If you’ve suffered an injury due to a crime it may be possible for you to claim compensation for any physical or psychological injuries by filing a criminal injury claim. Unlike other types of compensation claims, you wouldn’t normally claim against the criminal responsible for your injuries. Instead, you could claim damages from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which is backed by the government. It can help victims of violent crimes such as rape, assault, and sexual assault.
The scheme is operated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Therefore, in this guide to criminal injury claims, we’ll look at how CICA claims are processed, what sorts of injuries and crimes could make you eligible to claim, and how much compensation may be awarded.
To help with the claims process, you could call upon the support of our experienced personal injury solicitors. If they decide to represent you, your case will be managed on a No Win No Fee basis. That means you won’t pay them anything unless you are awarded compensation from the CICA.
If you’re interested in how we can help with criminal injury claims, why not call us once you’ve finished reading our guide on 0800 6525 881?
When Are Criminal Injury Claims Needed?
It’s quite obvious that no amount of compensation is going to make you feel better about the injuries you sustained during a crime against you. However, it could make things a little easier and go some way to helping you cope better. Claims through the CICA have slightly different eligibility criteria than other types of personal injury claims. To help you decide if you’re eligible to claim, here are some of the main requirements:
- You have suffered an injury during a violent crime against you.
- The crime was reported to the police.
- You are claiming within 2-years of the crime taking place.
We will look at time limits for CICA claims in more detail later as, in some cases, the time limit might be extended.
Importantly, you can make claims through the CICA scheme even if the criminal has not been caught, charged, or prosecuted. You can also claim if they have been caught but have not been tried or sentenced yet. Therefore, don’t wait for the police to finish their investigations before starting your criminal injury claim or else you might miss out on the compensation you’re entitled to.
As part of the criminal injury claims process, you will need to supply evidence of what happened and how you were injured. This will mainly come from your police report and from medical records. You will also need to have your injuries assessed independently. Your solicitor will arrange a local appointment for this to happen.
What Sort Of Crimes Could Lead To A Claim Through The CICA Scheme?
To be eligible to claim compensation through the CICA scheme, a crime which you had no part in must have left you with an injury. The types of crimes that you could claim compensation for include:
- Rape or sexual assault.
- Assault or physical abuse.
- Historical sex crimes.
As mentioned before, the criminal doesn’t have to have been found guilty or even identified before you can claim. The CICA work on the ‘balance of probabilities’ rather than having to prove the criminal was guilty beyond reasonable doubt (as required in criminal court cases). Therefore, don’t be put off from claiming if you’re unsure who caused your injuries. So long as you have reported the crime, you may be able to claim compensation.
Other people who could make a claim include:
- Relatives of a victim who died as a result of a violent crime.
- Somebody who paid for funeral costs (the estate of the victim for example).
- Somebody who witnessed a crime against a loved one.
The process of claiming compensation for criminal injuries might seem daunting as you’ll need to go over what happened again. However, our advisors and our solicitors will always act compassionately and at a speed that suits you wherever possible.
How Much Compensation For A Criminal Injury Claim?
Each and every claim through the CICA scheme will vary depending on what happened and what injuries were sustained. It is therefore quite difficult to say how much compensation might be awarded for a criminal injury claim within this guide without all the facts. However, using our criminal injury compensation calculator below you can get a rough idea of settlement amounts for various personal injuries based on the general damages compensation guidelines published by the Judicial College. For now, we have listed the things you could include in a CICA claim below:
- Your physical injuries.
- Any disabling psychiatric injuries (depression, anxiety, PTSD etc).
- Physical or sexual abuse (including historical abuse).
- The cost of the victim’s funeral.
- The death of the victim.
- Necessary expenses and loss of earnings.
During your free telephone consultation, one of our advisors will discuss your criminal injury claim with you. At this point, they may be able to suggest a personalised compensation estimate for you. There’s no risk in calling us and you’ll receive free advice whether you decide to proceed with a criminal injury claim, or not.
Criminal Injury Compensation Calculator
Here we shall look at potential compensation amounts for a criminal injury. The CICA scheme has a tariff of injuries that lists all of the injuries (both physical and psychological) it will payout for. Obviously, we can’t say how much you’ll receive because settlements are based on the severity of your injuries. However, you can use our criminal injury compensation calculator for some guidance to payout figures below.
The CICA tariff of injuries list is vast. Therefore, we haven’t replicated it in full here. If you don’t see your injury contained within our calculator, don’t worry. When you call to discuss your case with one of our team, they’ll be able to reference the tariff and let you know what your claim might be worth. It is worth noting that if you make a successful claim, you can only claim for three injuries and the CICA scheme will award:
- 100% of the tariff value listed for your most serious injury; plus
- 30% of the tariff for the next most serious injury; and
- 15% of the value for the third most serious injury.
You won’t need to worry about which injuries should be claimed for as your personal injury solicitor can work with a medical specialist to determine the severity of each. For free advice on starting a CICA claim, please call our team today.
Time Limits For Criminal Injury Claims
As we mentioned early, there is a 2-year time limit for claiming through the CICA scheme. This is a year less than you’d get in normal personal injury claims so you should act quickly if you decide to claim.
However, the time limit can be extended in exceptional circumstances such as:
- Your claim is for childhood physical or sexual abuse.
- Your mental or physical health meant that you could not claim sooner.
Furthermore, where a child is injured during a crime and a parent decides to begin a claim on their behalf, the time limit does not apply immediately. The CICA do ask that you begin as soon as possible after the crime was committed where possible though. If you don’t claim, your child will have 2-years from their 18th birthday to apply.
We are able to help you claim through the CICA scheme yourself or on behalf of your child. If you’d like to know more about our No Win No Fee claims service, why not speak to us today? We’ll offer free advice on the claims process and offer a no-obligation case review.
Using A Specialist Personal Injury Solicitor In A Criminal Injury Claim
Getting your criminal injury claim right is vital if you are to receive the correct level of compensation. This is the case because you’re only able to make one claim. If you settle, and you forget to include something, you can’t go back and request additional compensation later on. This is why we suggest letting a personal injury solicitor help with the claims process.
If your case is accepted by one of our solicitors, they’ll prepare your claim for you. They’ll gather the evidence required by the CICA scheme and present your case professionally and concisely. They’ll do all they can to try and make sure that if your case is settled in your favour, and ensure you receive the maximum level of compensation possible.
If you are ready to begin a criminal injury compensation claim, please call our team today on 0800 6525 881. Our advisors will listen to what’s happened carefully and with compassion. We treat all criminal injury claims confidentially and will not try to press you to proceed to a claim if you’re not ready.
Updated 7th September 2021.