If you have been the victim of a violent or sexual orientated crime in the UK you may be eligible for criminal injury compensation.
What constitutes criminal injury?
When someone is physically assaulted in spite of their best efforts and is harmed as a result of the attack, this is a criminal injury. In 1965 The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) was created, so that innocent victims of crime could receive compensation for the physical and psychological harm suffered as a result, as well as financial losses.
You could make a criminal injury claim if you’ve been involved in any kind of crime including:
- Rape and sexual abuse
- Knife attack
- Acid attack
- Armed robbery
- Terrorist attack
- Hate crime
Criminal injury could be:
- Loss of vision
- Broken bones
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- Loss of earnings
Do you need a solicitor to claim for criminal injury?
This is an important question in many ways, as although you don’t need criminal injury solicitors to claim CICA compensation, it might be more in your interests to do so.
If you want to go it alone, you can find plenty of information via the government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/criminal-injuries-compensation-authority
However, most criminal injury solicitors offer a no win no fee option that could be more financially beneficial for you.
Trained solicitors also understand that when you have been injured as the result of a criminal act, you may not be in a good place and dealing with all the paperwork could be simply overwhelming. Many claims are often underestimated and people might not get the compensation they deserve, or the CICA may reject a claim if it isn’t presented properly. A solicitor can really make a difference to your claim.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most people claiming for a criminal injury will never have had any dealings with the CICA before and may not be aware of the evidence needed to maximise the amount of compensation they could receive, or they may not understand how they can meet the criteria for such a claim.
Another problem that can arise is making the two-year time limit. A solicitor will be able to structure the claim so that it is made in time, or if that’s not possible may even be able to persuade the CICA to extend the time limit.
Finally, criminal injury solicitors will have a complete understanding of what to include in the application. They’ll know exactly what needs to be included for the claim to be successful and a well drafted application will also prevent delays.
The verdict: You don’t need criminal injury solicitors to claim for a criminal injury but using one could result in a quicker and maybe more profitable outcome.
How much compensation can you get for criminal injuries?
If you have two or more injuries so serious that each, on its own, would qualify, you may be entitled to:
- 100% of the full tariff value of the most serious injury; and
- 30% of the tariff amount for the injury with an equal or second highest value; plus
- 15% of the tariff amount for any additional injury with an equal or third highest value.
The CICA scheme does not allow for a payout for more than three injuries, however, there are additional tariff payments which you can receive if, as a direct result of your injury or assault, you:
- Become pregnant;
- Lose a foetus; or
- Contract a sexually transmitted disease.
If you are unable to work as a direct result of a criminal injury you may be eligible to claim a loss of earnings payment.
In this case your criminal injury must be serious enough to have resulted in a total inability to undertake paid work, or a very limited capacity to do so.
How long do criminal injury claims take?
Again, this is all about how straightforward the claim is but as a rule 12-18 months can be the usual timescale. If the outcome of someone’s injuries can’t be immediately assessed for example then the claim may take longer.
We understand that if you are thinking of claiming for criminal injury that you are probably not in a good place. At Wafer Phillips Solicitors we are here to offer you support and help at a difficult time in your life, so please do not hesitate to get in touch to talk through your claim at no obligation. Just follow the link below for more details.