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Cuts in personal injury compensation claims cause teenage victim to speak out

June 6, 2012

The experience of a female teenager who was forced to wear a neck brace for almost eight weeks when she was injured in an attack in a public place, demonstrates the shortcomings in the recent government initiative to reduce compensation claim payments for personal injuries.

Caitlin Moore, 16, received a neck injury and two black eyes after she was beaten up, by chance, by a group of seven girls while walking with a friend in a country park in Fife, more than a year ago.

She won a compensation claim worth £2,800 through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme to help to make up for the suffering she had to endure.

However, with recent government proposals, an amount worth 50 percent of that would be all she would get for an injury that was not her fault.

The Ministry of Justice is seeking to halt payouts for claims less than £2,500 and markedly decrease payments for any claims less than £11,000.

Ms Moore said that the payment she received made her feel that she had been able to get back something for the pain she endured as a result of her injuries. She did not know the assailants and it was a completely unprovoked attack when several girls set on her and repeatedly punched her.

She said after the attack she was afraid to go out because her face was so swollen that she could not even open her eyes.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has also spoken out against the cuts to compensation.

Karl Tonks, the president of the association said that the proposed cuts meant that victims of injuries are being denied the right to have access to justice and the justice system.