Criminal Injury Compensation
If you have been the victim of a criminal assault and sustained injury, you may be entitled to compensation via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
If you have suffered a physical injury as a result of a crime of violence it may be possible for you to recover compensation. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government run body which awards monetary compensation to people who have:
- Suffered injury as a result of violent crimes;
- suffered injury as a result of a trespass on the railways; or
- been injured during the apprehension or attempted apprehension of an offender or attempted offender.
Once the necessary application has been made, the amount of compensation received will be calculated on a tariff basis. There is a fixed level of compensation attached to each type of injury with the logic being that the compensation awarded increases with the seriousness of the injury suffered.
For example, as of August 2012, the injuries listed below have the following values attached to them:
Scarring to the face with minor physical disfigurement £1,500
Fractured Mandible and/or Maxilla (Broken Jaw Bones) £3,300 No-operation
(Where substantial recovery is made) £3,800 Operation
Loss of teeth (Front Teeth) £3,300 (One)
£4,400 (More than one)
The CICA can award anything from a minimum of £1000 up to £500,000.
In addition to this fixed award it is also possible for those injured by criminal activity to claim compensation for ‘special expenses’ (such as the cost of medical treatment not available via the NHS) and loss of earnings.
It is not necessary for a Claimant under the CICA scheme to know the identity of the offender or for a prosecution to be made as a result of the criminal activity which caused the injury.
It is important to know that there are strict time limits on bringing a criminal injury compensation against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the normal three year rule does not apply.
There are also strict criteria which must be satisfied in order for you to be eligible for an award and therefore, you should seek immediate advice from one of our qualified solicitors.
Exclusions and Reductions
There are two exclusions to the CICA scheme which should be considered by anyone wishing to process a claim.
Firstly, the victims of accidents arising from motor offences are not permitted to apply for compensation unless the offender used a vehicle as a weapon (i.e situations where a car is driven deliberately at a pedestrian).
Secondly, where the victim and the assailant were living in the same household, as members of the same family, at the time of the offence, compensation will only be paid if the assailant has been prosecuted in connection with the offence.
Where the violence involved adults, compensation will only be paid where the victim and the assailant are not living together anymore and are unlikely to live together in the future.
All claims under the CICA scheme are investigated by Claims Officers and these officers have the discretion to allow a claim despite the fact that it might contravene the latter of these exceptions, if circumstances suggest that it is just to do so.
It is also worth noting that compensation under the scheme is only intended to award the innocent victims of crime. Any applications made by those deemed ‘morally undeserving’ of support may be reduced or withheld as a result.
At JS Miller Solicitors have experience in pursuing CICA compensation on behalf of our clients. We appreciate that the application process can sometimes appear daunting to those who have suffered injuries as a result of criminality which are often distressing and so our team are always on hand to undertake this sensitive work.