Compensation for witnessing an accident: Father wins claim after seeing his son suffer injury.
We have won compensation totaling in excess of £60,000 for a father who was present when his son suffered horrendous injuries in an accident at work.
During the course of her investigations into a compensation claim for a young man who had suffered life-changing injuries in an industrial accident, personal injury lawyer Elizabeth Duncan spoke with the victim’s father who had been at the scene at the time his son was injured. Father and son worked together in a factory and the father was one of the first on the scene after his son suffered terrible injuries due to a factory machine malfunctioning. His father saw his son’s grievous injuries in the immediate aftermath of the accident. He was with him while he received emergency first aid and treatment from paramedics before being taken to hospital by air ambulance.
The father took some time off work to support his son while he was in hospital. When he returned to work he found it extremely difficult to cope. Being in the same place where he had seen his son suffer life-changing injuries was distressing. He felt anxious and panicky. When the first aid alarm in the factory went off he suffered distressing intrusive memories.
Although he initially struggled on, he was ultimately unable to keep going and was signed off work by his GP.
Elizabeth recognised that the father also had a claim for compensation for injuries suffered by him as a result of witnessing his son’s injuries. She therefore offered to deal with his compensation claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
In England and Wales the law recognises that psychiatric harm can be caused to a person as a result of an accident, even if that person was not physically injured themselves. Where the psychologically harmed witness has a “close tie of love and affection” with the physically injured person then they may have a claim for compensation for the psychological harm suffered as a result of seeing their loved one hurt.
The factory that employed our clients denied liability for the accident for various reasons. We were not convinced by their defence and pressed on with the claims.
We obtained a report from a psychologist about the harm suffered by the father. The report confirmed the extent of his psychological injury and recommended that he have treatment. It was thought unlikely that he would ever be able to return to work in the factory where the accident had happened.
Despite their denials of liability the factory made an offer to settle the father’s claim, and, after a period of negotiation, Elizabeth secured an out of court settlement for him in excess of £60,000. The separate claim of his son who suffered such terrible physical injuries continues.
For guidance on claiming compensation for witnessing an accident contact our experienced team on 0808 139 1606 or send a brief details of your case to us by email at [email protected]