Can Personal Injury Be Psychological?

Many people are completely unaware that they are able to pursue a personal injury claim for psychological injury after a traumatic event. If you have been involved in any type of accident which has resulted in a psychological injury, you may be eligible to proceed with a personal injury claim.


Such accidents can be anything from a car crash, an accident at work or even medical negligence. A personal injury claim is legal action taken by a person after being involved in something that has caused injury due to the negligence of a third party. In order to proceed with a personal injury claim regarding psychological injury you must be able to sufficiently prove that a third party is to blame for any injuries sustained.


What kind of psychological damage can I claim for?

If you have suffered a psychological injury as a result of the negligence of a third party, it is possible to pursue a personal injury claim. Whilst most people involved in any sort of traumatic event will be subject mental distress, low mood and upset in the aftermath, some end up suffering with long-term mental health problems.


The most common psychological illnesses are:



Please note that this list is not extensive, there are a number of psychological and mental illnesses that can occur as a result of a traumatic event. It is therefore important to seek guidance from a trained mental health professional if you suspect that you have been mentally impaired as a result of an accident.


How do I prove a personal injury claim for psychological damage?

Psychological damage isn’t immediately evident in the same respect that physical injuries may be. Personal injury claims have a statute of two years; therefore, you have a reasonable amount of time after the initial incident in order to make a claim.


Personal injury claims for psychological damage can be incredibly hard to assess as often there are very few, if any physical symptoms. It is also increasingly difficult to prove that the psychological injury was induced by the event and not due to the claimant having a predisposition to the illness. The impact of the psychological injury is also completely dependent on the individual.


In order to make a personal injury mental health claim, you would have to be diagnosed with a recognised psychological illness. It is therefore imperative that you seek advice, treatment and diagnoses from a trained mental health professional. It is important to ensure that you have the impact of the psychological injury documented in order to strengthen your case.


Due to complex nature of psychological injury the Personal Injuries Assessment Board will often allow claimants to go directly to court. The compensation amount awarded can also drastically vary depending on the severity of the psychological injury and the lasting impact it would have on your ability to live. You can get an estimate of what compensation you may be eligible for using the Compensation Claims Estimator.


It is also important to note that you cannot claim further compensation after accepting an initial offer, it is therefore imperative to seek advice from a personal injury solicitor before coming to any settlements.


How McGinley can help you make a claim?

McGinley Solicitors LLP were established in 1988 and have over 30 years of experience with regards to personal injury claims. We have three locations, with offices in Dublin and Donegal, in which to meet and speak with potential clients.


McGinley Solicitors LLP have experience with a wide range of personal injury cases and are competent and confident with regards to the different avenues such cases can go down. We are able to guide you through the whole process, not only helping you determine the approximate duration of the case but also help provide answers with regards to possible outcomes and advise potential compensation amounts.


We treat each case with empathy and have a wealth of experience in order to expertly guide you through the whole process. Please contact us to discuss your claim further.


Symptoms of psychological injuries

There are a multitude of psychological injuries, each having their own distinct symptoms. Whilst the following list isn’t extensive, it outlines the most common psychological injuries and prevalent symptoms. If you are unsure if you are suffering from a psychological injury it is imperative to seek medical advice from a mental health professional.


  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • The main indicator of PTSD is flashbacks to the initial traumatic event, this can manifest in physical symptoms such as nausea, sweating, pain and trembling or mental images or repetition of the trauma and nightmares
    • Anxiety
    • Loss of concentration
    • Insomnia
    • Anger issues and increased irritability
    • Self-destructive behaviour for example excessive drinking
    • Overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame
  • Depression
    • Low mood
    • Disturbed sleep, insomnia or sleeping too much
    • Increased irritability
    • Having little to no interest in anything
    • Lack of motivation
    • Feeling numb, empty or tearful
    • Lack of energy
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder or Panic Disorders
    • Heart palpitations
    • Feelings of worry
    • Restlessness
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Dizziness
    • Irritability
    • Loss of appetite
    • Shortness of breath
    • Nausea
  • Panic Disorder
    • Nausea
    • Racing heartbeat
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Trembling
    • Hot flushes
    • Feeling faint


Please note that these symptoms are not extensive and it is important to seek medical advice from a trained mental health professional in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis.


Reasons for psychological injuries

Psychological injuries can occur if you have been victim to or witnessed any type of traumatic event. Such events could occur anywhere. Some of the most common are outlined below:


  • Workplace accidents, including experiences of bullying, acts of violence or sexual harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Burglary
  • Car crash


You also do not need to be a direct or primary victim in order to make a claim for psychological injury. Many people who bear witness to a traumatic event are left with psychological scars long after the incident. Whilst it is more complicated to make a claim as a secondary victim it is still possible and therefore you should contact a personal injury solicitor in order to proceed with your claim.

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