What defines a 'criminal injury'?
The term 'criminal injury' is used in reference to a number of cases, where a person 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 as an adult or child
- Serious physical assault
- Hit and run cases
- Stabbing incidents causing serious injury or significant scarring
- Brain injury as a result of assault, abuse or any other 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. Injuries resolving within a fairly short period are unlikely to qualify for the minimum tariff award. For example, injuries such as a perforated ear drum, partial loss of vision, damage to one or more front teeth, a simple fracture to skull without surgery, scarring with significant disfigurement, a fractured fibula with substantial recovery and a minor sexual assault of an adult or child only qualify for the minimum tariff of £1,000. This demonstrates the very limited nature of the scheme. The maximum amount the CICA are able to award is £500,000 but this is for injuries of an extremely serious nature and awards at this level are only made in exceptional cases
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 01616 966 229. 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.
An award will not be made to an applicant who on the date of their application has an unspent conviction for an offence which resulted in:
- A sentence excluded from rehabilitation
- A custodial sentence
- A sentence of service detention
- Removal from Her Majesty’s service
- A community order
- A youth rehabilitation order
- A sentence equivalent to points 1 - 6 imposed under the law of Northern Ireland or a member state of the European Union or such a sentence properly imposed in a country outside the European Union
An award will also be withheld or reduced where, on the date of their application, the applicant has an unspent conviction for an offence resulting in any other sentence, unless there are exceptional reasons not to withhold or reduce it.