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Psychological damage claim – is time a factor?

A recent news story provides an interesting example of what could be considered as adding insult to injury. Although no psychological injury claim is presently pending, the case of the American youngster being asked to leave a fast food restaurant because her facial injuries were upsetting other diners, shows how this kind of claim can arise and, many would say, is fully justified in the circumstances.

Three-year-old Victoria Welcher’s parents were allegedly asked to remove her from a KFC outlet in Mississippi after complaints that her visible injuries were disturbing customers. The youngster was recovering from an attack by a pit-bull terrier which had left her with scars and requiring to wear an eye patch.

It has been reported that a KFC employee, prompted by complaints, asked that she be removed from the restaurant. The company has since apologised and launched an investigation into the incident and, in the meantime, given the girl’s family $30,000 which it says is to help pay for her ongoing medical treatment.

Making a psychological compensation claim is different from many other types of claim because, apart from the physical injury, as in the case above, the victim’s suffering may not be obvious. Claims such as this are to do with the aftermath of trauma and the spectrum can include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and grief, any one of which can seriously impair the sufferer’s quality of life.

Being mauled by a dog is bad enough but to be then allegedly ostracised for the physical scars of your injury could well trigger psychological problems. As with all claims, psychological damage claims need to be for a diagnosed condition and proceedings need to have commenced within three years of the accident occuring, unless you happened to be a child at the time of the accident. A childhood accident that led to a lifelong psychological condition could, in theory, be a cause for seeking damages today.

Anyone unfortunate enough to have suffered in this way but wanting to seek compensation would be well advised to get good advice first and see what their options are. PHC Law has over 100 years’ combined experience in dealing with all sorts of cases and have a 98% success rate. Their solicitors will have dealt with claims stemming from something that happened to a victim in childhood, but the passage of time shouldn’t be a deterrent to seeking justice.