To find out about claiming compensation for mental distress from the CICA criminal injuries scheme on a no win, no fee basis call our free legal helpline on 0808 139 1597 or send an email to us at [email protected]
This is a real life case study of a successful claim we made for compensation for mental distress under the criminal injuries compensation scheme.
Mr R’s neighbour, who was involved in crime and drugs, threatened to murder Mr R and rape his partner. The reason for these threats seemed to be that the neighbour’s property had been searched by the police and a quantity of drugs and weapons recovered. The neighbour thought that Mr R had reported him to the police and wanted revenge.
Mr R was extremely scared and distressed. He knew that the neighbour had a criminal history and criminal associates. He believed that his life and that of his partner were in jeopardy. He therefore reported the threats to the police who agreed that he was in danger and it was unsafe for him to continue living where he did.
Despite moving house Mr R continued to feel extremely anxious and on edge. He felt on “red alert” at all times. He kept his curtains closed. He was scared to go out in public with his son in case he was seen by his former neighbour or an associate in case they turned their attention to his son. Any sudden noises made him panic. He struggled to sleep and could not enjoy life anymore.
He went to his GP and was referred for counselling support.
Having found some information about the government’s Criminal Injury Compensation Authority Scheme online he submitted an application.
It is a government scheme that was set up to compensate the victims of violent crime. They not only provide compensation for physical injuries but also compensation for mental distress caused by a violent crimes, including threats of violence.
Mr R understood that he needed to obtain evidence of his mental injuries from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist to comply with the requirements of the CICA scheme. He therefore made direct contact himself with a private psychiatrist and commissioned him to prepare a report. The report confirmed that Mr R had suffered a disabling mental injury as a result of the criminal behaviour of his former neighbour.
Mr R naturally believed that he had satisfied the CICA’s requirements and sent them the report. So he was devastated to receive a rejection letter from the CICA saying they would not pay him any compensation because he had not proved that he had suffered a mental injury as required by the scheme.
It was then that Mr R contacted our team of CICA experts. We considered the rejection letter from the CICA and identified the issues. that needed to be addressed. It is a disappointing feature of the CICA that they make the scheme so difficult for non-lawyers to follow, yet discourage applicants from seeking legal advice.
Confident that we would be able to help Mr R we agreed to deal with the application for review of the decision on a No Win, No Fee basis.
We returned to the psychiatrist who had seen Mr R and following discussion with him he produced a further report that satisfied the CICA’s requirements. We were then able to go on a negotiate a compensation settlement of over £20,000.
For further information read our article on how much compensation can be claimed for mental injury here.