Clients making CICA claims are sometimes discouraged from consulting a private solicitor who specialises in personal injury or abuse claims. Solicitors are often painted in a bad light, with clients being discouraged from seeking representation by being told they will have to bear the costs of doing so.
The CICA application form itself states:
“You do not need to be represented to apply for criminal injuries compensation’¦If you choose paid representation, we cannot meet the costs of this’.
It may be the case that you do not need solicitor representation or advise to apply for criminal injuries compensation. However, it can help you to obtain an appropriate level of compensation for the injuries and suffering you have caused.
A good example of this occurred recently, when we represented a client who had been the victim of childhood abuse at the hands of a family member.
Our client completed an application and after review of their case, received an offer of £3000. At this point, the client contacted us for advice.
Dealing with abuse and child abuse cases on a daily basis, and based on the severity of the abuse suffered by this particular client, it was obvious that the level of compensation on the table was not sufficient.
Following the rejection of a further offer from the CICA of £14,000, our client was eventually awarded £23,000 on appeal.
The advantages of consulting an experienced solicitor in this situation are many fold. Not only did the client attain a more appropriate level of compensation than was originally offered and further counter offered, but also had the benefit of being guided through the process by a supportive, specialist team who are experienced in dealing with the CICA.
Furthermore, victims of abuse and specifically child abuse, are often psychologically and emotionally affected, often translating into several issues during their adult lives. Clients often do not realise that this should be considered in their compensation claim, resulting in lower settlements being offered. A solicitor can advise you about what exactly you are entitled to claim compensation for, and support you in pursuing your claim to ensure you are fully compensated.