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Psychological Compensation Claims – Anything But Simple

Judges have a difficult job in ruling on psychological compensation claims as there are usually a number of things to consider and typically, nothing is clear cut. How does the level of compensation reflect the claimant’s suffering or life-changing condition when no physical scars are to be seen? Often encouraged by sections of the media to do so, some members of the public shake their heads in disbelief at large sums awarded for psychological compensation claims. From time to time, however, no amount of money seems likely to compensate someone for what they have suffered.

A widow was recently awarded £230,000 after the judge described her as being a ‘secondary victim’. In 2010, Martha Sarah Young was on her way to meet her 26-year-old son, David, when she saw a smashed up car on a Glasgow street that had hit and killed a pedestrian. Only later did she discover that her son was the passer-by who was killed by the speeding driver of the car. At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, the judge, Lady Rae, said Mrs Young was a ‘secondary victim’, and was entitled to enhanced compensation of £230,000. This is the second family tragedy Mrs Young has suffered. Her husband was killed in a helicopter crash in the North Sea, in 1992.

Lady Rae’s award included £6,250 for the cost of psychological treatment, £35,000 for pain and suffering, £80,000 for loss of society, and £30,000 for personal services. Reporting on the case, one newspaper pointed out that the award to Mrs Young ‘dwarfed’ the £172,000 that would be awarded to a soldier for the loss of both lower arms, or both legs below the knee, by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Psychological compensation claims are always relative to the individual involved and while judges may have more discretion about the amount the award than the Armed Services, they still look at each case on its merits.

Making a psychological compensation claim can be a lengthy and invariably stressful business, which is why it’s always best to seek the best legal advice available. PHC Law has 100 years’ combined experience at dealing with psychological compensation claims, and many other types of claims on behalf of clients. They have a 98% success rate and their legal team are always ready to offer advice on how to go about making a claim.