Client A approached Farleys in 2017. She had suffered terrible sexual abuse at the hands of her father between the ages of approximately 3 and 5 before being taken into the care of the Local Authority.
Farleys agreed to act on her behalf and Jonathan Bridge, Head of Abuse Claims, submitted an application for compensation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
As with any CICA claim there were various hurdles which had to be overcome. We had to persuade the CICA that there were good reasons why the client had not brought the claim at an earlier stage. She was in her late 20’s when the application was submitted despite the incidents having been reported to the Police shortly after they had happened.
The CICA also had to be persuaded that there were good reasons why there was a subsequent delay in reporting the matter to the Police.
Having submitted all relevant evidence the CICA agreed to waive the two year time limit in this case and made an initial offer of £6,600.
Farleys advised Client A that this was inadequate compensation for what she had been through. She clearly had a psychiatric injury which was not compensated for in the offer.
Farleys instructed a Consultant Psychiatrist and medical evidence was obtained which confirmed that the Claimant had suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of her experiences.
Further evidence was gathered to show that she had also suffered a Loss of Earnings claim and a Schedule was prepared to include an element of past and future loss.
As a result of the work carried out the CICA reviewed the application and made an increased award of £23,000.
Again Farleys felt that this was inadequate compensation under the terms of the Scheme and in particular felt that there was potential for a Future Loss of Earnings claim. Updated medical evidence was obtained and an Appeal submitted to HM Courts and Tribunal Service. The matter went to a full hearing conducted by Jonathan Bridge and the award granted at the Review Hearing was significantly increased to an eventual level of £44,000.
This case demonstrates how woeful compensation is under the terms of the Scheme. This Applicant has significantly reduced earning capacity. She is able to work but only on a part time basis. She has a 2:1 degree but works as a shop assistant. Were this a Personal Injury claim there would be a significant Past and Future Loss of Earnings claim representing the difference between what she could have earned as a degree level full time employee and that amount she now earns as a part time shop assistant. The present CICA Scheme makes no allowance for this and the best argument we could put forward was that she will have no earning capacity at some point in the future and the CICA were prepared to accept this.
Client A was delighted with the outcome of the case and felt that it did give some closure to what she had been through. Whilst the damages are relatively insignificant when one considers a lifetime psychiatric injury it was the maximum value that could have been attained under the terms of the present Scheme and justified the Review and Appeal process.