LLB (Hons), BMedia, GDLP
Floyd BakewellP: 08 8216 3359
Floyd graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2015 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia in September 2016.
Floyd works in all areas of personal injury law including professional negligence, child sex abuse claims, class actions, product liability, public liability, motor vehicle accidents, workers compensation and victims of crime claims.
Member - Law Society of South Australia
Volunteer Judge - Adelaide University Law Students’ Society Negotiations Competition
AREAS OF PRACTICEPersonal Injury Lawyers Sexual Abuse Class Actions Medical Negligence Public Liability Motor Vehicle Accidents Workers’ Compensation
The difference between having a psychiatric injury and being stressed – for the purposes of your legal claim
Different personal injury claims require a firmer diagnosis than others.
Personal injury claims for psychiatric injuries are not new, and are nearly as prevalent as claims for physical injuries, particularly in areas like workers compensation, child sexual abuse claims, motor vehicle accidents, and personal injury claims of many other types.
In most cases, a medical assessment and report by a psychiatrist will be required to successfully pursue a claim.
The psychiatrists often diagnose an injury under the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly known as the DSM.
The DSM sets out guidelines/criteria for which particular psychiatric injuries are to be diagnosed.
Common psychiatric injuries that are diagnosed in this way include significant injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and Anxiety. More minor psychiatric injuries, such as Adjustment Disorder, are also diagnosed in this way.
Some assessments of psychiatric injuries are based on what is called a GEPIC assessment, or a Guide to the Evaluation of Psychiatric Impairment for Clinicians assessment.
Either are valid forms of assessment.
However, neither form of assessment recognises stress only.
Stress itself may be like a symptom of a psychiatric injury, in the way that back pain is a symptom of a back injury, or it may purely be a reaction to ordinary stressors such as work or family commitments.
Consequently, a claim for something like stress and inconvenience itself is quite rare. However a claim for stress and inconvenience is available in some limited circumstances, such as in the case of home flooding, where the negligence of another party has caused the stress and inconvenience.
Nevertheless, a psychiatric injury is required for the majority of personal injury actions, and mere stress is not enough.
If you think you may wish to pursue a claim for a psychiatric or psychological injury, but are unsure whether you have a sufficient basis to make a claim, contact DBH Personal Injury Lawyers on 1800 324 324 or send us a message, to arrange an obligation‑free appointment with one of our personal injury solicitors.
“What’s this medical assessment for?”
In your personal injury claim, you are likely to see a doctor many times, both for treatment and to assist the assessment of your legal claim; it can sometimes be confusing why you are seeing a particular doctor.
Injured claimants often have to see a number of doctors, both organised by their lawyers, and by those on the other side of the claim. These appointments with doctors, or ‘examinations’, are commonly referred to as “medico-legal examinations”.
Each time a claimant sees a doctor for an independent medico-legal examination, the doctor produces a written report which is likely to be used as evidence in the claim. If you are seeing your treating doctor they will not normally produce a report, unless they are asked to by your lawyer, or by the other side.
Different medical reports have different uses. Consider the examples of reports in motor vehicle accident and workers compensation matters below.
Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
For injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident occurring on or after 1 July 2013, the most important attendance at a doctor is for an Injury Scale Value assessment.
The Injury Scale Value report is important in determining the injured claimant’s entitlement to compensation, as the Injury Scale Value (“ISV”) score provided by the doctor will be considered by the Court to determine whether certain compensation thresholds are met, and whether the injured person is allowed to claim particular types of compensation.
In workers compensation matters there is a “once and for all” assessment, in relation to injuries arising from a workplace accident or trauma.
This assessment is called a Whole Person Impairment assessment or permanent impairment assessment.
Similarly to the motor vehicle accident scheme, a Whole Person Impairment assessment provides a percentage rating score, which sounds in different entitlements to compensation.
As these examinations are significant for a claim, the way they are arranged and the information given to the doctor can be extremely important.
If you are about to accept an appointment or arrange an appointment for an independent medical examination, you may want to obtain legal advice before the appointment takes place. DBH Personal Injury Solicitors can provide you with advice about any issue regarding the arrangement of, or an arranged, independent medical examination. You can contact Duncan Basheer Hannon on 1800 324 324 or send us a message, to arrange an obligation‑free appointment with one of our Personal Injury Solicitors.