Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims
Being the victim of a criminal attack or assault can be a very traumatic experience and can cause extreme distress.
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The injuries that can be sustained in a criminal attack or assault are not always just physical; they can also cause severe psychological harm, for example, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
We have helped clients who have found themselves victims of sexual and physical assaults.
At Tilly Bailey & Irvine, our personal injury solicitors are part of a law firm offering legal advice on a full range of practice areas. Our personal injury team is led by John Hall. As well as having years of experience running criminal injury compensation claims, John is a panel member of AvMA and a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
Experience has given us knowledge of how being the victim of crime affects people in different ways. Our solicitors will work diligently to get you compensation for the physical and/or mental injury you have suffered. When instructing us, you can be assured of receiving legal advice and representation of the highest quality, delivered in a sensitive, caring, confidential manner.
What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) is a government funded scheme designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain. The scheme is administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Who can claim criminal injuries compensation?
If you have suffered a physical or mental injury as a result of a criminal assault, you could be entitled to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
You may also claim if you have lost a loved one due to a violent crime.
If you have been assaulted as the result of being an innocent bystander at a criminal incident, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation, even if the person who committed the crime has not been charged or even caught.
However, if you have contributed to or caused the assault, you may not be eligible to claim compensation from the CICA.
How much compensation will I get for assault?
The CICA considers claims for the following:
- mental or physical injury following a violent crime
- sexual or physical abuse
- loss of earnings, in situations where you cannot work because of the mental and/or physical injuries, received because of the violent crime
- claims for special expenses received as a result of your criminal injury
- a fatality caused by a crime of violence including bereavement payments, payments for loss of parental services and financial dependency; and funeral payments
The maximum amount of compensation which can be awarded under the CICS is £500,000.
We have managed many compensation claims for victims of crime and can provide you with an estimate of how much compensation you are likely to receive under the CICS.
Many victims of crime require ongoing rehabilitation and counselling. Claiming compensation can help you fund your recovery and ensure you and your family are free from financial concerns if you have to take time off work.
How long does a CICA claim take?
An applicant can expect to wait up to 12 months to have their application decided by the CICA; however, more complex cases can take longer. This is especially true of cases involving serious injuries where medical treatment is ongoing and the level of recovery unknown. The CICA will not make a final decision on an applicant's claim until they have the full picture of the extent of the injuries and the time it will take for the victim to recover.
How to get criminal injuries compensation
Certain criteria must be adhered to before making a claim for compensation. This includes:
- Reporting the incident to the police as soon as possible.
- Your behaviour before, during and after the attack, your manner when dealing with the police and any criminal record you may have will be taken into account.
- There is generally a two-year deadline for making a claim for personal injury compensation.
- You must be a UK resident or member of the European Economic Area (EEA.)
- No injury that is valued at less than £1,000 will be considered.
- No legal costs are awarded, so you must decide whether to pursue your claim yourself or appoint a solicitor.
- Compensation is not paid for the first 28 weeks of lost earnings and the amounts payable are capped.
Our solicitors will explain each of these points to you in-depth, providing you with a clear picture of what you may be entitled to.
How is criminal injuries compensation paid?
It is important to note that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is intended to be one of last resort. This means all other avenues of compensation should be pursued before applying. The CICA will want to see you have taken all reasonable steps to obtain any social security benefits, insurance payments, damages, or compensation to which you may be entitled because of your injuries. They may seek proof that you have:
- considered if it was possible to claim compensation from the accused and pursued this if there was a chance of success;
- enquired with your employer about damages or insurance entitlements; and
- applied for all social benefits to which you may be entitled.
The CICA does not have to wait for the outcome of a criminal trial to award compensation. Once they are satisfied, on the balance of probabilities that a claim exists, they can pay compensation.
Why should I use a lawyer to make a claim for criminal injury compensation?
John and his team have years of experience in dealing with successfully obtaining compensation for criminal injuries.
If your claim is complex, for example, the perpetrator has never been identified or caught, it involves claiming for a child under 18 years, you have received life-changing injuries, or more than two years have passed since the crime, we can advise and represent you.
We offer no win, no fee arrangements, meaning if we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf you will not pay any legal fees.
When you instruct us, you can be assured of receiving compassionate, knowledgeable, professional advice and representation from a fully regulated, quality-focused law firm.
To find out more about how we can advise you on a criminal injury compensation claim, please call us on 0333 3232718 to talk to one of our solicitors.