What defines a 'criminal injury'?
The term 'criminal injury' is used in reference to a number of cases, whereby the person in question has been subjected to harm, either physically and psychologically. Examples of when you can claim compensation can include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual abuse
- Hit and run cases
- Assault of an infant
- Mental injury – ie. if you were witness to a violent crime
- Bereavement as a result of a violent crime
Do I qualify for a criminal injury compensation claim?
In order to qualify for the scheme the incident must have happened within Scotland, Wales or England and must be serious enough to qualify for the minimum tariff award of £1,000. The maximum amount the CICA are able to award is £500,000 but this is for injuries of an extremely serious nature.
Claims to the CICA are subject to strict time limits. Claims must be made within 2 years of the date of the incident or, if you were a child at the time of the incident, by your 20th birthday. The CICA do however have a discretion to allow applications to be made outside of this time limit, so it is worthwhile contacting us even if the 2 year time limit has lapsed. The final requirement under the CICA scheme is that the incident has been reported to the police as soon as reasonably possible. Any unreasonable delay may result in your claim being rejected.
CICA states that requests for evidence of the following may be included in claims for compensation:
- Proof that you meet the residency requirements
- Medical evidence that shows you suffered an injury
- Evidence to support a claim for lost earnings or future loss of earnings
In addition to this, CICA may collect the following evidence before they request a medical report:
- Confirmation from the police that the event in which you were injured was reported
- Confirmation from the police and/or witnesses that your behaviour did not contribute to the incident where your injuries were received
- Confirmation from the police that you co-operated with them
How do I make a criminal injury compensation claim?
We understand that being a victim of criminal injury can have a devastating effect on you both physically and psychologically. Here at Stephensons, our solicitors have a vast amount of experience working with clients who have successfully made criminal injury compensation claims. We have our clients at the forefront of our minds at all times and will do all we can to ensure you are happy with all information at every stage of the process.
To speak to a member of our personal injury team in relation to making a CICA claim, please contact us on 0175 321 6399. Alternatively, you can speak to someone at Stephensons by completing our online enquiry form. However you decide to contact us, one of our expert solicitors will then advise you accordingly as to whether your claim is worth pursuing on a no win no fee basis.
Will a previous criminal conviction stop me from being able to make a criminal injury compensation claim?
A previous criminal conviction could prevent you from making a CICA claim.
The CICA may refuse or reduce a payment if you have a criminal record even though you may have been blameless in the incident which resulted in your injury.
The CICA will take account of unspent criminal convictions at the date of application and before they make a final decision.
The CICA decide how much of a reduction to make using a penalty point system. The more recent the conviction and the more serious the sentence, the more penalty points the conviction will attract.
Depending on the facts of the case the CICA may make a greater or lesser reduction. For example, they may make a smaller reduction or no reduction at all, if you were injured while helping the police uphold the law or while helping someone who was being attacked. On the other hand, a low points score is no guarantee that they will make an award if your record includes violent or sexual offences.
You may not be able to make a claim if:
- You have received a sentence excluded from rehabilitation
- You have received a custodial sentence of more than 4 years
- You have received a military court custodial sentence of more than 4 years