In claims for psychiatric injury, what is the difference between primary and secondary victims?
Under the law of tort, what are the differences between primary and secondary victims when trying to make a claim for psychiatric injury
What are the distinctions between primary and secondary victims of psychiatric illness?
A primary victim is a one who could have been in immediate physical danger, but only suffered psychiatric illness (White v CC of South Yorkshire ). It is possible that even if the physical harm did not materialise, a defendant could still be liable to a victim of psychiatric harm (Page v Smith).
Secondary victims are those who were not in any danger of harm but rather become psychiatrically ill due to witnessing the death/injury of an immediate victim in which they have a loving and affectionate relationship with (Alcock v CC of South Yorkshire Police ().
It is important to note that the psychiatric injury must be a medically recognised condition. Thus, normal grief and distress would be insufficient.