Psychological Injury Compensation

When physical injury occurs, especially after accidents like car crashes, the impact of these injuries are usually obvious, however, these aren’t the only injuries that can develop. Psychological injury, while not always obvious, can cause major disruptions to your life. It is important to recognise the damage that psychological injury can have and how to get help if you are suffering.

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What is a psychological injury?

Psychological injury can present itself in many different ways and each person will have a different experience. It is important that these cases always receive attention from a medical professional, especially as these injuries can have a lasting impact on your life.

For some people, their psychological injury can present itself in one or many different ways. Some of the more common psychiatric disorders and their symptoms include:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – flashbacks, avoidance, hypervigilance, feeling distant, nightmares
Depression – apathy, guilt, hopelessness, fatigue, mood swings, lack of concentration, agitation
Anxiety – racing thoughts, insomnia, tension, panic attacks, breathing problems, inability to wind down

What can trigger a psychological injury?

Not everyone is the same, so it is hard to predict whether a psychological injury will develop and which symptoms will present themselves. Some people may be more prone to developing a psychological injury (such as those with pre-existing mental conditions). These injuries can often develop after a traumatic accident —especially from motor vehicle accidents— and can also be brought on as psychological responses to injury sustained. It is also not uncommon to develop psychological injury in the workplace, often due to distressing situations, such as workplace bullying or harassment.

Psychological injury from vehicle accidents

Due to the unexpected and often traumatic nature of a motor vehicle accident —whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist— it is not uncommon to develop a psychological injury.
PTSD, depression and anxiety can develop and it is possible to have one of, or a combination of, these mental conditions after an accident. The effects of these psychological injuries can even result in insomnia and substance abuse, which can be difficult for you and your family to cope with.

Psychological injury in the workplace

With increasing awareness around mental health and the negative effects of bullying, the psychological injuries that occur in the workplace can be just as damaging as sustaining a physical injury.

Psychological injury in the workplace can typically occur from bullying, harassment, work pressure, violence in the workplace or through experiencing a traumatic event. This can include:

  • Repeated harmful remarks or personal attacks
  • Making fun of your work or you as a person (including comments about your family, sex, sexuality, gender identity, race/culture, education or economic background)
  • Sexual harassment (including unwelcome touching, sexually explicit comments and requests that make you feel uncomfortable)
  • Excluding or preventing you from working with people or taking part in activities relating to your employment
  • Playing mind games or ganging up on you
  • Intimidation and making you feel undervalued or less important
  • Giving you pointless tasks that have nothing to do with your job
  • Giving you impossible jobs that cannot be done in the given time or with the resources provided to you
  • Deliberately changing your work hours or schedule to make it difficult for you to attend work
  • Deliberately withholding information you need in order to do your job
  • Pushing, shoving, tripping or grabbing you in the workplace
  • Attacking or threatening you with equipment, knives, guns, clubs or any other type of object that can be turned into a weapon
  • Initiating or hazing, where you are made to do humiliating or inappropriate things in order to be accepted as part of a team

These types of behaviours can have devastating effects upon your work. This could have effects on you such as:

  • Being less active or successful
  • Feel scared, stressed, anxious or depressed
  • Life outside of work, such as study or relationships, could be negatively impacted
  • You want to stay away from work
  • Feeling like you cannot trust your employer or the people who you work with
  • Losing confidence and happiness about yourself and your work
  • You could have physical signs of stress like headaches, backaches and sleep problems

If you have developed a psychological injury in the workplace, you may be entitled compensation for damages. You may be able to make a claim for worker’s compensation claim or your superannuation policy may also cover mental illness (including PTSD, depression and anxiety) under a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claim.

Can I claim compensation for my psychological injury?

If you are unable to continue working, or are suffering from lasting psychological injuries due to issues in the workplace, you could be entitled to compensation. Making psychological claims can be very difficult (even with the right medical evidence), so it is important that you seek advice from an experienced compensation lawyer.

If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, it is important to speak to a compensation lawyer who can help you with psychological injury claims. Even if you have not been physically injured in an accident, the ongoing psychological trauma could have a significant impact on your life and you could be out of pocket for medical expenses. Compensation can cover any pain and suffering caused, along with loss of wages and medical costs.

Need help? Speak to one of our experienced compensation lawyers today on 02 9601 0088 and receive obligation-free advice on your compensation claim, with no upfront costs. If your compensation claim proceeds, our No Win, No Fee policy* means you will not have to pay our legal costs unless your claim is successful and you receive your compensation.

*Note: In the event that your action fails in court you may be liable to an adverse costs order.