Legal Help For Victims of Criminal Injury
If you have been a victim of crime and have suffered injury you may be able to seek an award of compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
The CICA is a fund of public money available to compensate victims of crimes of violence. This includes people who have been attacked, injured while playing sport, and shaken-baby victims.
Conditions for applying
For the CICA to accept the application, it will want to be satisfied that:
• The applicant was the victim of a crime of violence.
• The applicant reported the matter to the police as soon as possible.
• The applicant thereafter co-operated with any further police enquiries or investigations.
How do I apply?
The application process is fairly straightforward - for minor injuries there isn't often a need to involve a solicitor. If you do decide to instruct us it is important to be aware that the CICA does not pay legal costs and it is likely that the solicitor's costs, to a maximum of 33%, will be deducted from the compensation plus additional expenses such as fees for access to medical records and the instruction of medical experts.We have specialists who deal with applications to the CICA and who have the experience of dealing with the CICA and its criteria – they can take necessary steps to ensure that the maximum award is achieved.
What happens then?
If the application satisfies the set criteria, the CICA will then begin to make investigations. Reports will be obtained and statements taken from the relevant police officers. Confirmation of the applicant's injuries will be sought from either medical records or a medical report. Details of the applicant's out of pocket expenses and losses will be requested.Once the CICA has sufficient information to make an award, the applicant will be advised in writing of the award that they propose to make. The awards are made in accordance with the CICA tariff scheme which allocates specific awards to specific injuries. The minimum award that can be made is £1,000 and the maximum is £500,000.
An application must be submitted within two years of the crime of violence taking place, although it is possible in certain circumstances to request that the deadline be waived.There are two other important criteria that should be considered that relate particularly to claims for compensation for abuse that occurred many years ago. Applications will not be accepted if the event took place before 1st August 1964 and applications will not be accepted if the crime of violence took place before 1st October 1979 and the applicant and the perpetrator were living together as members of the same family.
Where multiple injuries have been sustained the CICA will compensate the applicant in accordance with the severity of the separate injuries. 100% of the tariff amount will be awarded for the most severe injury, 30% for the second most severe and 15% for the third. The CICA will accept applications for psychological injury only and for fatal incident claims. It should be noted that the awards in the latter are fixed awards under the tariff scheme.
- Individual recovered £5,000 on his application to the CICA following an unprovoked assault when he sustained a fracture to the leg.
- Acted for an individual on an appeal against the initial award by the CICA of £8,000; we succeeded in obtaining an award of £36,000.
For immediate, compassionate and free advice contact our Personal Injury Team who are ready to help you. 01392 209209.
Roger Henderson - 01392 209218.