Significant Compensation for Criminal Injuries
Tom was 21 when he was the victim of an unprovoked assault. He was attacked in the street in October 2004 and taken to hospital. Tom suffered a traumatic brain injury in the attack and he stayed in hospital for over 3 weeks before he was discharged. After he got home, Tom still had a number of symptoms from the brain injury. These included poor balance, a left sided tremor, blurred vision, impairment of memory, low mood and bad temper.
Tom required extensive care from his parents when he returned home. He was unable to cook for himself, could not drive, and was unable to undertake any household chores. He insisted however, that he would bath and dress himself, albeit that these were done under supervision. In addition to family support he was sufficiently badly injured to receive care from his local Authority.
Tom had worked ever since leaving school and at the time of the assault was employed as a night watchman. His employer was extremely satisfied with his work so they had made plans for Tom to develop his skills and begin forklift truck driving. Unfortunately however, he was not able to return to this employment as a result of the effects of his injury. Tom has tried to find alternative employment since the attack, but without success. Moreover he has been unable to continue with his pre-incident hobbies of football, bowling, pool and chess.
Originally Tom was assisted by Victim Support who helped him to submit his application for compensation. However, because of the complexity of his case, he was recommended to our Personal Injury team. We have considerable expertise in pursuing claims for Criminal Injuries Compensation arising out of brain injuries so we were able to advise Tom.
Assessing Tom’s Compensation for Criminal Injuries
Immediately prior to instructing us Tom had received an offer from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority of just under £18,000. He instructed us to advise him as to whether or not he should accept this offer. The alternative option was that we should invite the CICA to review this award. We discussed the case in detail with Tom and we looked at his medical records. After this we took the view that the CICA offer was considerably too low. Regardless of anything else, the fact that Tom was no longer able to work indicated a future loss of earnings well in excess of the sum offered.
We then sought a review of the award. In challenging the CICA assessment, we persuaded Tom to see an independent neuropsychiatrist. This specialist assessed him and set out the nature of his deficits and the consequences of these for the rest of his life. Once the neuropsychiatric report was obtained we prepared a detailed Schedule of Losses to submit to the Authority. The Schedule of Loss drew on the opinion of the expert neuropsychiatrist and allowed us to challenge all the assumptions on which the CICA offer was made.
In October 2013, the CICA returned with an offer just under £250,000 – based very largely on the calculations we had submitted to them. This of course represented a 13 fold increase in the value of his claim – an offer which Tom readily accepted.
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