Is it possible to include group gymnastics accident counselling in a personal injury compensation claim, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to receive an injury while training or performing? The answer is yes – with some qualifications.
The necessity of counselling
Gymnastics, like all sports, has a large mental component. You need an awareness of your own body, personal resilience and trust in your team mates. When all goes well, the pay-off is huge in terms of achievement and general well-being. In the wake of an accident, however, it’s not unusual for the situation to change very quickly. Your confidence falters and your trust crumbles. Trauma can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks and difficulty sleeping. For serious performers, gymnastics is a large part of their identity and the consequences of injury to their mental health can be significant.
Put those effects together with the fact that lack of exercise or a complete change of life prospects often contribute to general depression and it’s no wonder that doctors sometimes refer accident victims for counselling. Talking to someone and using specific therapeutic strategies such as cognitive behavioural therapy can help an individual negotiate change and overcome the obstacles that are inhibiting their full recovery.
Including counselling in a claim
If a doctor judges that because of your injury group gymnastics accident counselling is necessary, he or she will probably give you a National Health Services (NHS) referral, leading to free treatment. In this case, it’s the indirect costs for the counselling – transport and prescription costs, for example – that you might be able to include in a claim.
However, NHS mental health services are notoriously overstretched and waiting times are long. Obviously, treatment is always better sooner rather than later, so you may also be able to claim for a contribution to the cost of counselling from a private practitioner or clinic. If you take this route, however, bear in mind that as with anything in a compensation claim, you’ll need to obtain a medical report from your doctor stating that the counselling is necessary to your recovery.
What if I’ve already begun private counselling?
It often happens that people go for private counselling after an accident before they realise they can include the cost of it in a claim. As long as there is evidence, such as medical notes, to show why it is necessary, and you’ve kept any invoices and receipts, there shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, predicting the total cost of treatment is often easier after you’ve had your first session exploring the scope of the problem.
If you’re uncertain about this aspect of your claim, don’t hesitate to get in touch whenever you feel up to it, using our free, 24-hour helpline 0800 180 4123. Recovery can be a difficult time for decision making and our trained advisers will be happy to answer your questions and give you any information you need. At Accident Advice Helpline, we focus solely on personal injury law, so our solicitors have the most up-to-date knowledge possible, drawn from the thousands of claims we process every year.
Date Published: November 28, 2014
Author: David Brown
Category: Other sporting accident claims