Claiming compensation for post traumatic stress disorder
- AuthorKate Sweeney
A common issue arising out of a military career is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a mental health condition with physical and psychological effects and is prevalent in up to 30% of those who have experienced a traumatic event. Military combat is one of the common causes, although serious road traffic accidents, violent assaults or deaths, terrorist attacks, hostage situations and man made or natural disasters can also lead to the condition.
The symptoms of PTSD
Nightmares and flashbacks are common symptoms of PTSD where the victim will keep reliving the event that traumatised them. Sleep deprivation, inability to concentrate and feelings of isolation are often persistent and can make an enormous impact on everyday life.
Where it can be proven that someone, a company, organisation or body is responsible for a sufferer’s PTSD, a compensation claim can be pursued.
In the case of military PTSD, claims are made against the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Claims against the MoD are notoriously long and drawn out, however, and it is common for their defence to take on a hard-line approach. It is crucial, therefore, for anyone pursuing such a claim to engage a solicitor with specific expertise in the area of military claims.
£620,000 for veteran in military PTSD case
In 2005, former Royal Welch Fusiliers' colour sergeant Malcolm New was awarded £620,000 from the MoD after his career was cut short by PTSD. The defence for the MoD had tried to argue that Mr New had carried a number of ‘risk factors’ from childhood which had made him more susceptible to a psychological illness. However, the judge found in favour of Mr New and was satisfied that had treatment been offered in 1993 after his harrowing tour of Ulster, it would have made a difference.
Compensation levels for PTSD vary depending on the severity of the effects. Those who suffer minor symptoms but are expected to make a full recovery normally receive between £2,000 and £5,000. If symptoms are minor but persistent, anything from £5,500 to £15,000 can be awarded. And for those facing severe disabling effects which affect their ability to work or take part in normal social activities, the compensation could be anything up to £64,000. Other factors can boost these amounts and claims against the MoD follow a set protocol.
At Stephensons, we have specialists with experience and a proven track record in the very specific area of military injury claims against the MoD, including claims for post traumatic stress disorder. Speak to one of our experts in complete confidence by calling 01616 966 229.
By personal injury solicitor, Kate Sweeney