Abuse victim awarded over 20 times more from CICA with expert legal advice

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Brave childhood abuse victim awarded £223,000 with the help of expert legal advice - over 20 times the initial criminal injuries compensation authority (CICA) award.

Mrs W was diagnosed with a permanent disabling mental illness after suffering sexual abuse as a child.

The lifelong trauma she suffered, and continues to suffer, has affected every aspect of her life including her ability to work.

Mrs W was instrumental in the prosecution and conviction of her abuser who had abused other child victims in the past.

Mrs W came to Digby Brown Solicitors for expert legal advice on seeking financial compensation in relation to the life long mental illness she has suffered as a result of the childhood abuse.

Our specialist solicitors applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for compensation on Mrs W’s behalf - but they awarded just £11,000 based on the type of offences committed against her.

Mrs W’s solicitor requested that this award was reviewed, arguing she was entitled to more compensation due to the severity of her mental illness and her loss of earnings.

CICA then came back with a compensation award of £16,200.

CICA assessed Mrs W as being eligible for £27,000 under the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme as they accepted she suffered a permanent disabling mental illness.

However, the government body deducted 40% because “other life stressors” contributed to Mrs W’s mental illness. It did not make any award for the loss of earnings she suffered as a result of her inability to work due to her illness.

Digby Brown advised Mrs W to reject this award and appeal the decision at Tribunal on the basis that CICA had misapplied the scheme.

With full funding under Compensate, Mrs W’s solicitor was able to instruct expert medical reports on the severity of Mrs W’s illness, prognosis and the effects on her ability to work.

Expert representation and reports helped highlight to the CICA decision had been inherently wrong and Mrs W should be eligible for a maximum injury award and a full loss of earnings award. 

The expertise and tenacity adopted by our solicitors meant the tribunal agreed CICA had misapplied the awards scheme.

Mrs W was awarded £223,000 – this was over 20 times the initial award given by CICA. She received the maximum injury award for permanent disabling mental injury which is seriously disabling and the maximum loss of earnings award available to her under the CICA scheme.

Fern Mapp, specialist personal injury solicitor at Digby Brown’s Edinburgh office, said: “Applications to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) can be made without a solicitor. However, if the authority makes the wrong award decision to the detriment of the applicant, it can be difficult for victims of violent crime to interpret and understand the scheme which puts them at a disadvantage.

“I would strongly advise that innocent victims of violent crime seek specialist legal advice to ensure that they receive fair and just compensation for their injuries, helping them to move forward with their lives.”