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Title: Can I claim for Husband's Motorcycle Accident?

Date: 27 June 2012

Question

Last year my husband had a terrible accident with a lorry (lorry driver’s fault) on a roundabout near our house. I heard the collision and went to see what had happened not knowing Sam was involved. I then realised it was Sam on the ground with blood surrounding him and a bone sticking out of his skin. I went with him in the ambulance to hospital and he only just survived having lost a lot of blood.

Since then I have had flashbacks and cannot sleep and feel depressed. A friend of ours says I may also be able to claim compensation – is this right?

Suzie Bates

Answer

You may well have a claim as a Secondary Victim, your husband having been the Primary Victim.

You would need to satisfy the following test:

1. You must have perceived the shocking event (aftermath of Sam’s accident) first hand
2. The shock must be a sudden assault on the your psychiatric system and must not as a result of a gradual accumulation of events over time
3. You must be able to show a ‘close tie of love and affection’ towards Sam
4. It must be reasonably foreseeable that a person of ‘normal fortitude’ would have suffered psychiatric damage.

It therefore appears that you meet the criteria so subject to a formal psychiatric diagnosis your claim should succeed.

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