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Emotional damages can be difficult to calculate when it comes to a work accident claims case. You need to remember that the ultimate object of your compensation claim is to get you back to the position you were in before you suffered from your injury. This includes any financial and physical damages you have suffered. Emotional trauma from an accident can be a bit more difficult to prove. That’s why you will need the help of a trained solicitor to prove that your feelings of distress have reduced your quality of life. It is for this reason that you should be compensated for your losses.

In Gowing Law’s interview with Elaine, we discussed whether or not work accident claims could be made for emotional damages. Learn more below about how you could proceed with this type of claim and start your accident at work claim today with Gowing Law Solicitors:

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Emotional Damages: What can be claimed?

The first thing you need to know is that you can definitely claim for emotional damages caused by your work accidents. Whilst you may not have been traumatized by a repetitive strain injury or a smaller wound, if you have suffered from something more severe (such as losing a limb or perhaps an attack from a colleague or customer in a retail store) then this could have left you with emotional repercussions. There is a reason why you will be recommended different types of therapies if you have undergone a life changing injury that could severely damage your quality of life.

emotional damages therapy infographic

Psychological trauma can severely impact your quality of life. Any emotional damages are called “injury to feelings”. So, if you have suffered from these losses, you can claim compensation alongside your physical injuries. After all, these are both examples of general and special damages.

What are general and special damages?

If you are going to claim for an accident at work, it is important that you know exactly what you are claiming for. Damages tend to be split into two categories known as “general damages” and “special damages”. General damages are the most common damages and relate to the direct effects of a work-place accident. This could include:

  • The physical suffering or injury of the claimant
  • Mental pain or trauma
  • Mobility restrictions
  • Career damages/ Inability to find a different job
  • The death of a worker and the loss of a companion

General damages can be more difficult to calculate than special damages. This is because they have to calculate the amount owed based on the suffering and emotional damages of the client. Special damages, on the other hand, are used to compensate any financial losses you may have made due to the other party’s behaviour. Damages may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physiotherapy sessions
  • Transportation funds
  • Income/Wage losses
  • Damaged goods
  • Loss of fiscal capacity (aka. if you can no longer work at your company)

emotional damages and special damages help

Emotional and Physical injury claims go together

There is one important thing you need to know about emotional damages claims. You cannot claim for them entirely on their own. Instead, they need to be paired with a physical injury that came about due to an accident at work. That way your employer can pay for your damages with their employers’ liability insurance. So, if a workplace accident has caused you stress, upset or anxiety, but not any physical accident, you cannot claim compensation. Instead, you will need a medical expert to show that you have received physical and mental damages due to the accident at work, such as a psychiatric illness like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

A trained solicitor can help you fully understand your emotional damages and what you can do to claim the most out of your work accident case. Take a look below at an example of how an injury can influence emotional damages:

case study image of special, general and emotional damages

Primary and Secondary Victims

Another thing that you may not know about are the type of victims who can claim for emotional damages and compensation. In very special circumstances, there can be cases where a secondary victim can come forward to claim psychological damages from the event. A primary victim is the claimant who had to suffer physical and emotional damages. They are directly involved in the claim and are a victim of negligence on the part of their employer. However, someone who witnessed the accident may also have the right to make a claim as well. Keep in mind, the guidelines for making this type of compensation claim tend to be a little stricter:

  • You must have witnessed the incident or the aftermath of the incident. If you have solely heard of the claim, you cannot ask for psychological damages
  • There must be a successful prosecution of the primary victim’s case. That way they can sue for third-party negligence.
  • The secondary victim must have close ties with the primary victim. For instance, they could be a parent, partner or child of the original claimant.

If you fit into these categories then there is a high chance that you can make a claim. As these secondary claims can get rather complicated, it would be best if you went to a trained solicitor to see how you can proceed. They can let you know if you could receive any compensation or if the case is not worth pursuing.

How do I know if I am a victim of emotional damages?

This is the sort of thing that you can only really tell if you have gone to hospital to tell them about what symptoms you are having. Yes, you may be having physical symptoms from your injury. But your day-to-day life may have been effected by your employer’s lack of safe work-environment.

Psychological symptoms may include:

emotional damages gif

If you already have a psychological condition, you could also claim for it if it has worsened due to your accident. A medical professional should be able to diagnose whether or not the trauma has worsened your condition. That way it can serve as evidence in your case.

What counts as evidence of emotional damages?

Naturally, emotional damages are not as easy to prove as physical damages. In most cases, you would take pictures of your injuries or the environment. You can’t take physical pictures of your emotions. That’s why you need to find a way to document them as you try to recover from your injuries.

The best way of documenting damages is through diary entries and witness statements. If someone else has watched your struggles and knows what psychological ailments have reduced your quality of life, there is a higher chance that you will have a successful claim. You can also keep diary/ video diary entries of the struggles you endure during the day. Another piece of evidence you can collect is from your medical practitioner. You can ask for a medical report or advice on how to cope with certain issues. They can provide written documentation or medication that can help with your condition. We can use these as evidence.

How much could I get from an emotional damages claim?

Before you consider how much you could get for emotional damages, you need to figure out how much you are going to get for your physical injuries. This will depend on how severe they are. Once you have discussed this with your solicitor, they can estimate how much your damages will be worth. They can add your emotional damages to the amount they have estimated your claim is worth.

Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your accident at work claim!

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If you think that you have a valid accident at work claim, Gowing Law Solicitors would be happy to help you! Our experienced work accident solicitors can provide you with free advice and consultations. We can also provide these consultations remotely. This includes communication over the phone or video calls. We can also send important documents electronically.

Are you ready to work with us? If you are then we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means there is no risk to trying to claim compensation. You will not need to pay us anything if we do not win your case.

Get in contact with our work accident solicitors now by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing or using our contact page. One of our team members will then get in touch with you as quickly as possible to discuss your claim.

Learn more about work accident claims

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If you want to learn more information from our interview with Elaine, our operations director, about accident at work claims, why not check out our other interview blogs? You can find them below:

We update our blog weekly! Therefore, you will always find something new to read and enjoy. This includes articles about personal injuries, RTA claims, criminal injury claims, financial mis-selling and cosmetic negligence. If you cannot find what you are looking for, we would be happy to write an article about your topic of choice. Just let us know by emailing

We hope you have enjoyed our article and look forward to seeing you in our next blog!

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