The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is a government organisation that can pay compensation to people who have been physically and/or mentally injured because they were the innocent victim of a violent crime. The crime must have occurred in Scotland, England or Wales. The scheme is entirely geographically based and there is no necessity for the injured victim making the claim to be a British Citizen. Similarly, it will not compensate British Citizens who are victims of a violent crime whilst abroad.
How does it work?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board sets the rules and the tariff system by which compensation payments are assessed. Your personal injuries must be sufficiently serious to qualify for compensation. There are 25 levels of compensation for which they pay out from £1,000 to £250,000. The maximum amount you can receive in criminal injury compensation after all injuries, losses and expenses are taken into account is £500,000. To be eligible for a claim for criminal injury compensation you MUST have:
- You have been injured seriously enough to qualify for at least the minimum award of £1,000.
- You were injured in an act of violence in England, Scotland or Wales. An offender does not necessarily have to have been convicted of, or even charged with that crime.
- You have made your application within two years of the incident that caused your injury. (But the CICA accept applications outside this limit if in your particular case it was unreasonable for an application form to have been submitted within two years of the incident and there would still be enough evidence for them to consider the case.)
Further, there are other issues that can have a bearing on the decision to make an award of compensation. In particular, the application can be refused or the amount of the award can be reduced after consideration of the following:
- Your behaviour before, during or after the incident in which you were injured.
- Your unspent criminal convictions.
- Your failure to co-operate with the police or with the CICA investigation.
- Any failure or delay in taking reasonable steps to inform the police, or other appropriate authority, of the incident.
CICA Application Process and Costs:
The application process is fairly straightforward and can be completed by downloading the application from the CICA website. If you would prefer to instruct Hayward Baker Personal Injury Solicitors to deal with your claim it is important to be aware that the CICA does not pay legal costs and our costs and additional expenses, such as fees for access to medical records and the instruction of medical experts, may also be deducted from the compensation.
The benefit of having a specialist solicitor is that they will be aware of the system, its criteria and the appeal process and be able to identify the maximum CICA award is applicable.
We are happy to deal with your compensation claim on a ‘no win no fee’ basis which means that if the application is not successful we will not charge you a penny. In addition, if we are successful if your application and a compensation award is made then we will only charge you up to a maximum of 25% plus VAT for our services. We will only ask you to pay on receipt of your award.
What happens next?
Once the application form is received a “Claims Officer” for the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority will commence an investigation to decide the eligibility and level of award. The police report of the incident will be obtained and statements may be taken from the relevant police officers. Your medical records will also be obtained and a further medical examination and report may be necessary if there is a need to do so in order to assess the level of compensation. Details of any out of pocket expenses will also be requested.
Once the CICA has investigated, and assuming the criteria has been met and an award intended, the applicant will be advised of the proposed award in writing.
If you are unhappy with the award made it is possible to seek a review of the amount awarded. The CICA will pass the application to a more senior Claims Officer who will reconsider the award and make a further decision. It should be noted that the award may not necessarily increase on review and the more senior officer can make a lower award.