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Can I Claim Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 27th September 2023. This guide will discuss whether or not you can claim criminal injuries without pressing charges. Victims of violent crimes can claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The CICA is a government agency which compensates the victims of violent crimes. In some circumstances, you might also be able to claim directly against someone who has harmed you.

In England and Wales, you can make a criminal injury claim for compensation through the CICA if you were the victim of a violent crime. You could claim compensation for physical or mental injuries you sustained. Moreover, you could claim compensation for money or property damage you lost because of the crime. In this guide, we’ll look at the process of claiming without pressing charges against the person who injured you.

Here are some examples of crimes you may be able to claim compensation for:

Please read on to learn the answer to questions such as ‘can you claim sue someone without pressing charges?’ or ‘can you claim criminal injuries without a conviction?’. If you would like to speak to our advisors, please get in touch with us today:

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Can I claim criminal injuries without pressing charges guide

Can I claim criminal injuries without pressing charges guide

Select A Section

  1. Can I Claim Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges
  2. Cooperating With The Police
  3. What Is The CICA – Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
  4. Criminal Compensation Claim – What Evidence Do You Need?
  5. How Much Could You Claim For Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges?
  6. Find Out If You Can Claim Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges

Can I Claim Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges

If you wish to claim criminal injury compensation, you may be wondering if you can do so without pressing charges. The answer to this question depends on your circumstances.

Sometimes it is not possible to press charges against a criminal. Under these circumstances, you may still be able to claim compensation.

Here are some examples of why pressing charges may not be possible:

  • Firstly, the assailant may no longer be alive. This means that they cannot be prosecuted.
  • Secondly, the assailant might not have been identifiable. There might not be enough evidence to show who harmed you.

However, you must report the crime and cooperate with the police to make a criminal injury claim through the CICA. The CICA state that they expect claimants to do everything possible to cooperate with them in the investigation.

If the police identify the criminal and wish to press charges, you must do so to claim compensation. Failure to do so will mean you cannot make a criminal injury compensation claim.

Cooperating With The Police

You cannot claim criminal injuries without pressing charges if you have not cooperated with the police. Firstly, the CICA expects you to have reported the crime to the police. Furthermore, you must have done everything possible to help the police force bring the assailant to justice, including pressing charges when appropriate.

The CICA requires you to cooperate with the police because the public fund the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. So, cooperating with the police is a requirement for claiming compensation.

What Is The CICA – Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-sponsored executive agency. Importantly the government set up the CICA to compensate victims of violent crimes.

Here are some examples of injuries you could claim for:

For more information on the eligibility criteria that could allow you to claim, speak with an advisor today.

Are You Eligible To Claim Via The CICA?

To claim compensation for a criminal injury, the CICA have some eligibility requirements that you need to meet. Firstly, you must have reported the crime to the police and have cooperated with them.

Secondly, you must be within the criminal injury claims time limit. The time limit is normally two years. But the CICA can extend the claims time limit under specific circumstances.

For example, if your injuries prevented you from claiming compensation within the time limit, then your claim might be accepted outside of it. You might also be able to claim if you experienced historic sexual abuse and were unable to report it to the police at the time for reasons outside of your control.

Criminal Compensation Claim – What Evidence Do You Need?

When seeking compensation through the CICA, the claim needs to be supported with evidence. However, the evidence only needs to be sufficient to prove that you are telling the truth on the balance of probability. You need to have reported the incident to the police in order to successfully claim through the CICA, and the police may conduct an investigation to corroborate your claim.

Below, we have provided some examples of evidence you could present when making a claim for criminal injuries:

  • Medical evidence details the nature and extent of your injuries
  • Proof of the residency requirements.
  • Witness statements from anyone who saw the incident
  • Photographs/video footage of your injuries or possibly even of the incident itself (for example, if it was captured on CCTV)

It can sometimes be possible to claim directly against the criminal. A compensation claim, in this case, would likely require more extensive evidence than claiming through the CICA. Additionally, the assailant must also be identified and have the funds available to pay you in order to make a claim this way.

If you want to know more about what evidence you could gather to support your claim, get in touch with our advisors.

How Much Could You Claim For Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges?

When claiming a settlement for an injury inflicted by criminal damage, the claim value is calculated by addressing the CICA claim tariff. Each injury is assigned a set value.

However, if injured by a criminal, compensation can generally only be awarded for a maximum of 3 injuries at once. The highest valued injury is awarded at 100% of the set rate, the second-most valuable at 30%, and the third-most at 15%. However, there are certain injuries (such as the loss of a foetus) that are not subjected to this discounted rate.

We’ve included some examples of criminal injury compensation amounts in the table below.

Type Of Injury Standard Damages Description Of The Injury
Moderate Brain Damage A17 £82,000 Significant injuries. Dependence on others, changes to the persons’ personality, and a reduced ability to work.
Moderate Brain Damage A16 £55,000 Moderate form of the same injuries and effects as the category above.
Burn Injuries A14 £33,000 Burn injuries which affect more than 25% of the body. They could be spread across multiple parts of the body and include significant scarring.
Scarring – Face A8 £11,000 Serious disfigurement
Scarring – Face A4 £2,400 Significant disfigurement
Severe Upper Limb Burns A8 £11,000 Severe burns
Moderate Upper Limb Burns A4 £2,400 Moderate (excluding minor burns)
Neck Injury A8 £11,000 Strains and whiplash injuries. The injury will be seriously disabling and permanent.
Dislocated Or Fractured Elbow A7 £6,200 Dislocation or fracture of one elbow with continuing and significant disability.
Dislocated Shoulder A7 £6,200 Dislocation of both shoulders with continuing and significant disabilities.

Can I Claim Special Expenses If I Don’t Press Charges?

If you make a successful claim through the CICA for compensation for a criminal injury, you may also be awarded special expenses. Under special expenses, you could receive:

  • And equipment you depended on as a physical aid that was damaged in the incident, such as your glasses.
  • Care costs that relate to your bodily functions or food preparation.
  • Adaptations to your home to help you cope with your injuries, such as adding a stairlift or ramp.
  • Equipment needed to cope with your injuries, such as a specially adapted car.

All of these costs must have been necessary, directly resulted from your injury, and reasonable. They must also not be available for free elsewhere.

You may also be able to claim for a loss of earnings as part of your criminal injury claim. However, you will need to meet specific criteria.

To learn what this criteria is, you can contact our advisors. They could also help answer any questions you may have if you are still unsure whether you could make a claim through the CICA without pressing charges.

What Happens If You Sue Someone With No Money In The UK?

If someone makes a criminal injury claim through the CICA, then any compensation awarded will be provided through the Scheme. However, in some cases, the claimant may be able to claim directly against the defendant by making a civil claim. While this may be possible in some cases, certain circumstances may make it impractical to pursue a claim against a criminal directly.

One factor that may prevent you from making a personal injury claim directly against a criminal is when they lack the funds to compensate you sufficiently for your damages. Depending on the circumstances, a court may be able to order a criminal to sell personal property (such as a house they own) to cover the payment they owe if you make a successful claim against them. However, if there is no practical way for a criminal to pay what they owe, then you may be able to claim through the CICA instead.

If you hire a solicitor to help you get compensation for your criminal injuries, then they should be able to advise you on what type of claim is the best one to make.

Find Out If You Can Claim Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges

If you have valid grounds to make a CICA claim for criminal injuries even without having gone through the process to press charges in the UK, then we recommend working with a solicitor who can support your case. Our advisors could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors if you discuss your claim with them first.

Our No Win No Fee solicitors can assist with criminal injury claims under what’s called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). If your claim is supported under such an agreement, then that means that you won’t need to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor for their services. You also won’t need to pay your solicitor if your claim goes ahead, and it proves unsuccessful.

If your claim is a success, then your solicitor will usually have their payment covered by what’s called a success fee. This is a legally capped percentage taken from the criminal injury compensation awarded to you.

To learn more about how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help with your criminal injury claim, you can contact our advisors for free by:

Thank you for reading our guide. We hope it has answered the question, “Can I claim criminal injuries without pressing charges?”.

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      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.