Psychiatric Injury: Who Should Be Held Accountable?
Psychiatric injury is an illness recognized by a qualified psychiatrist or a clinical psychologists. Although they may appear to be doing fine, victims of psychiatric injury can suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic fatigue syndrome.
This type of injury can occur from shock, grief, distress, emotional trauma, extended anxiety, war, health concerns, overwhelming work, sleep deprivation or a combination of the above. Once a patient is diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, it can bring down the quality of life for the patient and their loved ones and in many cases a degree of anxiety sets.
A psychiatric injury can occur to a bystander or rescuer by simply watching an incident unfold. Such patients are categorized as secondary victims while the person suffering directly is called a primary victim. Secondary victims are eligible for compensation if certain conditions are met, depending on each case’s unique circumstances.
The treatment for a psychiatric condition is long and a patient may become vulnerable to issues such as their ability to cope with life and work, the effect on family, the extent to which a treatment may be successful, future vulnerability to further psychiatric injury and the prognosis.
Canada’s legal system has set provisions to hold the party causing a psychiatric condition on a victim accountable for the damages. Since a psychiatric condition is very hard to detect, a qualified psychiatrist’s diagnosis carries a significant weight. In some cases, an incident may not have even happened but came close to happening, triggering a traumatic condition.
If you or your loved one are in need of a professional opinion specific to your situation, our experienced lawyers can assess your circumstances and provide legal advice. For more information, please call Futerman Partners at 416-925-4100 or visit our website www.futermanpartners.com.