatening or terrifying event.  PTSD must be diagnosed according to specific diagnostic criteria set out in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), or International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

The symptoms of PTSD can vary widely between individuals but usually involve a combination of re-experiencing the event, avoiding feelings or anything associated with the event, and hyperarousal which keeps them constantly anxious and on edge.

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What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • flashbacks or intrusive or recurrent memories of the event
  • nightmares
  • disturbed sleep, restlessness and agitation
  • avoidance of situations which remind the individual of a traumatic event, such as hospitals
  • anxiety
  • mood disorders
  • negative thoughts
  • panic attacks
  • suicidal thoughts
  • hyper arousal, affecting breathing, pulse rate and bowel and/or bladder control
  • hyper vigilance (increased alertness and awareness)
  • being easily startled or overreacting to certain situations or triggers
  • amnesia
  • fatigue
  • poor concentration
  • feelings of isolation, anger, irritability or guilt

PTSD can also affect children, who may have similar symptoms to adults. In addition to the physical symptoms of PTSD they may express their suffering with difficult behaviour, avoidance, or re-enacting the traumatic event repeatedly through their play.

It is normal and understandable to experience some of the symptoms listed above for a short time after a traumatic event, but if they persist for more than a few weeks or develop at a later date, help should be sought from a GP. Approximately 1 in 3 people who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD.

After talking with the patient about their experience and symptoms, the GP will refer the patient to a psychologist for a formal diagnosis and treatment. In a personal injury claim, a consultant psychiatrist will be instructed to diagnose the condition and any other psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.  

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What type of accidents can lead to claims for psychological injury?

Individuals can react to similar accidents and injuries in different ways. Each client’s compensation claim is made on the basis of  their own unique circumstances and our medical experts’ assessment of their physical and psychological injuries.

Any unexpected, life-threatening or highly distressing accident or event has the potential to cause additional psychological injury to those it harms.  Claims arise where an individual or organisation’s negligence was responsible for the accident and the injuries caused, such as: 

PTSD and psychological injury are often compensated in medical negligence and accident claims involving severe injury, such as:

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How is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treated?

PTSD can be treated. Depending on the severity of the symptoms and how soon they occur, treatment may include:

  • monitoring the symptoms and waiting to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment
  • medication with antidepressants
  • psychological talking therapies:
    • trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
    • eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)

CBT is a talking therapy that is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems, including PTSD.  CBT focuses on how the injured person’s thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect their feelings and behaviour, and helps them manage their condition by changing the way they think and behave.

EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to ease the distress associated with traumatic memories. It allows the injured person to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress caused by disturbing life experiences. It involves the individual using eye movements whilst being asked how they feel, until the memory is no longer disturbing. The individual is processing the trauma with both hemispheres of the brain stimulated.

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Who can I claim from after psychological injury?

We investigate the circumstances of each client’s injury and ensure that their claim is made against the correct defendant individual or organisation.

Medical negligence claims involving PTSD and psychological injury are often made against:

  • the NHS trust responsible for the hospital where the negligent treatment took place
  • one or more GPs (including their practice nurses and other staff)
  • NHS out-of-hours services
  • ambulance service (including ambulance crews and paramedics)
  • individual doctors and other healthcare practitioners in private (non-NHS) practice
  • individual chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and other ‘physical’ therapists in private practice.

Serious injury claims involving PTSD and psychological injury from accidents are often made against:

  • individual road users (and their insurers)
  • public transport companies or services:
  • the injured person’s employer
  • the local council or their contractor
  • the local highway authority or their contractor
  • the owner of a building, premises or land
  • a school or college
  • leisure facility
  • sports facility
  • travel agent or holiday company
  • event organiser
  • manufacturer or supplier of a defective product
  • police
  • emergency services
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or CICA (for violent crime)
  • Motor Insurers’ Bureau or MIB
  • MOD
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How can compensation help after an accident or medical negligence causes PTSD and/or psychological injury?

As with physical injury, PTSD and psychological injury can affect injured people’s ability to look after themselves, work, drive, and enjoy relationships with family and friends. In most cases, our clients have also suffered severe physical or neurological disability. Compensation helps maximise their recovery and adapt to life with their new disability, by providing access to:

  • rehabilitation
  • care and support
  • case management
  • more suitable accommodation or home adaptations
  • specialist aids and equipment
  • private medical treatment
  • therapies
  • prosthetics (after amputation)
  • adapted vehicles and additional costs of transport
  • specialist vocational or SEN support

Where the client’s injuries include PTSD or psychological injury, compensation can also pay for:

  • medical and psychological treatment for PTSD
  • psychological ‘talking’ therapies:
    • CBT
    • EMDR
  • counselling and ongoing support.

Compensation also eases the additional stress that comes from financial hardship which often follows an unexpected injury, by replacing lost earnings, meeting additional costs and restoring financial security.  

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How can I claim for PTSD?

In a compensation claim for PTSD it is vital to instruct specialist solicitors to ensure that the psychological condition is correctly diagnosed. Feeling scared, anxious or stressed after an accident or traumatic injury is not enough to claim compensation. The law says that the negligent individual or organisation which caused the injury is only required to compensate recognised diagnosed psychological conditions.

It is also important to find a solicitor who can provide you with access to treatment and/or rehabilitation as soon as possible to help in your recovery.  Wherever possible, we use the Rehabilitation Code and/or interim payments, to provide our clients with early funding for treatment.  

Psychological injury is often one part of a much wider and complex combination of injuries in the clients we represent, particularly those whose complex injuries result in ongoing pain. Pain and psychological injury often exacerbate each other, resulting in a vicious cycle. Our solicitors understand psychological injury and its interaction with other conditions. We ensure that our clients receive the most suitable treatment and recover their full entitlement to compensation.

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How much compensation can be claimed for PTSD?

Where the claim relates solely to PTSD, without physical injuries, the amount of compensation will depend on the following factors:

  • The ability to cope with life, education and work.
  • The effect on relationships with family, friends and others.
  • The extent to which treatment would be successful.
  • Future vulnerability (whether the injured person is at risk of suffering further episodes in the future).
  • Prognosis (whether the injured person is likely to recover).
  • Whether medical help has been sought.
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Who can we help make a personal injury claim?

If I make a claim for compensation, will I need to go to court?

How long do personal injury compensation claims take?

What compensation can I claim for serious injury?

What is an interim payment?

How do I get started with making a claim?

How are personal injury claims funded?

What injuries can lead to a personal injury compensation claim?

What is a personal injury claim?

What are the time limits for making a personal injury claim?

PTSD cases

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Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

             Brake | The Road Safety Charity

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Thanks for everything"

“Thanks for everything. It’s been very nice to be able to put it all behind us and try to move forward.  I cannot thank you and Boyes Turner for all you have done for me. It goes without saying I would always recommend Boyes Turner. I couldn’t have done it without your support.”

Boyes Turner Client

"You got us the best outcome and I can’t thank you enough"

 Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of myself and my family. You were recommended to us by a close friend back in 2017 and I will certainly recommend you again. You’ve been amazing and very reassuring considering how complicated I made things at times. It’s been one of the hardest times of my life but I was glad I had you on the end of the phone. It’s a surreal feeling now it’s all over but very relieved you got us the best outcome and I can’t thank you enough.

Boyes Turner Client

"Extremely grateful for her professionalism and attention to detail. "

Through my dealings with Claire as my representative in a personal injury claim, I have been extremely grateful for her professionalism and attention to detail. 

I believe going above and beyond to help accommodate my needs and explain everything in a way that I could understand. Working around timing for video calls and zoom meetings with myself and my mum, often on weekends and evenings. We always knew she was just a phone call away to answer any questions we had and if she didn’t have the answer then it would be found out for us. Once the claim was settled, she has still offered her support and provided contacts to do with my injury fund and further surgery I need. 

Boyes Turner client

"Great support throughout a very emotional and difficult period"

Claire was very much the lynchpin in achieving settlement of a complex case. From the outset Claire ensured steps were taken to manage both rehabilitation and legal/case requirements in the correct sequence; this included the early appointment of a case manager.

In addition Claire has been a great support throughout a very emotional and difficult period in our lives.

Boyes Turner client

"I cannot recommend them highly enough"

After being involved in a Road Accident I enlisted the services of Boyes Turner to help settle our compensation claim for damages and ongoing injuries that I incurred as a result. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their ongoing support throughout an extremely stressful ordeal was second to none. I suffered multiple injuries and they organised all my ongoing medical needs both physically and mentally, to help aid my recovery and rehabilitation. They managed my case with the utmost professionalism, concluding it satisfactorily so that I can move forward with my life and recovery. Thank you to Claire and her team for their amazing ongoing support and work with handling my case, in a time of great stress and uncertainty. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and my family.


Boyes Turner client