Sunday, 7 October 2012

Imagine someone knocks you over the head...

and you make a criminal injuries compensation scheme claim in respect of your disabling brain injury.  The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) offers you quite a low amount of compensation.  You appeal with the help of solicitors to the First Tier Tribunal.  You obtain some interim payments from the Tribunal whilst you are waiting for the appeal to come on.  Your solicitor suggests that someone in their firm acts as your Deputy under the Mental Capacity Act in order to administer your interim payments.  You obtain a final award from the Tribunal.  The Tribunal has awarded you some compensation for your injury (according to a tariff), some loss of earnings and some money to cover some of the costs (but not all) of your Deputyship.  CICA pay the award to your solicitor who deducts over 1/2 in respect of your costs of appeal and a further 1/4 to pay for the Deputyship to administer your award, which now only amounts to the final 1/4 of your compensation.

The moral of the story - unless you can avoid it, don't use solicitors to appeal a CICA award unless they are prepared to do it pro bono or on a very low fixed fee or percentage.  Their fees will come out of the compensation.

Take out an Enduring Power of Attorney before you fall ill or appoint a family member as a Deputy (the Public Guardian or a Barrister instructed by the Bar Pro Bono Unit can help them).  Free Tribunal representation can be obtained from the Free Representation Unit.

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