A man who suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain when the victim of an unprovoked assault has been awarded damages by a Government scheme which provides compensation to people who are the victims of violent crime.
The man, who asked not to be named, was attacked by a group people whilst waiting for a taxi after a night out with friends in March of this year.
Although doctors have told him he should make a good recovery over the next 12 months, the man says the attack has had a ‘horrific impact’ on his life, and he fears he will never be the same again.
He currently suffers from severe headaches, poor short-term memory and often feeling agitated and quickly frustrated. He also remains reluctant to socialise and often avoids going out, other than to go to work at his employer BP, who he says have been ‘incredibly supportive’ in understanding the impact on him, adjusting his role to ensure he can continue working.
Lifelong impact of a violent assault
“I have no recollection of the attack at all so I have no idea why a group of people would do this to me. I’d been out with friends for the night and, as I was the only one who lives out of the town, I went for a taxi alone at the end of the night,” he said.
“The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital and a doctor telling me that I had a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.”
The man spent four days in hospital, during which time he had treatment to prevent seizures, and spent four weeks in bed resting at home before he started to try returning to some normality. His doctor signed him off work for six months.
“Everything I used to do as part and parcel of every day is now a struggle, I’m constantly tired and I suffer really severe headaches,” he said.
“My short-term memory is terrible, I struggle with my speech and I avoid going out, because of both how I struggle now and because of fear. My wife has been brilliant and supportive, but now when we have family get-togethers I stay at home because I struggle to be around people and I need my own space.”
Despite seven months passing since the attack, nobody has been charged, something the man, 39, says has been both frustrating and frightening.
“A couple of people were arrested but the police told me they couldn’t charge them or progress until others had been identified. It means the people who did this to me are still out there and I don’t know who they are,” he said.
“I can’t understand why people do this to others. I think people sometimes go out looking to get into trouble, and to harm others, but without ever really thinking about the consequences for those they attack.
“Maybe they looked to pick on me as I’m a big man, but I’m a gentle giant and would never look to get in a fight with anyone.
“It has had a horrific impact on me, and that will be lifelong. Yes I’ve been told I’ll gradually get better physically over time, but I’ll never be the same, and mentally it will also hang over me. They’ve done that to me.”
Criminal injuries compensation awarded despite no prosecutions
Despite there being no convictions, the man was able to make a claim for compensation to the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
“I was told that I’d be able to apply for compensation by the police, and to be honest, as there had been no court case or anything I didn’t expect to get anything. I was delighted to get the award as it has been a big help to us and we’ve been able to put the money to good use,” he said.
Tracy Thames, of CICA claims specialists Hudgell Solicitors, made the application for damages on the man’s behalf, and said she was pleased to have secured him a five-figure settlement.
“Many people are not aware that to be awarded damages through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, it is not always required for the matter to have been through the courts or for an attacker to have been prosecuted,” she said.
“Even if the people causing an injury have not been identified, charged with, or convicted of a crime, compensation awards can be offered if there is enough evidence to show that a crime was committed. That was the case here as there was no dispute that our client was clearly attacked and suffered serious injuries.”
The man said he has been fortunate to have ‘wonderful support’ since his attack. “I’ve had great people around me so I am lucky in that sense,” he said.
“My wife has been so understanding and supportive, and my work have been brilliant in welcoming me back and adjusting my role to lighter duties and allowing me breaks when I need them. I’m also being supported by the Brain Injury Clinic.
“Finally Hudgell Solicitors were absolutely brilliant and couldn’t have done more for me. Tracy was fantastic, she answered every question I had and anything that needed doing she sorted for me. I was really lucky to have her.”
Serious Assault Claims
Should you, a family member or a friend suffer physical or psychological injuries due to a violent crime, it may be possible to recover assault compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
To begin a claim you need to have been a victim of a crime, which can include, but are not limited to:
- Common Assault.
- Assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH).
- Assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH).
- Assault in a public place.
- Assault at work.
- Domestic assault.
- Assault by a security guard or ‘bouncer’.
- Criminal assault.
- Assault leading to fatality.
- Assault with a weapon.
- Sexual assault – any sexual contact without consent.
Even if the offender has not been caught or charged, or if the police are unable to identify the person responsible, our criminal assault lawyers will fight to secure the justice and compensation you’re entitled to.
Find out more here: Criminal Injuries Compensation Following an Assault