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Examination Timing: 00H00M01S

Linda, the mother of an eight-year-old girl who had been seriously injured in a road accident, called her husband Mark at the scene. He heard their daughter's screams and the sounds of the ambulance arriving. The girl died two days later in hospital in Mark's arms. Which of the following statements best explains Mark's legal position regarding a claim for psychiatric illness?

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Mark would not succeed in a claim for psychiatric illness because he was not present at the immediate aftermath of the accident, nor had he seen or heard the accident with his own unaided senses. The key case of Boylan v Keegan (2001) illustrates that proximity in both time and space is essential for a claim of psychiatric injury. The claimant must have a direct perception of the accident or its immediate aftermath to establish a duty of care. Hearing the incident over the phone does not satisfy this requirement. 

Key Point: The Boylan v Keegan case underscores the importance of direct sensory perception and proximity to the incident for claims of psychiatric injury. Claimants must be present at the scene or witness the immediate aftermath with their own senses to establish a valid claim.

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