Stabbings, shootings and muggings are, tragically, commonplace but if you have been the innocent victim of a crime of violence, did you know that you could be entitled to claim compensation for your physical and psychiatric injuries from the publicly-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?
Who can claim?
Anyone who has suffered more than minor injuries as a result of the criminality of another can claim CICA damages, although as you might expect, there are a number of stipulations. Critically:
- The crime must have occurred in either England, Scotland or Wales. There is a different process for those living in Northern Ireland
- You must have reported the crime to the police before claiming
- Whilst it isn’t essential that the offender is caught and convicted, you must cooperate with the police investigation
- Your claim must be received by the CICA within 2-years of the incident. The rules are different for victims of historical sexual abuse
- Awards are based upon a fixed tariff scheme and your injuries must be worth more than the lowest end of that tariff, which is £1000. A split lip is unlikely to meet the criteria
- If you deliberately took part in or you provoked a fight, then you are unlikely to receive an award
- Similarly, if you have previously been convicted of a crime of violence, the CICA may reduce or, in some instances, refuse an award
- You cannot claim through the CICA if you are the injured victim of an uninsured or hit and run driver. You must instead use the Motor Insurers’ Bureau Scheme https://www.mib.org.uk/making-a-claim/
- Criminal injuries awards are capped at £500,000
What can I claim?
You can claim for the following:
- Physical injuries including scarring
- Psychological injuries
- Sexual or physical abuse
- The death of a loved one
- Your loss of earnings (beyond 28-weeks)
- Help with care costs, home adaptations, medical aids and equipment
There are also schemes for UK victims of terrorist attacks abroad and for those who have been injured in acts of crime overseas. Some other countries have their own schemes, but you would need to apply directly to that country.
How do I claim?
Criminal injury claims are usually made using an online portal via the CICA website.
The CICA does not pay legal fees and in an easy to prove, low value criminal injury claim, it may not be in your overall best interests to pay for legal advice. You might ask a trusted friend or relative to apply on your behalf or you can attempt to get advice from your local Citizens Advice or other victim support organisations.
So why use Alma Law?
Whilst we hasten to advise that there is no rule which says you must take legal advice, in a complicated, modest to high value claim involving serious crimes of violence and serious injury, it would be folly to go it alone with the CICA.
For a modest fee, agreed in advance and payable at the very end, and only if the application is successful, we can skilfully prepare the application for you and liaise throughout with the CICA on your behalf, just as in a normal personal injury claim. We would need your permission to obtain a copy of your medical records and we will then gather and create all the necessary supporting evidence, such as doctors’ reports and witness statements, each of which will give a fuller picture of the effect the injuries have on your day to day activities, thus giving you a far greater chance of obtaining the maximum damages you deserve.
The more complex the case, the greater the incentive should be for getting expert legal advice and support from us. Contact us today.