How To Claim Criminal Injuries Compensation11th Nov 2016
Violent crime has risen by 24 per cent in England and Wales – knife crime alone is up by nine per cent.
- an attack “possibly with a machete”
- three alleged rapes
- a knifepoint robbery
- a fight involving 15 people.
Victims of violent crime can claim damages from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). It pays out up to £200 million per year to around 40,000 victims.
Who can claim compensation from CICA?
Victims of any violent crime – such as assault, actual bodily harm (ABH), grievous bodily harm (GBH).
This can also cover hit and run motoring accidents, sexual or physical abuse.
You must claim within two years of the crime (or if a child at the time, by your 20th birthday). CICA can waive this time limit. We can help you to apply but there is no right of appeal if CICA turns down this application.
You cannot claim if:
- The injury was inflicted outside England, Scotland or Wales (Northern Ireland has a separate scheme). Other EU countries also operate similar schemes.
- The injury happened before August 1 1964.
- You are convicted of a crime (an unspent conviction for which the sentence was jail or community service).
- The injury happened before October 1 1979 and you and the assailant were living together as members of the same family.
Other circumstances can also affect your claim – such as if you willingly got into a fight or sought revenge against your attacker. You cannot claim if your attacker could also benefit from a CICA compensation award.
How much can I claim?
Payments are based on a complex tariff system but are capped at £500,000.
This may be lower than if you had sued your assailant directly. But if your attacker has no assets and no insurance, you may have no alternative but to apply to CICA for compensation.
For more information on the Tariff of Injuries, see Annex E (p42) of this CICA guide.
Multiple injuries are calculated at:
- 100 per cent compensation for the most serious injury
- 30 per cent for an equal or second most serious
- 15 per cent for any other injury with an equal or third highest value.
You can claim for loss or earnings if you are unable to work (for more than a few hours a week) for 28 weeks or more. Special expenses are also available.
What if my injuries are not serious?
Lesser injuries not covered by the CICA Tariff may qualify for compensation from the government’s Hardship Fund.
This is aimed at low paid workers temporarily unable to work due to violent crime.
Can I get Legal Aid?
No. This is not available due to government cuts.
How long does it take to claim?
Claims to CICA can take up to 12 months on average.
Long and complicated claims can take even longer – especially those:
- involving serious long-term injuries
- where the chances of recovery are not fully known.
Advice for claiming
- Report your injuries to the police immediately. Co-operate with their investigation. Get a crime number.
- Photograph or video your injuries as soon after the attack as you can. It is important to have a detailed record of any cuts, bruises, scarring or other injuries.
- Your claim may depend heavily on whether your attacker is convicted of a criminal offence. This is important (but not essential). If you go to court, keep any documentation you are sent.
For more information, contact Coles Miller Partner Adrian Cormack, Head of the Personal Injury Department, 01202 355695.