Claiming for Compensation Following a Criminal Incident

by Criminal Defence Blawg on January 31, 2013

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Post regarding how to make a claim for compensation following a criminal attack.

If you are the blameless victim of a violent crime you may be able to make a criminal attack claim for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The rules governing criminal injury claims vary depending on the date your application was made.  If you made an application on or after 27th November 2012 then the claim would be governed by the current Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.  Any application made before this date could potentially be covered by a different set of rules.

The CICA can make compensation awards ranging from £1000 to £500,000 however, in order to make a claim, you must meet minimum eligibility requirements.  The injury must, first of all, be serious enough to qualify for the minimum level of award that the CICA has the power to grant.  Secondly, the act of violence which led to the injury (either physical or mental) must have occurred in England, Scotland or Wales.

An application for compensation must also be made within two years of the incident occurring however applications may be considered if there are exceptional circumstances which have prevented you from raising a claim.  Some other fundamental rules apply, namely that the crime must have been reported to the police and that the act of violence must have taken place in either England, Scotland or Wales.  If either of these two conditions is not met then you would not be eligible to claim.  It is also the case that you are not eligible to claim if you were injured before the 1st August 1964, or if the injury happened before the 1st October 1979 and you and the person who injured you were living together at the time as members of the same family in the same household.  You are also disqualified from claiming if you have already applied for compensation for the same criminal injury.  More interestingly, your compensation award can be refused or reduced as a result of your behaviour before, during or after the incident leading to the criminal injury.  Your criminal record, if any, can also be taken into consideration as can a failure to help the police with their inquiries or even if you delay informing the police about the violent criminal act.

If you are eligible to claim then, provided you were injured through no fault of your own, you would stand to receive some level of compensation from the CICA.  The main point to consider in a criminal attack claim is that it is not necessary to pursue compensation from the perpetrator of the attack.  Instead you will find that the most common type of criminal injury claim is made through the CICA, where the merits of your claim are considered and a suitable compensation award is arrived at following this review.

The CICA will consider various factors like the severity of the injury as well as any ongoing treatment costs or care needs.  The psychological impact of any injury will also be considered as well as the long-term effects of the act in question.

It is, however, open to you to make a claim against the perpetrator directly although you run the risk of not being able to obtain compensation if the assailant does not have sufficient funds.  You may also seek to claim against your employer if the attack took place while carrying out your role and if you feel that your employer provided insufficient protections to prevent such an attack.  Such a scenario may result in a claim for compensation similar in nature to that of any normal injury at work compensation claim.

If you would like to find out more about making a criminal attack claim, there are many no-win-no-fee solicitors who specialize in criminal injury compensation claims and who can provide advice in relation to the strengths, or otherwise, of your potential claim.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
Criminal Defence Blawg
Criminal Defence Blawg

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