Sexual abuse victim’s compensation increased from £27,000 to over £181,000 after we pursue successful CICA appeal
Background to the claim
We were approached by a young man who had suffered serious sexual abuse at the hands of a family ‘friend’. When visiting the man’s house to spend time with his cousin playing computer games, our client was sexually assaulted and raped by this man over a three week period. The man in question had made threats to harm our client’s family, including his younger siblings, if he told anyone of the abuse. However, he was eventually able to disclose the abuse to his family, who supported him in reporting the matter to the Police. The man in question initially denied the charges brought against him, which forced our client to give evidence in Court. However, during the trial the man his changed his plea to guilty. He received an 18 year custodial sentence for his crimes.
Application for CICA compensation
It was immediately clear that our client was extremely traumatised by the abuse he had suffered. He required support from his family in seeking legal advice from our specialist team of lawyers. Because the man who abused him did not have any money or assets to make a claim against, we advised our client to claim compensation from the government run Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or CICA.
No Win, No Fee
We agreed to pursue the CICA application on a No Win,No Fee basis. Our client therefore had the peace of mind of knowing that if his application for compensation was not successful he would not have to pay any legal costs.
CICA offer £16,500
An application was submitted on his behalf. This resulted in the CICA making him an offer of £16,500.
We advised that the offer was grossly insufficient. A review of the decision was sought. This was supported by medical evidence from a specialist psychiatry expert regarding the effect the abuse had on our client. A diagnosis was made of a severe and permanently disabling mental injury as a result of the abuse. Our expert also concluded that our client would never be able to engage in paid employment as a result of his injury and recommendations were made in respect of treatment.
It is not possible to recover the cost of private medical treatment under the CICA Scheme. Rachel Thain, the specialist abuse lawyer dealing with the claim, therefore supported her client in assisting him with a referral to his local complex care team. Due to the severity of his condition, home visits were necessary and he received significant input from the team.
CICA increase offer to £22,000
In response to our submissions the CICA increased their offer to £22,000. This was still far below the level of compensation we felt our client was entitled to.
The CICA appeal
We therefore proceeded with a formal appeal seeking compensation in excess of £180,000.
The CICA responded with another offer, but still only £27,000. Although the CICA did eventually accept that our client’s injury was both severe and permanent, they refused the claim for loss of earnings on the basis that our client had learning difficulties prior to the abuse and therefore would not have worked in any event.
Client awarded £181,000
On our advice the CICA appeal proceeded. After considering the evidence we had presented, the First Tier Tribunal made an award of over £181,000.
Abuse lawyer, Rachel Thain, commented:-
“Despite the serious trauma suffered by our client the CICA consistently refused to give proper consideration to his claim. I must commend him for his bravery and commitment in sticking with the matter throughout the review and appeal process. I could not accept that it was reasonable for the CICA to suggest he would never have worked even if the abuse had not taken place. I am so pleased the tribunal judges agreed and made the full award we had sought. I hope this will give him a sense of security for the future.”
How we can help you
If you are the victim of sexual abuse or any crime of violence and wish to pursue a CICA compensation claim then give us a call or drop us an email. We will be able to prepare your application so as to maximise the claim for compensation. We can also assist where an offer has already been made by the CICA and you wish to either review that offer or make a CICA appeal. You can call our free helpline in confidence on 0808 139 1597 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org