Criminal Injuries Compensation
How we can help
Injured by a criminal act - what next?
Many people are injured each year as the result of an unprovoked attack – this can include assaults, domestic violence, and shaken baby syndrome. Injuries can range from black eyes and bruising, through to catastrophic brain injuries and death.
The Government funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 (the ‘Scheme’) exists to compensate people for their injuries, and for their resulting financial losses (referenced as “special expenses” under the Scheme) that they may have suffered, for example loss of earnings, and to assist with the funding of future care and rehabilitation.
Claims are brought via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Individuals can bring a claim via the CICA without the need to instruct a solicitor, full details can be found on the Government website, but its important to be aware of the time limits, evidence required and exceptions to the Scheme. Indeed in serious cases where medical evidence will be required we would advise to obtain independent legal advice.
Police investigations and convictions
The police investigation and any criminal charges are separate from any claim you may be able to make for compensation for your injuries. It is important that you report your assault to the police and co-operate as far as possible with their investigation, a failure to do so could prevent you from bringing a claim for compensation under the Scheme.
If the offender is not caught or convicted, this will not exclude you from bringing a claim for compensation for your injuries under the Scheme, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (the ‘CICA’) who administer the Scheme need only to be satisfied on the facts and on the balance of probability that an injury or injuries have been sustained as the result of a crime of violence.
Claim compensation for injuries
It may be possible to bring a claim for compensation for the injuries you sustained plus any losses you have incurred, or will incur, as a result of your injuries.
Criminal injury compensation
Time limits for bringing a claim
The time limit to bring a claim with the CICA is two years from the date of the incident, except in the case of children who have 2 years from the date of their 18th birthday and those who lack the mental capacity to bring a claim on their own. For people without mental capacity there is no time limit in which to bring a claim, unless they are medically assessed as regaining mental capacity at any point, when the 2-year time limit will then begin to run.
Evidence of injuries
The onus of providing evidence of your injuries and losses sustained is on the injured party. It will often be necessary to attend a medical appointment so an expert can prepare an independent report on your injuries, the extent to which your injuries will heal, and the timeframe for this. However the CICA will often obtain a report from your GP in the first instance. Evidence showing any losses sustained due to your injuries, or future losses you may incur, such as loss of earnings, future care costs or adaptations to your property must also be provided to the CICA for them to consider these.
Do I have to have a solicitor?
Whilst it is possible to bring a claim without legal representation, instructing a solicitor will mean that they will collate all the evidence required, ensuring that no head of loss is missed.
What is the maximum amount of compensation?
Unlike other personal injury claims, there is a maximum award of £500,000 for claims brought via the CICA scheme. This figure includes compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity which is determined on a tariff basis, with additional special expenses including some past losses, future losses, and care needs. In the case of major trauma injuries, it is not unusual for the future care needs to form the largest part of any award although this will be subject to a Local Authority Care Needs Assessment being carried out.
I have made a CICA claim but was unsuccessful, can you help?
Awards can be reduced or refused altogether in a number of situations, for example if the victim is found to have provoked the attack, if they were under the influence of drink or drugs, if they have failed to co-operate with the police and if they have previous convictions.
Of the 27,125 cases decided in the period 2020-21, 14,154 were refused or reduced at first decision and of these, 4,779 were rejected or reduced due to the applicant’s criminal record/character, their conduct before, during or after the incident or due to their failure to comply with the police.
If a claim is rejected by the CICA, it is possible to request a review from a senior decision maker in the first instance and to then subsequently bring an appeal to an independent Tribunal.
We can help you with your claim.
If you have been involved in an unprovoked attack, there are various support groups who can assist including Victim Support and the charity One Punch UK, which was set up by Maxine Thompson-Curl after her son Kristian was the innocent victim of a one punch assault which led to a devastating brain injury and led to his subsequent death at the age of 19.
The charity campaigns for greater awareness of the effects of one punch assaults and provide educational training programmes in schools, colleges and prisons about the dangers of assaults.
Further support for people injured in by a criminal act
To find out more or to discuss a legal claim, get in touch by:
Injured by a
Find out more about available legal support:
More about compensation for cycling accidents
How do you bring about a compensation claim after suffering injuries whilst cycling? Jonathan Clement looks at Tom who successfully did just that.
Despite what some people may think, wearing a cycle helmet is a matter of personal choice. Michael Wangermann looks at the arguments for and against helmets, as well as what might happen to a personal injury claim if you are in an accident without a helmet.