Nervous shock compensation can be claimed where nervous shock has arisen as a direct result of any substandard care that amounts to actual Medical Negligence.
Do contact our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors. We conduct most of our Clinical and Medical Negligence claims under ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. So, our clients do not have to worry about how they can possibly afford to pay for the costs of nervous shock claims. You have nothing to lose in speaking to us.
How do you know if you are entitled to claim for nervous shock compensation?
Firstly, you have to have suffered from a recognised psychiatric condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (‘PTSD’), depression, anxiety and adjustments disorders would qualify. You cannot claim if you are just suffering from mere emotions. Don’t worry if you haven’t been diagnosed just yet; we would instruct an expert psychiatrist to do this. Have a think about how it has affected you mentally, is it still affecting you months down the line? Are you able to cope with day to day tasks? Have you had to have time off work? Have you had to have care and support from other family members?
What is a Primary Victim?
It may be that you are the patient has had a traumatic experience that was due to medical negligence, which has affected you mentally. In this case, you may have an additional claim for psychiatric injury as well as your physical injury. You would be classed as a “Primary victim” and would need to show you are suffering from a psychiatric disorder which was caused by the negligence.
What is a Secondary Victim?
In medical claims, it is usually the patient that brings an action on their own behalf. However, you may be able to claim medical negligence compensation if you witnessed a loved one’s substandard medical treatment and the resulting shocking events.
If, as a direct result, your mental health has suffered, then you may come within a category of claimant referred to as a “secondary victim.” If so, you may be entitled to compensation. As a secondary victim, there are some criteria that you must satisfy to bring a claim.
Briefly, an explanation of each category is as follows:-
a) Close ties of love and affection
The injured person must be a close family member or someone that you can show clear love and affection for. In most cases, this is easily identifiable if the victim is your child, spouse, parent or sibling.
b) Witness the event with your own unaided senses
You must witness the event either by seeing it or hearing the event close by. An example of this is that you could be in the room next door and hear what is going on, this may be claimable. However, you cannot claim if you are told about the event over the phone and were not actually present and didn’t witness what happened.
c) Proximity to the event or its immediate aftermath
If you arrive at the scene of the incident hours after the event took place, it is likely that you would not be able to claim. However, this is decided on a case by case basis. Clearly, if you were in a different city or country, it would be hard to claim.
d) The psychiatric injury must be caused by a shocking event
Psychiatric injury claims are also referred to as “nervous shock.” This is because one of the criteria you must satisfy is that you have witnessed a “shocking event,” and by witnessing that event it caused you “nervous shock” (a psychiatric injury). Clearly, witnessing a loved one go through pain and suffering will be very shocking to you personally. However, the Courts have ruled very strictly on this criteria, especially if it happened in a hospital. It is expected that people will witness shocking events in hospitals, it must be something out of the ordinary. Not simply seeing a loved one hooked up to machines, as one would expect. Although the laws are quite strict, we have successfully settled claims for events that have taken place in a hospital.
Please call us, and we can discuss further if we think you may have a psychiatric injury claim.
Claims can be brought in the estate of the person who has passed away as a result of medical negligence. Those left behind may suffer not just psychologically, but also for the loss of their relatives care and assistance and as a result of losing their financial support. When claiming on behalf estate of a loved one who has passed away, you will have to satisfy the various criteria as above.
Past Successful Compensation Claims for nervous shock
A six-figure sum (exact amount confidential) to Tony Baker, and his family, our clients from Sheffield. The family lost 56-year-old Carol to sepsis caused by acute, undiagnosed appendicitis. Carol was married to Tony and provided care and support to her children and grandchildren. Carol had been seen by various doctors over a two week period before her death. Tony was with his wife throughout this period and was with her when she was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery. He suffered from a prolonged grief reaction. For more about his case click here
A six-figure sum (exact amount confidential) to our clients, from Stockport, whose baby died one week after delivery as a result of medical negligence. The event led to a catalogue of tragedy for this family.
£40,000 for both parents for suffering psychiatric reactions after witnessing the traumatic birth of their baby who died within 6 hours of birth. The hospital had handled the delivery negligently.
£28,500 to a mother whose 16-year-old son was knocked unconscious in the street. He hit his head on pavement. He had an overnight stay in hospital. His mother had witnessed the immediate aftermath and hospital care, having attended at the hospital and stayed with her son and she took him home the next day where he later collapsed and fitted. The hospital had assumed he was drunk and had failed to appreciate the significance of his head injury and to undertake the appropriate tests to detect a bleed in his brain. The mother witnessed her son’s collapse and a half hour attempt by paramedics to revive him at home. He was placed on life support that was switched off a few days later. The mother suffered depression, flashbacks, and anxiety and was off work for 6 months.
£20,000 to a mother who was with her young son over a few days in hospital, witnessed him having a fit, causing severe brain damage, after which he never regained consciousness and his life support machine was switched off.
A father was told that his baby had died. He was given the dead baby to hold but then was told the hospital had made a mistake. His baby son was alive. He suffered a post-traumatic stress disorder and was awarded £10,000 for this and £4,000 for being disadvantaged in his work owing to the post-traumatic stress.
£5000 to a husband who suffered emotionally after seeing the result of his wife’s surgery, that she was negligently advised to undergo.