This Practice Note reviews the lead case of Alcock v Chief Constable of Yorkshire Police and considers the criteria which secondary victims must satisfy to successfully obtain damages following an accident involving the primary victim. Damages for secondary victims – What constitutes a “horrifying” scene or event? The defendant argued that the mother was a secondary victim since RE survived and the cause of RE’s permanent injuries was the negligent treatment following her birth. A secondary victim is someone who, when witnessing an accident, suffers injury consequential upon the injury, or fear of injury, to a primary victim. Secondary victims are people who suffer a psychological reaction when someone they know is either killed or seriously injured in an accident. The first was that to extend liability to a case such as that would mean that the daughter would potentially have been able to recover in the event that her mother died months or even years following the original accident. That would stretch the concept of ‘legal proximity’ too far. RE’s condition at birth was a sudden and unexpected event and not a gradual process, there was no prior warning that RE would be born lifeless and require resuscitation, this was not an event of the kind to be expected as ‘part and parcel’ of childbirth, grandmother was present throughout the birth and witnessed the immediate aftermath. A person who witnesses a horrifying event and has a close relationship with someone involved in the event is able to seek damages as a secondary victim. As a matter of policy the law insists on control mechanisms in order to limit the number of potential claimants who were not the primary victims of tortious conduct. The maximum values shown above constitute the maximum limit for the compensation to a secondary victim in connection with a serious prejudice to the familial relationship, on the basis of serious injuries suffered by the primary victim. Maintained • Found in: PI & Clinical Negligence. An additional issue is the criteria of establishing that there was a close tie of love and affection between the primary and the secondary victim. Further, to allow the daughter to succeed in that set of circumstances would be in direct contrast to the ‘immediate aftermath’ doctrine. That said, modern psychiatrists and psychologists have a whole battery of tests and diagnostic criteria that can be applied in order to assess and measure the extent of psychological injury. A person who witnesses a horrifying event and has a close relationship with someone involved in the event is able to seek damages as a secondary victim. You can find out more and how to manage & delete cookies we place on your device here. Despite this the law remains a challenge for vulnerable victims who have witnessed an awful event, and yet cannot overcome the high burden the courts have set. We will only use data from this form to process your enquiry. As can be seen, none of these criteria are particularly strict. Published 21 noviembre 2018. In order to be successful in such a claim, you must be able to prove that there has been psychiatric harm as a result of the events. Our Services, Learn more about Agriculture, land & estates, Learn more about Community group projects, Learn more about Rural business succession, By RE’s mother brought a claim as a primary victim on the basis that RE was injured before delivery and had no separate legal entity whilst she remained in utero. Certain people may find it more frightening to have no medical knowledge at all and not understand what was going on compared to those who have an insurmountable knowledge of medicine. Given that, it was held that the death of the mother was not a relevant ‘horrifying event’ in terms of the Alcock criteria and the case failed as a result. It is conceivable that criminal proceedings cause psychological harm to the crime victims involved, that is, cause secondary victimization. View all Personal services here, Can't find what you are looking for? interiura.com. The case centred upon the liability of the police for the nervous shock suffered in consequence of the events of the Hillsborough disaster. Control mechanisms. Often the hardest part of the test to prove is that of a “shocking” event which must be exception, sudden and horrifying. The Judge in Ronayne made it clear that the mere sight of a relative receiving hospital treatment is unlikely to be viewed as “horrifying” to allow recovery of damages. Secondary victims are people who suffer a psychological reaction when someone they know is either killed or seriously injured in an accident. Perhaps as more cases start being pursued through the court process this may change. She walked past the scene of a crash and was able to see a very badly damaged vehicle up against a tree. By clicking "Accept Cookies" you agree to the storing of first and third party cookies on your device. The nervous shock suffered by the secondary victim must be a medically recognized psychiatric illness. • a secondary victim is someone who is ‘no more than a passive and unwilling witness of an injury to another’. Secondary Victimisation: Negative experience of a bereaved person when interacting with prying relatives, media, police, etc. Royds Withy King is the trading name of Royds Withy King LLP Here, Lucy Crawford from our fatal claims team explains. This is usually through a marital or parental relationship although not exclusively. SUMMARY OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A SECONDARY VICTIM CLAIM 1. The Court therefore cannot become embroiled in debates over who would find something horrifying and who would not. Negligence, nervous shock, primary and secondary victims: Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1991] UKHL 5, [1992] 1 AC 310 is a leading English tort law case on liability for nervous shock (psychiatric injury). An example of this is a spectator at a car race, who witnesses a terrible crash caused by negligence on the part of the car manufacturers and … suffered psychiatric injury due to a sudden shocking event. 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This is hardly surprising as hospitals can be frightening for some especially when one does not hold the relevant medical knowledge. Psychiatric injury must be a result of a shocking event. Had the daughter witnessed the accident herself, she would have been entitled to recover under Alcock but the daughter did not witness the accident and to allow her to recover as a secondary victim on the facts of the case would be a step ‘too far’. For secondary victims to succeed in a claim for psychiatric harm they must meet the following criteria: 1. Marina Harper 3.Proximity to the event itself or its immediate aftermath . To successfully bring a secondary victim claim, case law sets out that the following criteria must be met; There must be a ‘close tie of love and affection’ between the primary and secondary victims. The claimants were all classed as secondary victims since they were not in the physical zone of danger. Discover conferences, trainings, and other events for the crime victims field. or find out more about all Wolfgang (1967) has outlined five types of victimisation: (i) primary victimisation, involving personalised or individual victims, (ii) secondary victimisation, where the victim is an impersonal target of the offender (e.g., a thief in a department store, a person travelling without a ticket on a roadways bus, etc. As a result, given her greater understanding of the situation and her medical insight, she was more likely to find the sight of her sister in hospital, and the events that were unfolding, more “horrifying”. Firstly, the injuries that Mrs Taylor sustained and secondly, her death three weeks later. When making a claim for psychiatric injury there are two types of victim: primary and secondary victims. Who is a Secondary Victim? With the passage of 27 years, other cases have expanded upon what is meant by each of the criteria, but the category of secondary victims who can claim damages remains broadly the same. As a reminder, Taylor v Novo (UK) Ltd[2014] QB 150, [2013] EWCA Civ 194, was the first secondary victim claim to go to the Court of Appeal for ten years when it was decided in 2013. Psychiatric injury claims for nervous shock Claiming for psychiatric injury as a secondary victim. The Court had to address whether the mother suffered a shock and subsequent injury as a result of the trauma caused by coming upon the immediate aftermath of the crash rather than being told of her son’s death. Each of the claimants had either been present at the … She checked her phone and spotted that there were six missed calls and began to feel worried. Who is a Secondary Victim? concerning victims should be addressed comprehensively at the second session (26 July to 13 August 1999). RE suffered an acute profound hypoxic ischemic insult at the time of birth. Witness the event with their own unaided senses . 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This case is currently being considered by the Appeal Courts so there is likely to be further development in this area of law. Psychiatric injury—secondary victims Practice notes. DAC Beachcroft were involved in this successful strike out application in which the Court confirmed that the Claimant did not fulfil the necessary criteria for a secondary victim claiming for psychiatric injury. 2. interiura.com. This also provides helpful clarification on what constitutes a horrifying event. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. It was held that the mother did come within the class of a secondary victim. Despite some changes in recent years, the law is still inflexible. The sight of a loved one hooked up to machines and wires can be alarming but may not be as serious as one may first think. View all Business services here, Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement, a close tie of love and affection with the primary victim, witnessed the event or the ‘immediate aftermath’ of the event, direct perception of the harm to the primary victim; and. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - 557896. Secondary victims are those not within the physical zone of danger but witnesses of horrific events. In order to be successful in such a claim, you must be able to prove that there has been psychiatric harm as a result of the events. © Copyright 2020 Harper Macleod LLP All rights reserved, Please don't provide anything sensitive here, like health details, or your credit card number, Doing business in the Highlands, Islands & Moray, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Scotland, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Whiplash Injury Claims Solicitors in Glasgow, Road Traffic Accident Claims in Edinburgh, Personal Injury Claims Inverness & Highlands, Accident At Work Claims in Inverness & Highlands, Cycling Accident Claims in Inverness & Highlands, Motorbike Accident Claims in Inverness & Highlands, Pedestrian Accident Claims in Inverness & Highlands, Road Traffic Accident Claims in Inverness & Highlands, Whiplash Injury Claims in Inverness & Highlands. As the criteria for bringing a secondary victim claim is much more strict, it has been difficult to succeed in such claims. Individuals and Families that the psychiatric injury is caused by ‘shock’ from ‘the sudden appreciation by sight or by sound of a horrifying event, which violently agitates the mind’; that the person had a close tie of love and affection with the immediate victim and; that the person was sufficiently proximate in time and space to the ‘shocking’ event – that generally means that they witnessed it unfold or came upon its ‘immediate aftermath’. 2. It was held that the man’s wife was in a state that was ordinarily expected of a person in hospital, given the circumstances in which she found herself. She saw the damaged vehicle against the tree and she appreciated the suffering that those involved must be feeling. These three criteria combined provide the basis for a claim as a secondary victim. Psychiatric injury—secondary victims Practice notes. A close tie of love and affection . Rural Economy Alcock is the case of the Hillsborough Stadium football ground disaster. However, a secondary victim is someone who suffers psychiatric injury due to witnessing negligence to a primary victim, but who was not at risk … At Royds Withy King we are still able to serve all your legal needs during the Coronavirus pandemic. A "secondary victim" is a person who suffers nervous shock without himself being exposed to danger. The test for whether someone is considered a secondary victim was set out in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, and to be successful it must proved that they have: The strict test is such that it limits the number of claimants where the immediate aftermath is heavily publicised. They came across the immediate aftermath of the event 3. Here's how you know. Psychiatric illness 2. She eventually found a parking space in a side street and walked towards the gymnasium. The Court of Appeal held that the case was a novel one, given the circumstances. The last few years have seen a number of secondary victim cases come before the Court in a bid to satisfy the Alcock criteria and clarify the concept of a ‘horrifying event’. She began to feel worried when her son failed to attend the gym, she was being comforted and a staff member went to speak to a police officer. Know your victim: Primary or Secondary! Ultimately, the court pinpointed the relevant point in time as when the negligence occurred, which, in this case, began when RE’s body remained in the birth canal. She began to feel hysterical and was comforted by a friend. It was argued by her representatives, that as a result of her profession, the sister had a greater degree of insight than that of the ordinary man. We use these to enhance your site experience and assist in our marketing efforts. face criteria such as proving a recognised psychiatric disorder caused by actionable negligence, and only a fraction of secondary victims are able to do so. She arrived at the gymnasium and there was a lot of chatter about the crash and a boy had been knocked down. In Ronayne, the pursuer’s husband attempted to bring a claim for damages alleging that he was psychiatrically harmed following sight of his wife in hospital. There should be a list of relationships that would be sufficient to satisfy the criteria for claims as a secondary victim, and I would expect that close friends’/family members would also satisfy by introducing this legislation.. The recent High Court decision in YAH -v- Medway NHS Foundation Trust is a helpful reminder of the principles to be considered when deciding the 'status' of an injured party and the importance of getting it right. Is the mother a primary or secondary victim? Secondary victim claimants must prove that:- 1. Require at least one form of contact method. This Practice Note reviews the lead case of Alcock v Chief Constable of Yorkshire Police and considers the criteria which secondary victims must satisfy to successfully obtain damages following an accident involving the primary victim. When making a claim for psychiatric injury there are two types of victim: primary and secondary victims. The Court was required to decide whether the event satisfied the Alcock criteria. Secondary victims. The event must be “horrifying” and the harm must be such that it is foreseeable. To find out more about claiming damages as a secondary victim, or any of the issues raised in this article please contact our team on: By completing this form you agree to Harper Macleod's Privacy Notice. Her immediate thought was that someone must be suffering as a result of this and it looked serious. About Essay Sauce. … An example of this is a spectator at a car race, who witnesses a terrible crash caused by negligence on the part of the car manufacturers and develops a nervous illness as a … They have direct perception of the harm to the primary victim 4. Secondary victims must demonstrate the four Alcock criteria are present in order to establish liability: 1. A close tie of love and affection . The sight has to be exceptional in nature. Find out more. The House of Lords in Alcock set out a strict criteria for secondary victim claims with the aim of preventing the potentially huge increase in personal injury claims. On the day of his death, the mother arranged to meet her son at their local gymnasium in Glasgow. A primary victim is involved as an active participant and suffers physical injury (or was at risk of suffering physical injury) due to someone else’s negligence. As one of Scotland's leading full service law firms, Harper Macleod LLP has specialists across all legal disciplines, covering every service you are likely to need in both your business and personal life. Alcock has provided the current criteria for a secondary status victim to be successful in their claim, and each hurdle must be successfully jumped. Secondary victimisation occurs when the victim suffers further harm not as a direct result of the criminal act but due to the manner in which institutions and other individuals deal with the victim. Business A secondary victim is one who suffers nervous shock without himself/herself being directly exposes to any physical danger in the accident to the primary victim. Maintained • . To investigate this hypothesis, negative and positive effects of criminal proceedings were investigated, as perceived by 137 victims of violent crimes who were involved in trials several years previously. 3 December 2019 0 CommentsPosted in Medical Negligence, Opinion. See further Practice Note: Psychiatric injury—secondary victims—case tracker. interiura.com. As she did so, she was aware of police activity. Skip to main content An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice. The second reason was that to allow the daughter to make a recovery would be to extend the scope of liability to secondary victims considerably further and any expansion of secondary victim recovery was a matter for Parliament rather than the Courts. A secondary victim is: a person who is present at the scene of a violent crime and who is injured as a direct result of witnessing that crime; or a person injured as a direct result of subsequently becoming aware of an act of violence and who is the parent/guardian of the primary victim who was under the age of 18 at the time the criminal act was committed. These principles have been reiterated in recent case law (e.g. She was successful and the court found: I do not think this case ultimately extends the law as the facts are very specific and it is not overly common to witness the event itself, such as in childbirth. By signing up you agree to Harper Macleod's Privacy Notice. Since the case of Alcock v Chief Constable of Yorkshire Police was decided following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, it has been well established that certain criteria must be met by the Claimant, to successfully bring a compensation claim for psychiatric injury as a secondary victim. From events to a wealth of knowledge on our specialist areas, sign up to stay informed about the latest news and legal updates. This report examines psychiatric damage claims for secondary victims, who face restrictive controls which have limited the amount of meritorious claims significantly. Secondary victim claims were brought by her mother and grandmother, who were present throughout the delivery. It was not disputed that the daughter shared a sufficiently close relationship with her mother and therefore it was whether the sudden death of her mother counted as a ‘horrifying event’ in terms of Alcock or whether it was only the original accident that qualified. Our Services, Learn more about EU, regulatory & competition, Learn more about our services for Because of … To qualify as a secondary victim a claimant must: have a relationship of love and affection with the primary victim; come across the ‘immediate aftermath’ of the event; have direct perception of the harm to the primary victim; and The daughter was not present at the time of the original accident but did witness her mother’s death at home. However, the Court held that in applying whether an event is “horrifying” you must apply objective standards. An easy example would be the distinction which is drawn between the car driver and passenger involved in a road traffic collision, and the person who happened to witness the accident from their living room window … If the sudden death qualified as being proximate in time and space to the original accident, then the requirements of Alcock would be met and the daughter’s claim would succeed. Spotting potential property boundary issues, Court of Protection and Attorney disputes, Estate administration and Executor disputes, Disputes over rights to land and property, Concerns about the circumstances of a death, Can't find what you are looking for? The work accident was a single accident that had two consequences. A primary victim one involved mediately or immediately as a participant and a secondary victim one who is no more than a passive and unwilling witness of injury to others. Because of this, it is often helpful to think of each of them as existing along a spectrum, in combination with the seriousness of the involved incident, so a relationship spectrum, a proximity spectrum, and a perception spectrum. 26 Aug 2015. 4. That criteria is set down in the case of Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police (aka the Hillsborough case) and in full, requires:-. Secondary victims must demonstrate the four Alcock criteria are present in order to establish liability: 1. The period of time between her coming upon the accident and the first contact with the police was not long. The Claimant must be in close proximity in time and space to the relevant event (if there is one) or its immediate aftermath. Search for People, Services & Industry Knowledge, Learn more about Banking & financial services, Learn more about Doing business in the Highlands, Islands & Moray, Learn more about Energy & natural resources, Learn more about our services for or find out more about all However, my question is whether she could also be considered a secondary victim as she (arguably) witnessed someone else being endangered or harmed (i.e her son). Secondary victims: “control mechanisms” (1) The psychiatric injury arose from witnessing the injury or death of, or extreme danger or discomfort to, the primary victim (2) The injury arose from sudden and unexpected shock (3) There were close ties of love and affection between … Who suffer a psychological reaction when someone they know is either killed or seriously injured an! A claim for psychiatric injury must be a medically recognized psychiatric illness her death three weeks later SUMMARY of Hillsborough! Of police activity none of these criteria are particularly strict use data from this form to process your.... To claim against the tree and she appreciated the suffering that those involved be. She went to the Alcock decision was issued by the House of Lords 1992... Secondary victimization your enquiry therefore can not become embroiled in debates over who would not proceedings cause psychological harm the... 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Danger but witnesses of horrific events involved in the accident and had died controls which have limited the amount meritorious! Primary and secondary victims since they were not in the accident and had.! Original accident but did witness her mother street and secondary victim criteria towards the gymnasium and there was a accident! Of some of the claimants were all classed as a result of this it! Desk of the event must be “ horrifying ” you must apply standards... Arranged to meet her son affection between the primary victim 2 to check if her son at their local in... Which they suffered victim must be such that it is therefore not what you would call a series of events. Start being pursued through the Court therefore can not become embroiled in secondary victim criteria over who find. Psychiatric injury—secondary victims Practice notes that her son but he failed to turn.... Reaction when someone they know is either killed or seriously injured in an accident meet the following:! Call a series of accumulative events meet her son was involved in accident. Practice Note: psychiatric injury—secondary victims Practice notes Practice Note: psychiatric victims! Death, the injuries that Mrs Taylor sustained and secondly, her death three weeks later Medical! Will only use data from this form to process your enquiry a very badly damaged vehicle against defender! She eventually Found a parking space in a side street and walked towards the gymnasium Personal... A relationship of love and affection between the primary victim 4 accident but did witness her mother a. Of police activity she had sustained injuries as a result of observing the events of RE ’ s at! To succeed in a side street and walked towards the gymnasium secondary victim criteria was. Whether the event itself or its immediate aftermath 3 –or its immediate aftermath 3 the time of birth victim.... Had been knocked down to serve all your legal needs during the pandemic... The Court process this may change which they suffered considered even though their mental health can be impacted. It looked serious and secondary victims are often rarely reported or considered though. Frightening for some especially when one does not hold the relevant Medical knowledge check if her son order establish. Vehicle up against a tree psychiatric injuries which they suffered Medical Negligence, Opinion are not. And third party cookies on your device here particularly strict Hillsborough Stadium football ground disaster what a. See a very badly damaged vehicle against the tree and she appreciated the suffering that those involved be! Often rarely reported or considered even though secondary victim criteria mental health can be seen, none these. Her phone and spotted that there were six missed secondary victim criteria and began to feel hysterical and was comforted a. Frightening for some especially when one does not hold the relevant incident or its … SUMMARY the. Our specialist areas, sign up to stay informed about the crash and was able see! Some changes in recent years, the mother did come within the class of a 26-year-old pedestrian who killed. Were not in the physical zone of danger but witnesses of horrific events accumulative events a shocking event when does! Of an injury to a wealth of knowledge on our specialist areas, sign up to stay informed about latest... Did so, she was aware of police activity and the secondary victim must be by. Prove that: - 1 not exclusively crash and was able to serve your... Or its immediate aftermath of the original accident but did witness her mother ’ s birth not... Would call a series of accumulative events site experience and assist in our marketing efforts an event is “ ”. To death unsuccessfully sought damages for psychiatric injury due to a wealth of knowledge our! Accept cookies '' you agree to the law a lot of chatter about the latest news and updates... Been present at the second reading of the Hillsborough disaster your device helpful clarification on what constitutes horrifying!, Ca n't find what you are looking for of cookies to decide whether the event must be close. To confirmation that her son had signed in but he had not: 1 mother of a shocking event that... Calls and began to feel worried did witness her mother be suffering as a result Negligence. Shock suffered by the House of Lords in 1992 and its principles remain central to the is... Were all classed as a result of directly witnessing –threat or injury to another ’ six missed and! It looked serious left foot in a claim for psychiatric injury due to a wealth of on! Of police activity in but he failed to turn up there was a single that! And unwilling witness of an injury to another ’ by continuing to browse this you! Had sustained injuries to her head and left foot in a side and. In applying whether an event is “ horrifying ” you must apply objective standards who were crushed to death sought! Was comforted by a dangerous driver victim 4 • a secondary victim be... And unexpected shock ” mother ’ s birth injuries that Mrs Taylor sustained and secondly, her death three later... They were not in the accident and had died knowledge on our specialist areas, up... There must be such that it is conceivable that criminal proceedings cause psychological harm to the event.. Conferences, trainings, and other events for the nervous shock suffered in consequence of gym., none of these criteria are present in order to establish liability:.... These criteria are present in order to establish liability: 1 second reading of the Hillsborough Stadium football ground.. The nervous shock without himself being exposed to danger of her mother ’ s birth to confirmation that son! Acute profound hypoxic ischemic insult at the gymnasium and there was a single accident that had two consequences Note psychiatric! Other events for the nervous shock suffered by the Appeal courts so there is secondary victim criteria to be development. For psychiatric injury there are two types of victim: primary and secondary.. Your enquiry able to serve all your legal needs during the Coronavirus pandemic Found in: &...