CICA Appeal Tribunal Success

CICA Appeal Tribunal Success - £500,000 Award by Plymouth Tribunal

Nicola Gregory, an Associate with the Personal Injury team, has successfully secured a compensation award of £500,000 against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) following a successful Appeal to the Appeals Tribunal, on behalf of a brain injured client, Mr K.

On 28th January 2015, the Plymouth Appeal Tribunal panel of three, unanimously awarded Mr K the maximum award payable under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2008, following an appeal against the original decision of the CICA to award him £24,550 in September 2011.

In 2009 Mr. K, who was in his early 30’s, was assaulted by 3 youths in an unprovoked attack which caused significant head injuries, and left Mr K with brain damage, a lost sense of smell, memory problems, and the likelihood that he would never work again. His mother gave up her employment to look after him with only limited help available to the family from the local authority services. With the help of his mother, Mr K applied for compensation through the CICA and was initially awarded the sum of £19,050 but with little or no medical evidence obtained by the CICA. Without having the benefit of any legal advice, Mrs. K queried the award with the CICA who reviewed it and increased this to £24,550. Again no expert medical evidence was requested or obtained by the CICA nor any questions raised on whether Mr K had the mental capacity, (which he had potentially lost as a result of the injuries caused by the assault) to understand the award he had been given.

Mr K then instructed Nicola, with his mother’s help, who immediately looked to launch an appeal on his behalf and instruct an expert Neuropsychiatrist to assess his mental capacity and the extent of the neuropsychiatric damaged suffered by him. An application to the Court of Protection was made to appoint a deputy on Mr K’s behalf with the support of the neuropsychiatrist’s opinion that he lacked mental capacity. Various further experts were asked to assess the extent of Mr K’s injuries including an Ear Nose and Throat specialist, a Neurologist and Neuropsychologist, and reports were obtained from Care experts as to the extent of care and support Mr K needed both now and into the future.  

At the Plymouth hearing, the CICA agreed that their initial assessment of Mr K’s injuries and the award made was too low and proposed an increased sum of £382,000 would be sufficient but the Tribunal panel agreed with the case advanced on behalf of Mr K that the CICA assessment was not sufficient and that Mr K’s claim quite rightly should be assessed at the maximum award payable under the Scheme, £500,000. Mr K’s award was broken down as £112,760.00 for his injuries and £387,240.00 for past and future expenditure and losses.

Nicola Gregory, Associate, said “This was a fantastic result for Mr K. We could not have had a better outcome. He and his family can at last have some assurance that Mr K’s care for the future is a little more secure.

A case like this highlights the difficulties of a Scheme where lawyers are often not engaged to help and advise because there is no provision under the Scheme for payment of legal fees by the CICA. Applicants can experience problems therefore when looking for legal advice on a CICA application or whether an award has been assessed correctly. Thankfully for Mr K, his family had the benefit of legal expenses insurance under their household contents policy, which allowed him to instruct a solicitor to take the Appeal further and at no cost to himself”

Crosse + Crosse are happy to help with any CICA matters. Please feel free to contact Nicola Gregory or a member of our Personal Injury Team on 01392 207603