Your report on the Chancery Lane Tube crash (30 January, Insurance Times) correctly stated that there were no fatalities. It went on to say that public liability (PL) and employers' liability (EL) claims would be minor.

This presumably is based on the fact that the 32 people injured in the accident had only minor (physical) injuries. However, a number of those involved said the accident was the "most frightening experience of my life" and "very scary".

In accidents such as this, in which individuals are very frightened many may develop long term

psychological problems, such as post traumatic stress disorder or travel phobia. These conditions may occur even in the absence of a significant physical injury. Recent work by Professor Mayou and his colleagues at Oxford suggest that this may occur in up to one in three of those with minor injuries and persist for a year or more after the accident.

In this case about ten individuals may have long term illness and absence from work, which would have obvious consequences for their insurers. The absence of physical injuries does not guarantee a rapid return to health and to work.

J Wilson Carswell
Medical director
Moving Minds

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