Actual Bodily Harm Compensation Claims

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ABH Compensation – Can I Get Compensation For Being Attacked?

By Mary Hightown. Last Updated 20th September 2022. In this guide, we explain how making a valid claim for ABH compensation works. You may already know that if you are injured in an accident caused by somebody else, you could make a personal injury claim for compensation. A claim may also be possible if you are the victim of a criminal injury such as actual bodily harm (ABH).

While it is possible in some cases to claim directly against the criminal, most criminal injury claims are made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a particularly useful route to claiming if the perpetrator does not have the fund to pay you compensation or if they have not been identified.

How To Claim Compensation For Actual Bodily Harm

One type of crime that might lead to a claim is called Actual Bodily Harm. Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to investigate how ABH compensation works. We’ll look at the CICA claims process, the eligibility requirements and the amount of compensation you might be paid.

ABH compensation claims guide

ABH compensation claims guide

If you do decide to claim for your physical or psychological injuries, we can help. Our team can provide a telephone consultation and free legal advice about your claim.

If the claim appears to be strong, then we may be able to connect you to one of our specialist ABH solicitors. Importantly, they work on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim they accept. That means you won’t need to pay any solicitor’s fees unless you receive compensation. All in all, this will mean the claims process is a lot less stressful.

To begin the claims process right away, you can call us on 0800 073 8804 today. Alternatively, to read more about claiming and to see some examples of CICA payouts, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Actual Bodily Harm ABH Compensation Claims

In this guide, we’re going to explain when ABH compensation might be claimed. We will also answer some common questions related to this topic. They include “what does ABH mean?”, “can you get compensation for being assaulted?” and “how much compensation will I get from the CICA?”.

As we progress, we’ll show that there are two ways that you could be compensated. The first is through the CICA, which operates a government scheme allowing victims of crime to be compensated for their injuries. The next is a personal injury claim where you could claim directly against the individual who assaulted you or a third party that failed to prevent you from being assaulted on their premises.

Each method of claiming has its own criteria. For example, if you wish to claim through the CICA scheme, you may have 2 years to start your claim beginning from either the date the ABH crime occurred or the date you reported the crime to the police. For personal injury claims, you’ll need to start within 3 years of the date you were assaulted. Also, compensation amounts vary between the two different methods. Therefore, we’ll provide a compensation calculator for each later in the guide.

We understand how tricky it will be to discuss your case with somebody you don’t know. Our advisors will treat your call in confidence and will work at a speed that suits you. They won’t put any pressure on you to proceed to a claim but will be able to refer you to a No Win No Fee criminal injuries solicitor if your case is strong enough. If you’d like to know more, please call our claims team today.

What Is Actual Bodily Harm?

Actual Bodily Harm is battery or assault that results in harm to the victim’s body. There doesn’t need to be any serious injury for an ABH conviction, but the act would need to be more serious than a shove or a push.

Acts that leave the victim with bite marks, bruises or scratches would qualify as  ABH. Importantly, prosecutors only need to prove that the criminal intended to use unlawful force. They don’t need to show that injuring the victim was the intent.

As an example, if you have been pushed and fell and banged your head on the pavement as a result, the act would likely be classed as ABH as the assailant intended to push you, even if they did not intend for you to hurt your head.

Is ABH Worse Than GBH?

Actual Bodily Harm and Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) are both forms of assault. They are both crimes that could result in the criminal being sent to prison.

GBH is an act that causes really serious harm, meaning it is the worse of the two crimes. However, the injuries do not have to be permanent or life-threatening in order for someone to be found guilty of GBH.

Crimes that could lead to a GBH conviction include those that cause a loss of sensory function, visible disfigurement or permanent disability. Typically, GBH involves injuries like broken bones, substantial loss of blood or serious psychological injuries.

The two offences covered by GBH are:

  • Causing grievous bodily harm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
  • Unlawful wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The first case (GBH with intent) carries a maximum term of life imprisonment. To be found guilty of unlawful wounding, the skin must be broken in some way. This can lead to up to 5 years in prison.

If you have been assaulted and would like to check if you could claim ABH compensation, please call our specialist advisors today. One of our advisors will be happy to offer you free legal advice about the process of making a claim.

What Injuries Could The Victim Suffer?

As described above, ABH will result in injuries that are obvious but don’t have any serious impact on your health. The types of injuries that could lead to ABH compensation include:

  • Light bruising.
  • Small scratches.
  • Grazes and cuts

Remember, though, if you are claiming compensation after being assaulted, it’s possible that you could also claim for any psychological injuries. For example, you might need to consider the fact that you get overwhelmed with anxiety when you go near the place where the crime was committed. You might also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which could have an impact on your quality of life.

To discuss how you’ve been affected and to find out if you could claim, please call our team today. Otherwise, read on to find out more about how to report this kind of crime.

Reporting Actual Bodily Harm

In this section, we are going to look at how to report a crime that could lead to an ABH compensation claim.

ABH claims against employers

If you’re assaulted whilst at work, you may decide to take action against your employer for failing to protect you. If that is the course of action you take, you should report the incident to your supervisor as soon as possible and make sure it is recorded in the company’s accident report book.

However, in order to pursue a claim, you need to show that your employer did not do everything they could to stop the assault from happening. For instance, if you were assaulted by a colleague who had spent the last few weeks talking about their plans to hit you and your employer did nothing to stop this, then you may be able to claim.

However, if an on-the-spot argument escalated into physical violence, you may not be entitled to claim. This is because there is nothing that your employer reasonably could have done to stop the incident from happening.

Importantly, your employer cannot take any action against you for claiming against them. That means you can’t be sacked, dismissed, or treated differently.

ABH in public places

If somebody commits ABH against you in a pub, nightclub or any other public place, you may have grounds to make a personal injury claim against the business responsible. That’s because they will have a duty of care towards your safety whilst on their premises.

Therefore, in a nightclub, for instance, you might have grounds for compensation if another customer was drunk and there weren’t any security staff monitoring the area for trouble. Again, you should report the incident to the business owner and ask for a copy of the accident report.

However, your eligibility to claim compensation in these circumstances will depend on what it’s reasonable to expect the nightclub to have done. If they can show that they took all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of patrons, you may not be able to claim even if you were injured.

As we’ll explain shortly, if you claim through the CICA, the crime must have been reported to the police as soon as possible. If you cannot report it to the police right away, you should be able to provide evidence as to why you were unable to do this.

Ascertaining The Defendant’s Guilt

In terms of criminality, Actual Bodily Harm is covered by the Offences Against The Person Act 1861 (section 47). It is an ‘either way’ offence. This means that cases can be heard at both Magistrates or Crown Courts.

Criminals found guilty of ABH can be given anything from a fine to a 5-year custodial prison sentence. To determine how long a sentence to hand out, courts will assess factors such as whether the crime was premeditated and how serious the physical or psychological harm was.

However, if you want to claim through the CICA, the criminal who assaulted you does not need to have been found guilty in court. In fact, you could make a claim if the assailant has never been identified at all. In court, the criminal’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt; however, a different system is used in CICA claims, which we’ll discuss shortly.

CICA ABH Compensation Claims

Let’s now look at the Criminal Injury Claims Authority in more detail. The CICA is an agency of the Ministry of Justice. They award compensation for people injured in violent crimes.

The CICA is bound by the rules of the government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. When reviewing claims, the CICA officers assess them against the scheme’s criteria to decide when to pay and how much compensation to award.

The CICA scheme has its own criteria, which are different from those used to value personal injury claims. To be entitled to claim through the scheme, you must:

  • Have been injured in a violent crime in England, Wales or Scotland
  • Be pursuing your claim within 2 years of the incident happening (however, some exceptions can apply to this time limit)
  • Have reported the crime to the police as soon as possible after the incident

Again, you do not need to know who assaulted you. They don’t need to have been found, charged or prosecuted either. That’s because the CICA scheme is based on the balance of probabilities rather than requiring concrete evidence about what happened.

Therefore, if you’ve reported the crime to the police, you could be compensated regardless of the outcome of their investigations. However, you need to show that you were cooperative with the police during their investigation of the crime, as otherwise, this could negatively affect your claim.

To find out more about claiming ABH compensation through the CICA, please contact an advisor today.

Can I Get Compensation For Being Attacked Through The Courts?

An alternative to making a claim through the CICA is to claim against the person who assaulted you. This may be possible if they have the means to compensate you. Unlike CICA claims, you would obviously need to know who the criminal is in order to take action against them.

Using a personal injury lawyer, you could start proceedings against the criminal directly. The solicitor would contact them to see if they admit liability for your injuries and if so, negotiate over how much compensation you should be paid. If they weren’t willing to admit to injuring you, the claim could be heard by a court.

One of the main drawbacks of claiming in this manner is that the person you are claiming against may not have the money to pay you compensation. In cases like these, it would be better to claim through the CICA scheme.

Calculating ABH Compensation Claims

Let’s now look at what amount of ABH compensation might be paid for different injuries. To help, we’ve provided two compensation tables. Table 1 shows the amounts you might be paid when claiming through the CICA scheme. The second table shows potential compensation amounts that might be paid if you win a civil case.

Table 1: CICA Compensation

Injury Claim Severity Compensation Tariff Extra details
Psychological Moderate £19,000 A permanent psychological injury diagnosed by a psychologist.
Head Minor £6,200 Where a minor head injury leads to permanent headaches, balance impairment or concussion.
Skull Fracture £3,500 Covers skull simple skull fractures where an operation is required.
Eye Moderate £6,200 Injuries that result in blurred or double vision.
Jaw Dislocation £3,500 Where a dislocated jaw causes continuing and significant disability.
Arm Loss of function £44,000 Loss of function of the dominant arm.
Wrist Fracture £6,200 Where a single wrist fracture leads to continuing significant disability.
Lung Puncture £1,500 Where a single lung is punctured.
Leg Fracture £4,600 Covers a fractured femur causing a continuing significant disability.

These figures are from the CICA Tariff of Injuries.

Assault Compensation – Calculating Compensation In A Personal Injury Claim

If seeking assault compensation, you may be able to seek compensation either through the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) or through a personal injury claim. Depending on how you claim, your payout will be calculated differently. While there is a fixed tariff for injuries in the CICA scheme, there are no fixed amounts for injury types when claiming through a civil claim.

In a personal injury claim, your compensation for ABH assault is determined by your specific circumstances rather than from a fixed tariff. The severity of your injury and its impact are some of the factors that can affect your payout. Additionally, solicitors use compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines to assist them in valuing claims.

Your claim could comprise general damages and special damages. While general damages compensate for your pain and suffering, special damages can compensate you if you have suffered financial loss due to your ABH injuries.

The list of compensation payouts in the table below are taken from the 2022 edition of the JCG. However, please bear in mind that the assault compensation you receive for your ABH injuries may not match the amounts in the table as they are only a guide.

Injury Claim Severity Settlement Bracket Extra details
Other Arm Injuries (b) Loss of function (b) £39,170 to £59,860 Fractures that result in one or both arms being significantly disabled.
Leg (c) Less Serious (i) £17,960 to £27,760 Fractures or serious soft tissue injuries from which an incomplete recovery is made
Psychological (b) Moderate £5,860 to £19,070 While the claimant may have had significant issues with coping with life, work and relationships, many improvements will have been made and there will be a good prognosis.
Chest (d) Puncture £12,590 to £17,960 Covers injuries like a single penetrating wound where there may be some permanent cosmetic damage but no long-term damage to lung function.
Head (e) Minor £2,210 to £12,770 If there has been any brain damage, it will be minimal.
Eye (h) Minor £3,950 to £8,730

Covers the types of injuries that might be sustained after being struck in the eye.
Jaw (e) Fracture (iii) £6,460 to
A simple fracture where complete recovery occurs after immobilization.
Wrist (e) Fracture In the region of £7,430 An uncomplicated Colles’ fracture.

The figures listed relate to general damages: an amount awarded for the pain and suffering an injury has caused. You can also claim an amount for the financial impact of your injury. This is special damages. You could be able to request compensation for:

  • Your affected income
  • Cost of your treatment or care needs
  • Cost of aids you need to help you manage your injury

For more information on seeking compensation for an ABH injury or ABH criminal assault by making a civil claim, call our team.

Other Damages You Could Claim

When you make any type of compensation claim, it’s important to consider whether your injuries have affected you financially. In civil claims, this is called a special damages claim. Financial claims through the CICA scheme are called special expenses. The types of claims you could make include those for:

  • Loss of earnings. This may be possible if your injuries prevented you from working and you didn’t receive full sick pay.
  • Medical expenses. Although you will be treated free by the NHS, you could still incur some costs. Therefore, you could claim for prescription fees or treatments not available on the NHS.
  • Care costs. You might need to claim an hourly rate for a friend or relative who needed to support you during your recovery. A claim may also be possible if you had to pay a professional carer.
  • Modifications to your home. If your injuries have left you with some type of disability, it could be possible to claim for the cost of changing your home to make it easier to cope.
  • Travel costs. If you make multiple trips to a hospital or GP surgery, you may incur fuel or public transport costs. Therefore, you could add these to the value of your claim.

CICA special expenses

When claiming special expenses through the CICA scheme, you’ll need to prove that:

  • The costs were caused directly by the criminal injury you sustained.
  • That there isn’t another way of receiving the same benefit for free (i.e. through the NHS).
  • That the cost is reasonable.

There are some more restrictions to what you can include in a claim for special expenses. For instance, you can only claim special expenses if you lost earning capacity for at least 28 weeks after the incident in which you were injured.

If you’d like to know more about what special damages or expenses you could request in an ABH compensation claim, please call our team today. You can also get in touch to find out some of the exceptions that apply when making a CICA claim for special expenses. Otherwise, read on to find out more about No Win No Fee agreements.

No Win No Fee Claims For ABH Compensation

Something that might be worrying you about the claims process is how much a solicitor will cost. However, if you work with Legal Expert you won’t need to pay any solicitor’s fees upfront. This is because, if your case is accepted, your solicitor will provide their services on a No Win No Fee basis.

Before agreeing to represent you, the solicitor will review your claim in detail to check that it is viable. If they believe they can win the case, you’ll be offered a No Win No Fee agreement. This shows you what your solicitor needs to achieve before you need to pay them. If your claim fails, you won’t need to pay the solicitor’s fees.

Where compensation is paid out, your solicitor will deduct a success fee. Legally, success fees are capped so you cannot be overcharged.

To learn if your claim could be accepted on a No Win No Fee basis, please call today.

Start Your ABH Compensation Claim

You are nearly at the end of this guide about ABH compensation. If you are considering claiming and would like our support, here are the ways you can get in touch:

We are proud to offer free claims advice and a no-obligation review of any claim. To make things easier, our claims line operates 24-7.

Read More

To help you further, this section contains a few additional guides and resources.

Reporting Historical Abuse – Details on the process for reporting historical abuse to the police.

Broken Bones – NHS guidance on how to know if you’ve broken a bone.

Coping With Crime – A helpful article from the charity Victim Support.

Below, you can learn more about CICA claims via our other guides:

UK Violent Crime Statistics

In the year ending March 2021, the number of violent crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales was down. This could be because of the implementation of national lockdowns.

This is according to data from the Office for National Statistics. In its report, figures reveal that:

  • The number of homicides fell by 16% (600) compared to the previous year ending March 2020.
  • Knife-enabled crime fell by 15%.
  • Firearm offences that were reported to the police fell by 14%.

More recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics reveal the amount of violent crime reported in England and Wales in the year ending September 2021. When compared to the year ending September 2020, the following was found:

  • The number of homicides recorded made a small increase. A total of 666 were recorded in the year ending September 2021.
  • There was a 9% decrease in the number of offences recorded by police which involved firearms.
  • There was a 10% decrease in the amount of knife-enable crime reported.

FAQs About Violent Crime Compensation Claims

In the final section of this guide about ABH compensation, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions for you.

How much compensation will I get for an assault UK?

The amount of compensation awarded will depend upon the severity of your injuries. For example, if you sustain a broken rib that heals in a month, you’ll receive less than somebody whose lung was punctured after being stabbed. Whether you make a civil claim or a CICA claim, a medical assessment will be used to determine the extent of your injuries.

Can you get compensation for being assaulted?

If you are assaulted and sustain an injury, you have two ways in which you could be compensated. Firstly, you could make a civil claim against the person who assaulted you. If that’s not possible, a claim could be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

What do I pay to start my claim?

If you start an ABH compensation claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor, there won’t be any solicitor’s fees to pay upfront. You’ll only pay your solicitor if they win compensation for you.

What do I pay if I win my claim?

If you make a personal injury claim or a claim through the CICA scheme, you will pay your solicitor a success fee if you are awarded compensation. When using a Conditional Fee Agreement to fund your legal representation, the success fee is limited by law to 25% of your settlement figure, excluding future damages.

If you would like to speak to an advisor about claiming for ABH compensation, you can contact Legal Expert for support. You can reach us using the contact details included within this guide.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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