As a victim of a criminal act you may have the right to seek compensation if you have been left injured or hurt following a violent crime.
Compensation for criminal injuries comes from a government body known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) who operate a scheme to compensate blameless victims of crime in the UK. Unlike in personal injury claims where you claim against an individual, company or their insurer, criminal injury compensation is paid from the CICA fund so the person who committed the crime does not need to have been caught or charged.
What can a criminal injury claim include?
Compensation is awarded for physical and mental pain and suffering which you have endured following a crime of violence. This amount is determined by a set CICA tariff of injuries with the compensation award reflecting the seriousness of the injury.
Loss of earnings can also be claimed if you have been unable to work as a direct result of your injury. If you have been unable to work for over 28 weeks there may be further special expenses that can be claimed.
How do I know if I am eligible for criminal injury compensation?
The government has a detailed set of criteria for who is entitled to claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, but as a general rule you can make a CICA compensation claim if you:
You are a victim of a violent crime or a relative of someone who died
You were not to blame for the incident in any way
Incident occurred in the last two years
Incident took place in Great Britain
Exceptions under the CICA scheme
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority set out some exceptions which may effect your eligibility to claim. So you may not be eligible to claim compensation if:
You have a criminal record
You failed to report it to the police in good time
You acted in a manner that helped cause your injury
You haven't cooperated with the authorities
Do I need a solicitor to claim for a criminal injury?
In straightforward claims you may not need to involve a lawyer as the criminal injury compensation application form can be completed yourself if you are confident in researching the process and entering the relevant details.
However if your injuries are of a serious nature, you have ongoing medical problems or substantial financial losses it may be wise to instruct a solicitor to ensure these are all fully considered as part of your application.
'No Win No Fee' subject to entering into an agreement with a suitable insurance policy and complying with your responsibilities under its terms.