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How Much Compensation Can You Get For PTSD After a Car Accident

November 20, 2023

Getting into a car accident can be more than just a physical ordeal, and often, the emotional and psychological aftermath is just as significant, if not moreso. If you're suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following a car accident, it's natural to wonder about compensation, especially if you weren’t at fault for the accident. But how much compensation can you get for PTSD? Let's take a look.

What is PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) After a Car Accident?

According to the NHS, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health condition that tends to be triggered by a traumatic event. In the context of car accidents, PTSD can manifest as intense anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and disturbances in your daily life, and in severe cases, can go as far as preventing you from living a normal day-to-day life.

The Legal Basis for Compensation

In the UK, if you've developed PTSD due to a car accident that wasn't your fault, you're legally entitled to seek compensation. This falls under personal injury law, which covers not only physical injuries but also psychological impacts like PTSD.

Types of Compensation

Compensation for PTSD can be classified into two main types: General Damages and Special Damages. General Damages cover the pain and suffering caused by PTSD, while Special Damages reimburse you for specific financial losses, like loss of earnings or medical expenses.

Establishing the Severity of PTSD

So, how much might you be entitled to if you’re suffering from debilitating PTSD? Generally, the amount of compensation you can claim for will depend largely on the severity of your case and impact on your life. Mild, temporary PTSD cases might receive lower compensation compared to severe, long-lasting conditions that require extensive therapy.

Factors Affecting Compensation

Several factors influence the amount of compensation for PTSD. These include:

  • The severity of your symptoms and their duration.
  • The impact of PTSD on your daily life, including work and personal relationships.
  • Any pre-existing vulnerability to psychological issues.
  • The need for, and cost of, ongoing private therapy and medication.

The Claims Process

a stressed man leaning on a dining table

Initiating a claim for PTSD compensation involves a few key steps:

Medical Diagnosis

First up, you’re going to need to get a formal diagnosis of PTSD from a qualified mental health professional. You can obtain this through a consultation on the NHS.

Gather Evidence

Next, you’ll need to collect and document evidence related to the accident and its impact on your mental health. This can include medical reports, therapy session notes, and testimonies from family or friends about changes in your behaviour.

Seek Legal Advice

It’s also a good idea to consult a solicitor who has plenty of experience in making successful PTSD claims; they’ll be able to guide you through the process, advise you on your case and help quantify your claim.

File the Claim

Once documentation has been gathered, your solicitor will help you file a claim against the party at fault: this is known as a not at fault accident claim.

Negotiations and Settlement

Once the claim has been filed, things can get tricky: the claim may be settled out of court or proceed to a trial, depending on the response from the other party’s insurance. If you and your solicitor are able to prove that the other driver was at fault, you’ll likely receive some form of financial compensation, the details of which will usually correspond to the severity of your case. If you’re unable to prove fault, you’ll likely receive no compensation.

As always, it’s important to keep in mind that each PTSD case is unique, and so is the compensation process; a straightforward case with clear evidence may settle quickly, while more complex cases might take longer to resolve - this is why quick reporting and claiming is so key.


What is the average compensation for PTSD after a car accident in the UK?

While it varies greatly, compensation for PTSD can range from a few thousand pounds for less severe cases to tens of thousands for more serious or long-term conditions. The exact amount depends on the specifics of your case.

How long do I have to make a PTSD compensation claim after a car accident?

In the UK, you generally have up to three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. However, it's advisable to start the process as soon as possible.

Can I make a PTSD claim if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Yes, you can still make a claim, but the compensation might be reduced to reflect your part in the accident.

Is it necessary to have a psychological assessment for a PTSD claim?

Yes, a formal psychological assessment is crucial to establish the presence and severity of PTSD, which forms the basis of your compensation claim.

Can I claim for PTSD even if I had no physical injuries?

Absolutely. PTSD is a recognized psychological injury, and you can claim compensation for it even if you did not suffer physical injuries in the accident.