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If you have innocently suffered an injury as the result of a violent crime in the last two years then you may be able to claim compensation for criminal injuries.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government organisation which financially compensates victims of crime. It administers the Criminal Compensation Scheme, a free service that processes approximately 65,000 applications every year and allocates almost £200 million in compensation fees.
The CICA operates a tariff detailing over 400 different injuries with corresponding compensation amounts ranging from £1,000 – £250,000. If your injury is minor, for example, a few bruises and scratches, it will fall short of the minimum fee of £1,000 and your criminal injuries compensation claims may not worth pursuing. By the same token, claims are capped at £250,000. Financial loss may also be pursued in certain cases, including earnings lost or the cost of medical care as a result of the injury.
No more than 3 serious injuries sustained in a single crime can be compensated. Claimants will receive 100% of the tariff value for the most severe injury, 30% of the second most serious and 15% for the third most serious injury. If there is a combination of minor personal injuries it’s possible that the CICA will pay the minimum tariff of £1,000.
The CICA works closely with police and medical professionals who supply information and evidence before making a decision about your claim. As a general rule, claims must have been crimes which have been officially reported to the police, but a conviction is not always necessary.
Collecting information from these various sources can be a prolonged exercise and sometimes when information is not readily available or is unclear, interim payments can be made. These payments will be deducted from any final settlement figure ultimately agreed.
Decisions are sent in writing to the claimant and written confirmation of acceptance is required within 90 days if you are happy with the outcome. Failure to do so can result in withdrawal of the offer. Compensation awards for young people under 18 are held in bank accounts accessible when the child reaches adulthood.
Often there are very involved and complex aspects of a criminal injuries claim which would be better pursued by a specialist personal injury lawyer. However, please be aware that the CICA will not pay any legal costs you may have. Our team are more than happy to find out more about your claim and any charges will be outlined before work commences.
You can seek compensation through the CICA while simultaneously using a personal injury lawyer to pursue an employer for compensation if you had an injury at work. However, if both claims are successful, the CICA will expect reimbursement.