Compensation for Injuries Arising from Criminal Assaults

Following a violent crime the police will carry out an investigation and hopefully the perpetrator of the offence will be appropriately punished. Once the matter proceeds to court the judge may impose a victim surcharge.

The money raised from the Victim Surcharge is used to fund victim services through the Victim and Witness General Fund.

The criminal court may also make a compensation order against the offender, for money to be paid by the offender to the victim. However, this is unlikely to be for a significant sum.

It is also open for the victim to pursue the offender direct for payment of compensation, although this may not be realistic, on the basis that the victim does not wish to have any contact with the offender. Even if this is possible, the offender may not have the financial means to pay compensation.

Fortunately, there is another route to compensation that does not involve having contact with the offender. The road to that compensation is making a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Scheme

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (“CICA”) is a government organisation that runs a scheme which makes payments to blameless victims of violent crime in accordance with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The CICA aim to provide compassionate, efficient and a fair service to victims of violent crime. They recognise that no amount of money can fully compensate a victim of crime for the injuries they have suffered and its consequences. Any payment is intended as an expression of public sympathy for what was a very distressing experience and, in some cases, life-changing injuries.

It is therefore important that where serious and life changing injuries have been sustained as a result of a crime of violence, full and proper compensation is obtained.  The CICA scheme is run on a tariff system, which means the award is determined by the nature and severity of the injuries. The highest award the CICA can make is £500,000 (half a million pounds), but the vast majority of payments are for a substantially lower sum.   A solicitor will be able to advise you of the likely range of awards once they have a full understanding of the extent of the injuries and the impact on your life.

There are many eligibility conditions, so it is important to understand whether you will be entitled to compensation. One important rule is about time. In the majority of cases an application for compensation should be made within two years of the violent crime. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly in the case of child sexual abuse, where the rule is that the claim for compensation must be made to the CICA within two years of the crime being reported to the police.

There are other important qualifying conditions for compensation so taking legal advice may maximise your chances of making a successful application for compensation.

To ensure the victim obtains the appropriate compensation it is essential that the application for compensation is carefully prepared. The wrong information or incomplete details can have a dramatic impact on the level of compensation awarded by the CICA.  The applicant for compensation may end up £1,000s worse off, if the application is not made well and unsupported by evidence.

For further information, including making a claim for child sexual abuse, contact us today.

How to make a compensation claim if you have been physically or mentally injured or assaulted

If you have been the victim of a physical or mental assault you could be entitled to compensation which could include long-term care and rehabilitation, especially if you have suffered from a serious head,brain or spinal injury. Contact our compassionate and professional personal injury experts for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Please call us today on 0333 123 9099 or email Alternatively please complete our online form