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Can I Claim Criminal Injuries Without Pressing Charges?

Last Updated 11th July 2024. 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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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?

As we have already discussed, it is possible to claim criminal injuries without pressing charges through the CICA. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 is a document used by the CICA which has set tariffs of injuries. 

Here are some of the factors that are considered under this scheme:

  • How many times the violent crime occurred. 
  • How many perpetrators there were.
  • The extent of psychiatric and physical suffering.

If you are wishing to claim for multiple criminal injuries, then the multiple injuries formula will apply. You can claim for up to three injuries from the main tariff. Here is how your injuries will be valued under this formula:

  • You receive 100% compensation for the most serious injury suffered.
  • You receive 30% compensation for the second most serious injury suffered. 
  • You receive 15% compensation for the third most serious injury suffered. 

Certain injuries, not found in this main tariff, will not be subject to the multiple injuries formula.

We have provided some tariffs from the scheme in the table below so you can see what could possibly be awarded for a successful criminal injury claim. Additionally, we’ve provided a non-tariff figure (not from the scheme) in the top row to show you how you could be compensated for more than one injury and special expenses. 

Compensation Table

Type Of InjurySeverityTariff
Multiple serious injuries with special expensesSeriousUp to £500,000
Brain damageModerately severe£110,000
Loss of LegsBoth legs (above or below the knee)£110,000
Loss of ArmOne dominant arm£55,000
Fractures/Dislocations of Both HipsContinuing Significant Disability£16,500
EyeSerious and permanent blurred or double vision£13,500
Disabling mental injury, confirmed by diagnosis Lasting 5+ years, but isn't permanent £13,000
Upper limb burnsSevere£11,000
Face scarringSerious disfigurement £11,000
Face FracturesMultiple£11,000

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

Special expenses are financial losses you have incurred from your criminal injuries. In order to be reimbursed for special expenses, they must be reasonable, necessary, and directly resulting from the crime of violence. 

Such financial losses you could incur after a violent crime include:

  • Home adaptations, such as ramps. 
  • Repair costs on any personal aid that was broken during the incident, such as hearing aids. 
  • Professional care and support costs relating to bodily functions or food preparations. 
  • Administrative costs relating to recovery. 

You may also be reimbursed for any loss of earnings you have incurred if you meet certain criteria. 

To learn more about how much criminal injury compensation could be claimed without pressing charges for assault in the UK, please contact us.

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:

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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 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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