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Tribunal Ruling Gives Hope to Victims of Violent Crime

Published: 10 August 2016, in categories: Personal Injury Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a guideline decision which gives succour to victims of violent crime, a tribunal has boosted the compensation hopes of a former bus driver who endured years of disabling mental illness after he was attacked by two fare-dodgers.

After he challenged the youths in 2008, one of them tipped a can of soft drink over his head and threw the can at him, cutting him under his eye. He had since been diagnosed with various psychiatric illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and an adjustment disorder with depressive features.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) awarded him £1,500 in respect of facial scarring that he was left with after the attack. However, it made no award in respect of his mental illness or lost earnings. His challenge to that ruling was subsequently dismissed by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).

In upholding his appeal against the latter decision, the Upper Tribunal found that the FTT had erred in law in failing to ask itself whether the man’s mental health problems were directly attributable to the violent incident. The attack did not have to be the sole cause of his mental illness. If it could be established that it was a substantial or significant cause, he was entitled to an unreduced award. In the circumstances, the matter was sent back to a fresh FTT for reconsideration.

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