Were you mugged on your way home from work? Attacked by a robber? Assaulted in the pub or whilst at a night club? If you’ve been victimized by criminal violence, you can approach the UK Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and make a claim. The CICA can help you get proper remuneration for the injuries you may have sustained as a result of a violent criminal assault.
When a victim of crime suffers an injury as a result of a violent attack or as a result of a crime related activity they are usually entitled to compensation and can make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which distributes payments for personal injury and in some circumstances for financial losses to the victims of violent crime. The CICA administers the compensation fund which was set up by the UK Government in 1964. The fund now operates using a tariff scheme whereby all injuries are allocated into a band and are compensated accordingly.
Personal Injury Solicitors
The rules regarding CICA applications are complex with potential time limits and possible appeals. A UK criminal injury claim to the CICA must normally be made within two years of the assault which caused the injury. Failure to report the matter to the police or a relevant authority within a short time after the incident may subsequently preclude payment of a criminal injury claim. The system can be daunting, however, with the right legal expert doing the hard work for you and funding your claim completely, there is no risk involved. If you have experienced an injury because of violent crime, it may be time to make a claim for compensation to the CICA.
Risk-Free Compensation Claims
Most personal injury solicitors deal with a UK criminal injury claim to the CICA by using the no win no fee scheme. They only charge legal costs if they successfully recover compensation for you. The CICA do not pay legal costs or expenses and the legal costs of dealing with a CICA claim will be deducted from the amount of any award on a pre-agreed percentage basis. There is usually no charge if an award is refused by the CICA making most claims completely risk-free.
To qualify for compensation, you must submit your UK criminal injury claim form to the CICA within two years of the violent incident that caused your injuries. In addition, the assault must have occurred in Great Britain and must be severe enough to have needed at least 6 weeks of treatment/recovery and required at least 2 consultations with a medical practitioner.
You should go to the police as soon as you escape from your attacker. There should be no delay in order to succeed in a criminal injury claim. You must co-operate with the authorities and you may be asked to act as a witness in any court hearings and to provide any information that can to help in apprehending the attacker. The CICA can opt to lower the compensation you receive or withhold it altogether if they discover that you have not fully cooperated with the authorities.
Previous Convictions & Behaviour
The CICA will take into consideration your character (including any previous unspent criminal convictions) and your behaviour before, during and after the attack. Convictions after the attack but before the CICA award compensation will also be considered. A criminal injury claim may be reduced or totally extinguished if the applicant’s character doesn’t justify the payment of compensation from public funds.
The amount of money awarded in a UK criminal injury claim has a ceiling of £250,000 for injury and £250,000 for other losses. The value of the personal injury award is calculated using a tariff scheme whereby each different type of injury is assigned a value or tariff with a minimum award of £1,000. If the injury doesn’t justify the minimum award, then no award will be made. If there is more than one injury, then the tariff is awarded for the main injury with further sums for the next two injuries based on the tariff but discounted by a percentage before all figures are aggregated to reach the amount of the final.
It is possible to have a reconsideration of the decision of the CICA at several steps along the way with particular notice being taken of the amount of the final award or in regard to a rejection of the application. In these cases, the matter is assigned to a higher-grade member of CICA staff than the clerical officer dealing with the application at first instance. If the award is then finalised and is considered to be inadequate, it is after that possible to appeal to the CICA Appeals Panel which is an independent body.