Claim compensation for mental health injuries
If you have suffered a mental health injury due to somebody else's negligence, we can help you make a mental health compensation claim.
How Much Could You Claim?

Mental Health Claims

Besides physical injuries, an accident can also have a profound emotional impact on you and lead to various psychological injuries. Mental health injuries can affect your ability to work and engage in daily activities and can severely affect your overall well-being and quality of life. These include conditions such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you suffered due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to make a mental health claim. Situations leading to such claims include road traffic accidents, workplace incidents, criminal assaults and clinical negligence. The compensation you may be able to secure will cover your pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses.

To find out if you can make a personal injury claim for psychological damage, call 0800 032 3660 today or use our online contact form to request a callback. You will receive a free consultation with an experienced solicitor and will be under no obligation to proceed with a claim.

What is a mental health injury?

A psychological injury is described as mental harm, suffering, dysfunction or impairment caused by someone else’s actions or failure to act. Mental health injuries can result from various factors such as trauma, stress, abuse, or adverse life events. They encompass conditions like anxiety, psychosomatic disorders, depression and PTSD.

These injuries can significantly impact your quality of life, relationships, and ability to function in daily activities and manifest through symptoms such as:

  • Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness
  • Excessive worry, anxiety, or fear
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Emotional numbing and withdrawal from social activities
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Difficulty coping with stress or everyday tasks
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, or muscle tension
  • Intrusive thoughts or memories related to the traumatic event
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

These symptoms can vary from person to person and can be more or less severe. A medical professional will diagnose your condition and decide on a treatment plan based on your symptoms. The most common therapy approaches for mental health care include:

  • Medication such as mood stabilisers and antidepressants;
  • Relaxation techniques and regular exercise;
  • Participating in support groups with others who have had similar experiences;
  • Talk therapy to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and develop coping strategies;
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) to change negative thought patterns and behaviours;
  • In more severe cases, victims can benefit from short-term hospitalisation in a psychiatric facility.

Can I make a mental health claim?

The easiest way to find out if you have grounds for a claim is through a free consultation over the phone with an experienced legal adviser. Before taking on your mental health claim, they will verify whether you fit the eligibility criteria and you have a fair chance of success. They will check whether:

  • Another party, which is the defendant in your case, owed you a duty of care;
  • They breached this duty of care and caused you harm;
  • You were diagnosed with a mental health condition due to the defendant’s negligence.

Your solicitor will be able to prove a duty of care by referring to common law and relevant legislation. If they can prove liability, they will inform the other side of your intentions to start a psychological injury claim. The defendant will have three months to investigate your allegations and admit or deny responsibility for your harm.

If they accept liability, your legal representative will negotiate the best mental health compensation payout on your behalf. If the other side denies liability, your lawyer will issue court proceedings and be prepared to argue your case before a judge if necessary.

Evidence needed to start a psychological injury compensation claim

If you are entitled to compensation, your lawyer will need various types of evidence to support your psychiatric injury claim. They will review the proof you already have and help you gather anything else you may need, which could include the following:

  • Medical records. These will detail your diagnosis, treatment, and any therapy or medication you received for your condition.
  • Expert testimony. Your solicitor will obtain reports from mental health specialists who can assess the extent of your injury and its impact on your life.
  • Witness statements. You can use accounts from friends or family who observed the events leading to your injury and its effects on you.
  • A personal statement. Your description of the incident, its impact on your mental health, and the challenges you face as a result.
  • Visual evidence. If you have pictures or a video of the accident scene, you can use them to prove how it occurred. If available, you can also use CCTV footage from nearby security cameras.
  • Employment records. Records showing any changes in your work performance, attendance, or behaviour due to your injury.
  • Financial records. Documents detailing any financial losses incurred due to your injury, such as medical expenses or lost income.
  • Incident reports. If you were injured at work or in public, report it to the responsible party. Make sure they write it in the company’s accident book and ask for a signed copy of the report.

What accidents could cause a mental health injury?

Accidents that could lead to a psychological injury and mental health compensation claim include but are not limited to:

  • Workplace accidents. Injuries sustained at work, such as falls from a height or machinery accidents, can result in mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Work-related stress can also cause mental health issues among employees.
  • Road traffic accidents. Being involved in a car crash can cause psychological trauma, especially if there are life-changing injuries or fatalities.
  • Violent crimes. Physical assaults or attacks can leave lasting emotional scars, including anxiety, fear, and PTSD.
  • Slips, trips and falls. Such accidents, whether at home, in public places, or at work, can also result in mental health injuries.
  • Medical negligence. This includes negligence towards mental health patients. Errors in medical treatment, surgery, or diagnosis can also lead to anxiety, depression, or trust issues.
  • Sports injuries. Severe sports injuries that may result in long-term disabilities or chronic pain can have a significant impact on mental health.
  • Dog bites. Being attacked by a dog can be very traumatic and can cause long-term issues like anxiety and PTSD.
  • Military accidents. Combat trauma, friendly fire incidents, accidents during training and other hardships within the military can severely affect a person’s mental health.

Can I claim compensation for poor mental health care?

Although the medical treatment offered by healthcare professionals is typically of an exceptional standard, it can sometimes fall short. In such cases, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim against your GP or another doctor who was negligent and caused avoidable harm or worsened your condition.

Some circumstances that may lead to a mental health negligence claim include:

  • Misdiagnosis of a mental health condition leading to deterioration
  • Neglect or abuse in mental health facilities
  • Failure to provide adequate therapy or counselling
  • A traumatic event, such as anaesthetic awareness
  • Excessive delays in referral for mental health treatment
  • Suffering a life-changing injury due to the negligence of a healthcare professional
  • Errors in prescribing medications for a mental health condition
  • Breaches of patient confidentiality, informed consent, or other legal or ethical standards

To have a valid claim for compensation, your medical negligence lawyer must prove the following:

  • A duty of care. All healthcare providers owe patients a legal duty to provide treatment that meets the accepted standard set by the General Medical Council (GMC).
  • Breach of duty. They breached this duty by acting negligently, such as making errors in diagnosis or treatment.
  • Causation. Their negligence directly caused or significantly contributed to your psychiatric injury or condition.
  • Damages. You suffered quantifiable harm, such as emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or financial losses.

Can I claim for psychological damage at work?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Equality Act 2010 and other relevant legislation, your employer must take all reasonable measures to protect your safety and well-being at work. If they fail to do so, you have the right to claim compensation for any resulting injuries, including psychological harm.

Accident at work claims for mental health compensation may arise from:

  • Workplace stress. According to statistics from YouGov, more than half of British workers feel stressed at work. That can be due to excessive workloads, tight deadlines, long hours, or lack of support.
  • Bullying and harassment. Persistent bullying, harassment, discrimination, or hostile work environments can lead to psychological harm. Employees may develop anxiety, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues.
  • Traumatic events. Witnessing or experiencing severe accidents or fatalities at work can cause psychiatric injuries such as PTSD and acute stress disorder.
  • Discrimination. Discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation can have a significant impact on mental health. It can lead to conditions like depression, anxiety, or emotional distress.

Your employer cannot sack you, discipline you, or treat you unfairly following your claim. If they do, you can make a further claim at an employment tribunal under unfair dismissal laws.

Frequently asked questions

If you have further questions about making a mental health injury claim, please refer to the section below, where we have answered some of the most common ones we receive from claimants. Alternatively, you can call 0800 032 3660 or use our online contact form to get in touch with a solicitor and talk about your case during a free consultation.

Can I claim psychiatric injury compensation as a secondary victim?

If you suffered a mental health injury due to witnessing or being exposed to a traumatic event experienced by another person, you could still make a compensation claim. To be able to make a claim, you must meet the following conditions:

  • The primary victim is someone very close to you, such as a family member or partner
  • You were at the scene of the accident or witnessed its immediate aftermath
  • The accident was due to someone else’s fault

If you meet these criteria, a personal injury solicitor can help you make a mental health claim and get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Can I make a mental health negligence claim on behalf of a loved one?

If a loved one suffers from mental health problems due to someone else’s negligence, you could claim compensation on their behalf. As a general rule, you could make a psychological injury claim for a loved one if they are a child under 18 or an adult who classifies as a protected party under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

To claim on their behalf, your solicitor will help you apply to the court to be named as their litigation friend. Once appointed, you will have certain responsibilities, such as making decisions about the case and considering any settlement offers from the defendant while keeping the claimant’s best interests in mind.

What is the time limit to claim mental health compensation?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit to start a mental health compensation claim is three years. Because mental issues do not generally become immediately evident, the three years begin from the date your condition is diagnosed by a healthcare specialist (also known as the date of knowledge). A few exceptions might apply to your case:

  • A parent or legal guardian can start a child injury claim at any time before their 18th birthday. Afterwards, the injured child has until turning 21 to claim if nobody took action on their behalf.
  • If the claimant does not have the mental capacity to manage a personal injury claim for psychological damage, the time limit is put on hold. In this case, a litigation friend could represent them at any time.
  • You have two years to start your claim if you were the victim of a violent crime and want to seek compensation through the CICA.

How much is a mental health compensation claim worth?

The amount of compensation you could receive for a psychiatric injury claim will depend on your specific case. Your mental health solicitor will calculate the amount you are entitled to based on two types of damages:

  • General damages refer to compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain, suffering, reduced quality of life or loss of enjoyment.
  • Special damages, on the other hand, cover specific financial losses incurred due to the physical and mental health injury. These could be therapy costs, medical expenses, care costs and lost wages if you had to take time off work.

According to the guidelines from the Judicial College, you could receive between £1,540 and £115,730 for mental health issues, depending on their severity.

Will a solicitor offer me a No Win No Fee service?

If you have a valid mental health injury claim following an accident or negligence, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee* agreement. You will not have to pay anything upfront, and your solicitor will only take a success fee if they win your case. If you don’t make a successful claim, you do not have to pay them a single penny.

As part of your agreement, you will also have After the Event (ATE) insurance against litigation costs. If you lose, the ATE will cover all the related expenses, including court fees, medical reports and the defendant’s solicitors.

To find out if you can make a no win no fee claim or if you have any other questions about the claims process, please feel free to call us on 0800 032 3660. You can also enter your details into our online form to request a consultation with a friendly legal adviser.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.