Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Regional letter - Psychiatric harm

19 Dec 2018
APIL news



People who suffer psychiatric damage after the needless death or injury of a loved one must see the event ‘in real life’ in order to pursue justice for their injuries. This law is archaic and inflexible. It was set following the Hillsborough stadium disaster, 30 years ago this coming April. Times have changed and in these days we don’t have to ‘be there’ to witness these tragic events unfolding on our phones, tablets and televisions.


Watching a devastating event happen, when it could and should have been avoided, is traumatic for the relative. Who is to say that seeing and hearing your loved one suffer on television, in images on social media or a phone call is not as traumatic as seeing it happen at the scene? In some cases it may even be worse, as you can do nothing to help a relative you see suffering on screen, you can only watch the horror unfold.


Psychiatric damage is more than feeling ‘a bit low’. It’s a serious, crippling medical condition. These so-called ‘secondary’ victims of negligence should not be subjected to unfair and unrealistic demands before they can be compensated for their injuries.


2019 must be the year the Government finally sees fit to bring the law into the 21st century. Such change is decades overdue.


Brett Dixon


The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

Past letters to the press

Regional newspapers: Being late is taken more seriously than being injured needlessly, 28 Jan 2020
The Scotsman re: Rachel Henry and Alistair Kinley: Fraudulent and dishonest claims getting off Scot-free, 16 Jan 2020
To The Scotsman re: Scotland set to become first choice to bring personal injury actions , 04 Nov 2019
Discount rate disparity in Northern Ireland must be addressed - Belfast Telegraph, 16 Jul 2019
Inquests for stillborn babies , 18 Jun 2019
RE: Firms still fuel rising costs as premiums fall (1 May), 01 May 2019
Regional letter - mesothelioma payment scheme must be extended for all asbestos related diseases, 03 Apr 2019
Glasgow bin lorry tragedy , 28 Nov 2018

More past letters to the press

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431