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Navigating the complexities of filing a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) compensation claim presents a multifaceted challenge. Misconceptions, complex legalities, and the daunting prospect of revisiting deeply personal traumas are some potential challenges to face. However, it’s a journey that, for many, marks the pivotal first step towards acknowledgement, healing, and ultimately reclaiming a sense of justice and control over their lives.

In this blog, we aim to explain the process of making a PTSD claim in the UK, highlighting key steps, potential obstacles, and strategies for addressing them. Our objective is to provide a comprehensive resource that equips claimants with the necessary knowledge and tools to navigate this process more effectively. 

Can You Claim Compensation If You Have PTSD? 

To put it simply, yes, you can claim compensation for PTSD, but only if you can prove that your condition is the result of someone else’s negligence or a specific event. These may include an accident, a workplace incident, a road traffic accident (the most frequent source of PTSD) or another traumatic event in a public setting. The specifics of making a compensation claim for PTSD can vary from case to case. If you decide to go down the avenue of making a claim, here are some things to consider: 

Gather Evidence of Negligence 

A diagnosis is not the only form of evidence you will require. To make a successful claim, you will need to gather evidence of negligence. This is needed to demonstrate that your PTSD was caused as a result of someone else’s neglect or a specific event in which someone else is liable. Some evidence that you may wish to gather includes general documentation of the event’s circumstances, witness statements and official accident reports. 

Draw A Link Between The Event and Your PTSD

To make your claim as strong as it can be you will need to draw a direct link between the event and your PTSD. Medical evidence, including testimony from a mental health professional and witness statements from people at the event, can help. 

Seek Legal Advice and Representation

At this point, you may seek legal advice regarding the strength of your claim, how much money you can expect in the way of compensation, and the next steps in the claim process. 

Consider Your Time Limitations 

When making a compensation claim for PTSD, you do have a time limitation to consider. If you are making a claim, you must make it within three years of the event. Failure to do so will likely result in your claim being denied. 

Consider The Impact on Your Life 

When making your claim, it is important to consider the impact it may have on your life. Not only will the claim process produce various challenges and stresses, but you will also want to consider the effect that your condition has had on your life. This will help to determine the amount of compensation you will be happy with. Things like loss of earnings due to time off, medical expenses, and the cost of future therapy are all things to consider. 

What Are Some of the Causes of PTSD

PTSD may develop after witnessing or participating in a traumatic incident. While symptoms of PTSD can begin immediately following the event, sometimes the onset of the symptoms can be delayed, emerging weeks, months or even years later. Alternatively, PTSD can arise from extended exposure to continuous traumatic scenarios. PTSD may occur as a result of certain occasions, which include: 

Incidents at work

Incidents at work, such as accidents and assaults at work can leave long-lasting psychological symptoms which can be diagnosed as PTSD. 

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence or accidents while in the hospital can often result in PTSD. If you’ve been exposed to medical negligence, then we are very sorry that this happened to you, but you may have a strong claim for compensation. 

Serious Accidents 

Serious accidents such as car accidents or other accidents which result in life-changing injuries are among the most common causes of PTSD. PTSD claims relating to serious accidents are possible if somebody else’s negligence is the cause.

Military Accidents

Post-traumatic stress is often caused by a threat of death or serious injury. It therefore comes as no surprise to find that PTSD is quite common for those serving in the armed forces. Military disability compensation may also include payments to help with mental health conditions such as PTSD. 

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD is a complex and challenging disorder, and those suffering from it can exhibit many different symptoms. If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms as a direct result of a particularly traumatic event then you may be suffering from PTSD: 

Reliving the event – potentially the most common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder is reliving the event. This can come in the form of flashbacks and can happen when you’re awake or asleep.  Individuals suffering from PTSD may also reminisce on the event and avoid locations or circumstances which remind them of the event.

Always being on guard – if you are suffering from PTSD then you may feel like you are always on high alert or that something bad is about to happen. 

Trouble sleeping – as previously mentioned, if you have PTSD then you may relive the event, even in your sleep. It is not surprising that this, along with other forms of anxiety such as night terrors, results in trouble sleeping. 

Trouble concentrating – PTSD can result in some severe forms of anxiety. Because of this, you may have difficulty concentrating on everyday tasks. 

Feelings of guilt and shame – PTSD sufferers are prone to immense feelings of guilt and shame regarding the traumatic event, even if it was not their fault. 

Self-destructive behaviour – self-destructive behaviour, such as excessive alcohol consumption and driving too fast, can sometimes be exhibited by PTSD sufferers. 

Anger and irritability – the anxiety that comes with PTSD can manifest into irritability and angry outbursts. 

While this is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, these are some of the most common. If you feel like you may have PTSD then you should also consult a medical professional for guidance on treatment. 

Why Do PTSD Claims Get Denied?

It may surprise you to learn that a large number of PTSD claims are actually denied. It was reported, back in 2008, that as many as 40% of PTSD claims were denied. Although, it is worth advised we win over 90% of our PTSD claims. Understanding why claims are unsuccessful is extremely beneficial, as it can help to inform you about how to make a more robust claim and/or help you to understand if it is worth appealing a denial that you’ve received. Some of the most common reasons for claim denial include: 

Insufficient or Lack of Medical Documentation

One of the most common reasons for PTSD claim denial is insufficient medical evidence. A qualified medical professional must diagnose PTSD, and the claim must include detailed medical records such as documents of the diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and the impact on the claimant’s everyday life. 

No Clear Link to The Traumatic Event

To ensure your PTSD claim is as strong as it can be, you must ensure the link between the traumatic event and your PTSD is clear. It might be denied if the claim fails to establish this link convincingly.

Failure To Declare Pre-existing Condition

Insurers or compensation bodies might deny a claim if they determine that the PTSD symptoms were related to a pre-existing condition rather than the event in question. Before starting a PTSD claim, you must ensure any prior conditions are declared. Although it is worth noting, this usually results in an exacerbation diagnosis rather than flat-out denial, meaning you can still win compensation.  

Failure To Follow Treatment

Sometimes, a claim may be denied if it becomes evident that the claimant has not followed prescribed treatments or failed to seek treatment for their symptoms. In order for your case to be as strong as possible, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible and always ensure you are following the previously agreed treatment. 

Failure To Make a Claim Within the 3-Year Time Frame

As previously stated, you have three years from the event to make a PTSD claim. If a claim is filed after this period has elapsed then it is highly likely to be denied. 

Non-Compliance with Procedures

Failure to comply with specific procedures, such as missing deadlines or incorrectly filling out forms, can sometimes result in a claim being denied.

Discrepancies with Evidence

It is not surprising that discrepancies in the evidence can result in a claim denial (e.g. generally insufficient information or questions over the integrity of the evidence).

Contact The Claims Partnership For PTSD Claims 

If you are considering making a PTSD claim, The Claims Partnership can help. Contact us today by either calling 01772 562084 or emailing info@theclaimspartnership.co.uk.

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