A 53-year old teacher was assaulted by her pupil. The teacher was pushed up against a wall by the pupil who then used his bag to strike the teacher’s shoulder. The teacher was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with whiplash. The teacher suffered neck and shoulder injuries lasting 15 months, and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder which badly affected her for 2 years. The teacher was treated by a psychiatrist and an osteopath. As a result of the assault, the teacher was off work for 20 weeks. The teacher suffered repeated nightmares. So distressed she was by the assault that the teacher quit the teaching profession.

What did she do?

The teacher submitted a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claim for her injuries and financial losses. On appeal, she was awarded £35,634 which was calculated as: £4,400 for the post-traumatic stress disorder; £600 for the shoulder injury; and £150 for whiplash. On top of this the teacher was awarded £12,000 for loss of opportunity, £18,140 for past loss of earnings and £344 for medical expenses.

Truth Legal’s Comments

This may look like a sizeable amount of compensation, but it must be remembered that the teacher had to give up her career. Had the teacher successfully sued the school, rather than making a Criminal Injuries claim, the compensation was likely to have been much higher, though suing a school in such circumstances is difficult. In addition, the very fact that this case is reported suggests that the teacher’s representatives had to fight very hard to secure this compensation. Well done to them.

See the full case report on Lawtel (subscription only).

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