Can I claim compensation for a criminal injury?

Two police officers

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government body set up to compensate innocent victims of crimes of violence in the UK. In accordance with a scheme established in 2012, eligible individuals are entitled to compensation between £1,000 and £500,000 for either or both physical and psychiatric injury as a result of a violent act.

There are a number of key components in order for an applicant to be eligible for an award under the CICA’s tariff scheme.
Firstly, it is an essential tenet of the scheme that the incident must arise out of an unprovoked attack. An applicant’s own conduct before, during and even after an incident will be considered, and may prevent or reduce an award. Participation or involvement in an assault will generally result in a refusal of the claim.
Secondly, the incident must be reported to the police as soon as is reasonably practicable. In this regard, it is important to keep a note of any police reference number and any correspondence relating to criminal charges brought against the alleged assailant. In deciding whether this requirement is met, particular account will be taken of: (a) the age and capacity of the applicant at the date of the incident; and (b) whether the effect of the incident on the applicant was such that it could not reasonably have been reported earlier.  
Thirdly, an applicant must cooperate fully with the police in their investigation and as far as reasonably practicable in bringing the assailant to justice.
The CICA demands that all criminal convictions of an applicant are fully disclosed, as these will be taken into account when assessing entitlement to any award.
It should be noted that there is a strict two year time limit from the date of an assault by which a claim must be submitted to the authority. In the case of a child, the two year time limit will run from the date the child reaches the age of maturity.
Compensation is assessed with regard to a tariff scheme. The scheme sets out a large number of specifically identified injuries, ranging from particular categories of orthopaedic injury to psychiatric injury. Each category has a prescribed monetary value, which is non-negotiable. No compensation is payable unless the injury attracts a minimum value of £1,000.
In the case of a claim in respect of psychiatric injury, the injury must constitute a ‘disabling mental injury’, confirmed by diagnosis or prognosis of psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. It does not include temporary mental anxiety.
In addition to a claim for injury, an application may also be made for loss of earnings. Again, this is subject to a condition; the absence from work must exceed 28 weeks.
If you have suffered injury arising from an assault, then please contact us for a confidential discussion.

Email Jacqueline Raitt
Call our personal injury claims team free on 0808 560 0872
Arrange a callback by using our enquiry form

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