£58k awarded to woman for PTSD after bus accident
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The claimant was aged 45 at the time at which she sustained the initial injury.
She boarded a bus and went to sit down, at which point her leg buckled and she fell and became trapped between two of the seats on the bus.
The pain was excruciating and it was later confirmed following medical attention that she had dislocated her knee.
As she fell, fellow passengers rushed to her attention, however they were unable to free her from the space in between the two seats.
Despite repeated mobile phone calls requesting an ambulance, it took the emergency services almost an hour to arrive and attend to the claimant. During this time, she was under serious physical and psychological distress.
As a result of the injuries suffered on the bus, she developed post traumatic stress disorder over the coming months. She began to experience high levels of anxiety and depression. She suffered nightmares that involved her being left trapped and unable to escape.
Over a year later, the claimant was assessed by psychologists who diagnosed her as suffering from dissociative seizures.
She would often collapse unexpectedly whilst out in public and find herself unable to move, despite being able to acknowledge sights and sounds around her.
This was occurring almost daily and made it very difficult for her to go out in public with her family or to carry out physical tasks at home, where she spent most of her time.
Her cognitive ability was affected as she struggled to concentrate her mind. The effect was that she was forced to leave her job in London working in a museum, and decided to relocate her family to Wales.
A claim in negligence was served on the defendant NHS trust and the case was heard in London at Queen's Bench Division
The claimant relied on evidence from her psychiatrist who categorised her post-traumatic stress disorder as severe. The psychiatrist said that every aspect of the claimant's life was negatively impacted, that the effects were permanent and that her mental capacity would never return to its pre-trauma levels.
The damages awarded totalled £580,952.
£60,000 of this amount constituted general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.