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Work Stress Solicitors - Psychiatric Injury Claims - UK Compensation Lawyers

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Work stress solicitors compensation claims encompass wide ranging issues, however most legal action is the result of a situation where the employee is suffering from a recognised psychiatric injury, which was caused by the negligent or unlawful actions of their employer. Those psychiatric injuries involving stress could include depression, adjustment disorders, ranging from mild symptoms of hurt feelings to the serious symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It is possible for work stress solicitors to claim compensation against an employer for psychiatric illness. Psychiatric injury compensation claims must fit in exactly with a number of parameters laid down by the courts. Basically to be held liable an employer must have been aware that a particular employee was vulnerable and that employee must have been placed in an environment that could reasonably be anticipated to cause that employee mental illness without regard to the risks posed. Most large employers now have systems in place to identify vulnerable individuals and have safety nets in place together with counselling schemes that should be sufficient to ensure that they are not held liable.

Recognisable Psychiatric Illness

If it can be proven by a work stress solicitor that a third party caused psychiatric injury causing the victim to suffer difficulty with life and/or work or problems that affect relationships with friends and family the victim may be entitled to psychiatric injury compensation ranging from £1,000 to upwards of £100,000. For a psychiatric injury compensation claim to succeed the victim has to sustain a ‘recognisable psychiatric illness’ caused by the negligence or breach of duty of a third party. This means that the psychiatric injury has to be diagnosed as a recognised illness by a trained psychiatrist rather than just grief, distress or other emotional disturbance. Short term and trivial psychiatric problems will not qualify for an award of damages in a psychiatric injury compensation claim.

PTSD Compensation Claim

Cases within this category are exclusively those where there is a specific diagnosis of a reactive psychiatric disorder in which characteristic symptoms are displayed following a psychologically distressing event which was outside the range of normal human experience and which would be markedly distressing to almost anyone. The guidelines below have been compiled by reference to cases which variously reflect the criteria established in the 4th edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). The symptoms affect basic functions such as breathing, pulse rate and bowel and/or bladder control. They also involve persistent re-experience of the relevant event, difficulty in controlling temper, in concentrating and sleeping, and exaggerated startle response.

Historically the Courts have not been keen to award compensation for psychiatric illness arising either out a life threatening incident as in the case of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or as a result of continual overbearing stress in an employment situation however matters have improved over the last decade and there is now a reasonable chance of succeeding in an application for compensation for psychiatric illness.

Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is sometimes suffered after being involved in an incident which is outside or should be outside normal human experience, particularly those accidents which involve a life threatening experience. This triggers symptoms which psychiatrists recognise under their diagnostic manuals as ICD 10 and DSM IV symptoms.

Compensation for PTSD which can be a highly debilitating long term illness attracts a wide range of damages depending on the severity of the psychiatric injury and the length of the illness which for many people can be an incurable chronic illness that impinges on work and all aspects of lifestyle. PTSD is categorised as follows :-

Employers Responsibilities for Stress

The more physical or mental pressure that your employer puts you under then the more steps your employers must take to ensure that the pressure is not going to be harmful to your health. Those who have already suffered from depression or who have had a previous nervous breakdown are vulnerable and more likely to suffer from a second episode. Therefore, if you have suffered from depression or a nervous breakdown to the knowledge of your employer then that employer has no choice but to take some steps to relieve the stress from you at work. Failure by your employer to do so may result in your suffering further harm and your employer being liable to pay you compensation in a solicitors stress at work claim.

Management or employers are legally liable to the employee when conditions in the workplace cause undue stress, which results in injuries and loss. Management or an employer may be responsible for legal wrongs that can include the following: