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Med J Aust. 2001 Aug 6;175(3):129-32.

Relationship between compensation claims for psychiatric injury and severity of physical injuries from motor vehicle accidents.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW. mlarge@ozemail.com.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the relationship between compensation claims for psychiatric injury after motor vehicle accidents and physical injuries sustained.

DESIGN:

Audit of Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance claims.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING:

559 consecutive CTP claims referred by NRMA Insurance Limited to its sole provider of CTP legal services during a three-month period in 1994 after the claimant had engaged legal representation.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Claim for psychiatric injury (any psychiatric disorder excluding traumatic brain injury) supported by a medicolegal report from a psychiatrist, other medical practitioner or psychologist; pre-existing psychiatric disorders; Injury Severity Score; initial treatment setting; hospital stay; percentage of accidents involving loss of consciousness or a death.

RESULTS:

522 claims were eligible for the study; 19.5% (102/522) included a claim for psychiatric injury. A pre-existing depression or anxiety disorder was documented in 11 claims (2.1% of all claims and 3.9% of those claiming psychiatric injury). Only very severe injuries, particularly those involving loss of consciousness, were associated with an increased rate of claims for psychiatric injury.

CONCLUSIONS:

No association was found between claims for psychiatric injury and severity of physical injuries, except among those most severely injured.

PMID:
11548077
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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