If you witnessed an accident at work in which someone was seriously injured or you sustained severe injuries yourself, you may suffer from a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. You can also suffer from PTSD if you experienced an extremely stressful event in the workplace.
To find out if you could sue your employer for post-traumatic stress disorder and what evidence would be required to support your claim, please read on.
- What Symptoms are Associated With Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?.
- Would My Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Claim Be Valid?
- What Workers are at Risk of Developing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
- How Much Compensation Could I Receive for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
- How Do I Begin a Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Claim?
- Would I Be Able to Include Losses and Damages in a Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Claim Against my Employer?
- Is it Worth Seeking Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Compensation From My Employer?
- What Are My Worker’s Rights if I Develop PTSD at Work?
- Do Employers Have a Duty of Care Towards Employees?
- How Long Do I Have to File a PTSD Claim Against My Employer?
- Would I Lose my Job If I Make a PTSD Claim Against an Employer?
- Is it Worth Seeking Legal Advice if I Make a PTSD Claim Against My Employer?
- Would an Accident at Work Lawyer Offer Me No Win No Fee Terms on a PTSD Claim?
- Informative Links
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can negatively impact your outlook on life as well as your ability to work. Should you experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder for more than four weeks having been involved in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation from an employer if it can be found they were negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury at work.
The symptoms you may experience if you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may vary depending on the severity of your condition. However, the more common symptoms association with this psychiatric disorder are as follows:
- Extremely stressful memories of an event like a near miss or accident at work in which you or a fellow worker was seriously injured
- Flashbacks of the event which are extremely distressing
- Frequent and constant nightmares
- Feelings of anxiety and stress
- Emotional stress
- Inability to concentrate or focus on anything
Apart from the psychological damage you may experience when suffering from PTSD, you may also have to contend with the physical effects associated with this condition which may well include the following:
- Aches and pains
- Nausea and/or sickness
Many employees who develop PTSD following an extremely distressing event or workplace accident, find it too overwhelming to even consider filing legal action against an employer who could be deemed in breach of their duty to ensure employees and other staff are kept safe at work. However, a personal injury solicitor at www.accidentclaims.co.uk understands and sympathises with what you are going through and would fully appreciate your situation.
As such, the solicitor would do their best to ensure that you are able to cope with the process by making things much easier. In many instances, your claim would be assessed over the phone in a no obligation consultation for which you would not be charged. In short, you would not have to attend a face-to-face meeting with a solicitor to find out whether your claim against an employer may be valid.
As mentioned previously, a personal injury solicitor would assess your case against an employer in an initial consultation which could be done over the phone. For a PTSD claim against an employer to be valid, you would need to show that you suffer from the condition because you were involved in or a witness to an extremely traumatic incident in the workplace and that the accident could have been avoided had your employer set in place reasonable measures to prevent an accident from occurring.
With this said, your employer could still be held liable for the fact you suffer from PTSD even if the traumatic event was caused by a fellow employee. This is because employers are responsible for the actions of all employees and other staff in the workplace. If you were directly injured in an extremely traumatic accident in the workplace and you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, you would be a “primary victim”. If you witnessed a traumatic accident at work in which someone was seriously injured or they died, you would be a “secondary victim”.
For your PTSD claim to be valid, your condition must be diagnosed by a qualified psychiatric or clinical psychologist. It would not be enough for a therapist or your own doctor to have diagnosed you as suffering from the condition for your claim to be upheld. If you are unsure on how best to pursue a post-traumatic stress disorder claim against your employer, you should contact a solicitor who would provide essential legal advice on how best to proceed.
There are specific jobs which put you more at risk of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder although anyone can develop the condition following an accident in the workplace that leaves them marked in some way or another. However, the jobs that put you more at risk of suffering from PTSD include the following:
- Ambulance drivers and workers
- People in emergency services
- Policemen and women
- People in the armed forces
If you now suffer from PTSD following an accident in the workplace that you either witnessed or in which you were seriously injured, you could be entitled to seek compensation from your employer. An accident at work lawyer would assess your case and offer vital legal advice on whether you could file a post-traumatic stress disorder against your employer who would be held liable for you having developed the condition.
The level of post-traumatic stress disorder you could be awarded in a successful claim would depend on several things which are detailed below:
- The severity of your condition and how the symptoms you are experiencing affect your daily life and your ability to work
- Whether the symptoms you experience as such, that they prevent you from working
You would be entitled to claim both general damages and special damages. General damages are calculated by taking the severity of your condition into consideration and are based on the Judicial College Guidelines. Special damages, however, are based on “actual” expenses and other costs you incurred as a direct result of having developed post-traumatic stress disorder following an accident in the workplace.
With this said, the amount of post-traumatic stress disorder compensation you may receive could be as follows:
- If you experience constant nightmares, flashbacks, sleep disturbance, suicidal tendencies, mood swings/disorders, hyper-arousal, you could receive anything between £52,490 and £88,270
- If your symptoms are moderate and the prognosis is more positive if you are provided with professional held to aid your recovery, you could be awarded between £20,290 and £52,490
- If you suffer from a moderate form of PTSD and the symptoms you experience are not too disabling, you could receive between £7,170 and £20,290
- If you suffer from PTSD and your recovery could be achieved in between one and two years and where only minor symptoms associated with the condition persist, you could receive anything between £3,460 and £7,170
The amounts indicated above are provided as a guideline as to the amount of post-traumatic stress disorder compensation you may be awarded, bearing in mind that every claim is different. In short, you may receive more or less that the compensation indicated above in a successful post-traumatic stress disorder claim against a negligent employer.
If you were involved in or were a witness to an extremely traumatic accident at work, and as a consequence of the event you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, you must seek medical attention from a qualified psychiatrist as soon as you can. Once you feel you are able to, you should contact an accident at work solicitor at www.accidentclaims.co.uk who would offer you essential assistance on filing a PTSD claim for compensation against a negligent employer.
The solicitor would be sympathetic and fully understand what you are going through having been involved in a traumatic workplace event or a witness to a workplace accident in which a work colleague or other person was seriously or fatally injured.
Would I Be Able to Include Losses and Damages in a Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Claim Against my Employer?
You would be able to claim for your injuries which could be compensated in the way of “general damages” and your out of pocket expenses which are compensate in “special damages”.
As previously mentioned, the amount of general damages you could be awarded would be based on the severity of your condition and the Judicial College Guidelines. Special damages would cover all of the following:
- Your medical expenses and your travel costs which can be directly linked to you going to and returning from the place where you are being treated
- All other costs and expenses that you incur as a direct result of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder
As with all personal injury claims against employers who could be deemed in breach of their legal duty to ensure employees are safe in the workplace, the more evidence you can provide that you now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder following a serious workplace accident in which you were injured or a traumatic workplace event that you were witness to, the stronger your case would be.
Should you have been a witness to a serious traumatic workplace accident in which someone was injured or they died, or you were severely injured yourself and you developed post-traumatic stress disorder, you have the right to seek compensation from an employer providing they can be held responsible for the fact you now suffer from this debilitating psychiatric condition.
Employers are legally bound to have liability insurance in place and the cover must meet the legal threshold which is £5 million. As such, when you file a post-traumatic stress disorder against an employer, it is their insurance provider to handles your case from start to finish. In short, it is the insurer who would pay out the post-traumatic stress disorder compensation you are awarded in a successful claim against a negligent employer.
Under the Equality Act 2010, post-traumatic stress disorder is classed as a disability if it leaves you suffering with long-term health issues which as a result affects your outlook and daily life as well as your ability to work. As such, if you are suffering from PTSD following an accident in the workplace, you should get in touch with a lawyer who specialises in this type of claim who would provide essential legal advice on what steps you should take to pursue a PTSD claim.
As an employee in the United Kingdom, you have specific worker’s rights and these are highly protected. If you are injured in the workplace, these “rights” allow you to seek compensation from an employer if they were negligent in their duty to ensure you were safe whilst at work. Should you suffer from PTSD following a traumatic workplace accident, you have the right to do the following:
- Seek compensation if it can be found they were in breach of their legal duty to keep you safe from injury and harm at work
- To make an accident at work claim without worrying that you could lose your job for doing so or being discriminated against or treated unfairly in the workplace because you do
Should an employer threaten you in any way which includes saying that you could be made redundant or fired because you file for PTSD compensation, they would be acting unlawfully towards you. As such, you should contact a lawyer who would provide you with essential legal advice on how best to proceed and whether you should file further legal action against your employer should you feel strong enough to do so.
Your employer has a legal duty towards when you are in the workplace and must abide by the laws and legislation that is in place to protect you from harm and injury. Your employer must ensure the following:
- That you and all other employees/workers/staff are sufficient trained to carry out the jobs they are tasked to do as safely as possible
- That ongoing training is provided at regular intervals
- That all tools, machinery and equipment is maintained in good working order at all times and that it is regularly serviced following a manufacturer’s guidelines
- That risk assessments are carried out on a regular basis so that hazards can be identified
- That all reasonable measures are set in place to reduce the risk of a workplace accident occurring
- That all employees, workers and other staff are made aware of good working procedures and practices
- That the correct industry standard personal protective equipment is available when required to carry out a job as safely as possible
Should your employer fail to keep you safe and you are involved in or a witness to a traumatic accident or event in the workplace and you then suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a direct consequence, you could be entitled to seek compensation because your employer could be deemed in breach of their legal duty to ensure you were kept safe in the workplace.
If you want to file a post-traumatic stress disorder claim against your employer, you would have 3 years to do so. This time limit would begin from the date a qualified medical professional diagnoses you as suffering from PTSD. With this said, because the condition is known to be extremely complex, all too often symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder may not manifest themselves for months or even years down the line and this is true whether you are a “primary victim” or a “secondary victim”.
Should this be the case, you could still be entitled to claim compensation even when the statutory 3 year time limit has expired. A personal injury solicitor would assess whether you would still be entitled to claim PTSD compensation from an employer and the sooner they are contacted, the sooner you would know what would be required to support your claim even when the 3 year deadline has passed.
If you can still work having developed PTSD following a workplace accident, but you would like to seek compensation from an employer, you cannot be sacked from your job because you file a post-traumatic stress disorder claim against them. Should an employer fire you because you seek PTSD compensation from them, they would be in breach of UK law and as such, it could entitle you to seek further compensation by filing an unfair dismissal claim against your employer.
Because post-traumatic stress disorder claims are complex, it is far better to seek legal advice from a solicitor. The reason being that solicitors have the necessary legal expertise to deal with this type of claim against employers who could be deemed to have been negligent in their duty to ensure employees and other workers are kept safe in the workplace.
Just having to deal with the symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder can make your life both social and working, much harder to cope with. Having someone who understands what you are going through and working on your behalf when seeking PTSD compensation, can make the whole process much easier to cope with. Other benefits and advantages of having legal representation when filing a post-traumatic stress disorder claim would include the following:
- Personal injury solicitors have the necessary legal expertise to handle this type of claim and are able to access legal libraries which they can refer to when dealing with your case against an employer
- Solicitors are aware of all the legal pitfalls and the pre-action protocols that have to be respected when making a personal injury claim
- The solicitor who represents you would arrange for you to be seen by a mental health specialist and they would provide the essential medical report to support your PTSD claim against an employer
- The solicitor would handle all aspects of your claim which includes communication with your employer and their liability insurance provider
- Should your case be complex and therefore a final settlement may take longer to reach, the solicitor would make sure they negotiate interim payments for you to avoid any financial hardship to both you and your loved ones
- Should your PTSD symptoms be severe, the solicitor would ensure that the cost of receiving ongoing, long-term therapy is included in the compensation you are awarded
Once a personal injury solicitor has assessed that you have a strong post-traumatic stress disorder claim against an employer who could be deemed responsible for the fact you developed the condition, they would offer to work on your case by offering you No Win No Fee terms. This means the solicitor can begin their investigations into your claim without asking you to pay them an upfront fee to do so and you would not have to pay the solicitor’s ongoing fees as your case progresses either.
A No Win No Fee agreement or CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement) is a legal contract that you sign which sets out the agreed fee you would pay the solicitor when you are awarded the PTSD compensation you seek. The contract also sets the terms and conditions of the agreement. The amount that would be due when you are awarded the compensation (the success fee) is deducted from the amount of PTSD you receive. In short, entering into a No Win No Fee agreement with a personal injury solicitor allows you to seek compensation from a negligent employer without any financial risk to yourself.
For more information regarding the symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, please follow the link provided below:
If you were involved in an accident at work or witnessed a traumatic workplace incident and you would like more information on how PTSD is treated, please click on the link below:
For more information regarding PTSD and how the condition is deemed a disability, please click on the link provided below: