£11,200 compensation for PTSD after car accident

A claimant was awarded £11,200 in general damages for a post-traumatic stress disorder compensation claim after being involved in a road traffic accident.

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Case details

Accident Circumstances

The male claimant was aged 6 at the time of the accident and was travelling as a passenger in the front seat of a car being driven by his father.

As the car travelled round the roundabout another car hit their car on the left hand side. This caused the car the claimant was in to spin around 360 degrees before finally coming to a stop. The claimant and his father had to stay in the car for some time before they could be rescued. The claimant was wearing his seatbelt but was thrown around with some force and hit his head on the roof of the car. He was shaken and frightened but did not lose consciousness. He attended the local accident and emergency department but left without being given medical attention due to a seven hour wait.

Injury Details

The claimant suffered with pain to his temporomandibular joints in his jaw but this resolved within five days. He also suffered frontal headaches and these were quite apparent for two weeks. They eventually decreased and resolved completely after a month.

In the days following the accident the claimant was quite withdrawn and had difficulty sleeping. When he did sleep he would often suffer nightmares.

He was absent from school for two weeks and did not see his GP until four weeks after the accident. His GP advised that he should take paracetamol.

The most significant injury in this case was psychological. The claimant was very shaken and found it difficult to sleep. He was nervous before and during any car journeys and a change in his personality was reported by his parents.

He was diagnosed by a medical expert as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. He attended cognitive behavioural therapy for a total of 23 sessions and after improvement it was considered that his post-traumatic stress symptoms would be unlikely to return.

Conclusion and Settlement

A settlement outside of Court could not be agreed between the claimant and the defendant and the matter therefore went before the Court seven and a half years after the accident. The Court ordered that general damages of £11,200 should be paid.

Read more: road accident compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher