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How To Make A Criminal Injury Victim Compensation Claim

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 26th July 2023. This guide is about making a criminal injury victim compensation claim. There are many types of violent crimes and criminal injuries which people could experience both directly or indirectly. It may be that you were the victim of a criminal assault, sexual assault, or suffered grievous bodily harm (GBH) at the hands of someone else.

criminal injury victim compensation claim

Criminal injury victim compensation guide

Various injuries can result from being the victim of a criminal attack, both physical and psychological. Filing a criminal injury claim could give some financial assistance if successful whilst you recover from your injuries. Within this guide, we’ll discuss the process of making a criminal injury claim. This includes key steps such as establishing eligibility to claim and gathering evidence. We’ll also discuss compensation for a victim of crime and how much may be offered.

Legal Expert has a team of criminal injury lawyers that could support you if you have grounds to make a criminal injury victim compensation claim. You can contact us on 0800 073 8804 or reach us online using our online form or 24/7 live chat service.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Criminal Injury Victim Compensation Claim?
  2. Who Is Eligible To Make A Criminal Injury Claim?
  3. Time Limits For Criminal Injury Compensation Claims
  4. Victim Compensation In The UK – What Evidence Will I Need?
  5. How Long Does It Take To Claim Criminal Injury Compensation?
  6. Why Are Some CICA Compensation Claims Delayed?
  7. Could I Check How My Claim Is Progressing?
  8. Criminal Injury Compensation – Claim Calculator
  9. Special Damages Applicable To Compensation Claims
  10. No Win No Fee Criminal Injury Compensation Claims

What Is A Criminal Injury Victim Compensation Claim?

If you suffered injuries as a victim of a violent crime, you might be able to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is a government-funded body to give victims compensation for the injuries they suffered due to a crime of violence.

The CICA could compensate you for the following:

  • Physical and mental injuries.
  • Sexual or physical abuse.
  • Loss of earnings.
  • Special expenses, which we examine later on in this guide.
  • Certain relatives may be able to claim on behalf of a fatality.

When making a claim through the CICA, the perpetrator does not need to be identified or prosecuted. Additionally, you can start the claiming process right after reporting the incident to the police.

However, there are circumstances where you might be able to make a personal injury claim directly against the perpetrator or vicariously liable party instead. In these cases, the perpetrator would need to be identified and have the financial resources to compensate you.

Call our advisors for further information about how to claim for criminal injuries.

Who Is Eligible To Make A Criminal Injury Claim?

If you have been a victim of a crime, a compensation claim could be made through the CICA. However, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have reported the incident to the police.
  • The incident must have occurred in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales), or another relevant place, such as a boat registered to one of the above countries.
  • You must have been injured in a crime of violence. Arson, sexual assault and an attack or some examples that the CICA Scheme define as a crime of violence.
  • You must adhere to the time limits. We will discuss what these are later on in this guide.

If you have any questions about how to claim for criminal injuries through the CICA, you can contact our advisors today.

Time Limits For Criminal Injury Compensation Claims

All claims, regardless of nature, have to be initiated and underway before the time limit has expired. With criminal injury cases made through the CICA, this will generally be 2 years from the date the incident occurred. Therefore, it is imperative to start a claim as soon as possible. However, there are exceptions.

When claiming crime victims compensation, a full report must have been made to the police, where you will be given a crime number. You cannot make a criminal injury claim if it has not been reported. In historical abuse cases where the abuse occurred a long time ago, it may still be possible to file a claim through the CICA scheme two years from the date the incident was reported to the police.

A claim made through CICA is possible if the perpetrator is unidentifiable or has insufficient funds to pay compensation.

In cases where the perpetrator is known and being prosecuted, victims do not have to wait until the criminal trial has ended. If waiting would leave them ‘out of time’ to file their claim, they may not want to wait as this could be detrimental to their case.

However, if they do decide to wait, we would recommend that they request the advice in writing. This can be evidence to prove their reason to CICA for filing a claim ‘out of time’.

Victim Compensation In The UK – What Evidence Will I Need?

In order for victims of crime to claim compensation, they may need to provide certain forms of evidence. It could potentially improve their chances of receiving criminal compensation payouts.

When making a CICA claim, you will be asked to produce a crime reference number in order to show that you have reported the crime to the police. The CICA can then work with the police on certain aspects of your claim, if necessary. If you don’t report the incident to the police, you will not be eligible to receive compensation for a crime through the CICA.

You will also need to provide evidence that you meet the residency requirements. If you are claiming directly against the perpetrator, or against a vicariously liable party, you may need different forms of evidence. For example:

  • CCTV footage
  • Photographs of your injuries
  • If there were any witnesses, you should consider asking for their contact details so that they could corroborate what happened.

How Long Does It Take To Claim Criminal Injury Compensation?

Although we cannot say exactly how long it will take for criminal injury victim compensation claims to settle, we know that CICA attempts to settle most claims within 12 months. However, this may vary and will depend on the nature of the claim. Some claims may take a lot longer, such as claims of a complex nature or where the settlements are of a higher value. Likewise, there are certain cases where settlements are much quicker.

In cases where the victim suffers serious injuries and continues with ongoing medical treatment, a final settlement decision may only come after the prognosis. With these cases, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to request CICA to pay an interim payment.

Why Are Some CICA Compensation Claims Delayed?

Although there’s no set time, the victim of a crime’s compensation could have a delay for several reasons. These include:

  • Where a case is more complex – When more information and evidence are necessary, CICA may need to wait on reports made by medical professionals or the police. Also, for cases involving child abuse or abuse of an adult, if the perpetrator doesn’t receive a conviction in a court, CICA may require extra information and evidence to help them reach a final settlement decision which naturally will take more time.
  • Ongoing treatment – Where the victim needs ongoing medical treatment or is waiting for an official prognosis of future recovery time, CICA may not make a final decision. They may, however, pay an interim payment to provide some financial support to help prevent the victim from suffering from financial hardship as a result of being a victim of crime. We can advise how the length and depth of treatment could influence a payout for a criminal injury victim compensation claim.

Could I Check How My Claim Is Progressing?

You can call CICA at any time to check the progress of your claim. Although it’s possible to handle a claim with CICA independently, it can often feel very daunting and overwhelming. Having a criminal injury solicitor such as those at Legal Expert can be a huge relief.

If you would like Legal Expert to conduct your criminal injury claim on your behalf, please get in touch with us. But if you start your claim and need legal advice, we can still help and take on your case.

You may wonder how much you could receive from a criminal injury victim compensation claim. If so, read our next section for the answer to your question.

Criminal Injury Compensation – Claim Calculator

Criminal injury compensation aims to compensate those who have been harmed physically, psychologically or perhaps even financially, by a criminal attack.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 is used to value criminal injury payouts through the CICA. The figures shown are set amounts received for different injuries.

The CICA tariff compensation is used where the offender cannot pay compensation. If the offender is able to pay victims compensation, the personal injury amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines are used to calculate compensation, as shown in the next section.

Injury Type CICA Compensation Details
Eye Injury £44,000 Serious and permanent loss of visual field.
Scarring Of The Face £11,000 Scarring of the face which results in serious disfigurement.
Face Fractures £11,000 Multiple fractures of the face.
Head Injury £6,200 A minor head injury which leads to permanent balance impairment, concussion or headaches.
Elbow £6,200 A fracture or dislocation of one elbow that causes significant disability.
Skull £4,600 A depressed fracture of the skull which requires an operation.
Teeth £3,500 The loss of four or more front teeth.
Nose £3,500 A nasal injury which results in partial loss of smell, taste or both.
Arm £3,500 A fractured humerus which causes significant disability.

More Payouts For Victim Compensation Claims

In certain circumstances, compensation for victims of crime can come directly from the perpetrator. However, in other instances, you may make your claim through the CICA. One reason for this is that the defendant may not be known or found. Another reason is they simply may not have access to the sufficient funds necessary to compensate you.

If a successful claim is made directly against the assailant, then the compensation would not be awarded in accordance with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tariff. Instead, it would be calculated in the same way as in other personal injury claims. That is, legal professionals would take a look at your medical evidence, as well as a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

We’ve included some figures from the 16th edition of the JCG in the table below, as this is the latest edition, published in 2022. As you can see, each injury has a range of figures alongside. This is to assist those calculating your claim. However, they are only guidelines and there is no guarantee that the amount you receive for your pain and suffering will fall within these brackets.

Injury Description Amount
Brain Damage (a) Very Severe – The compensation awarded may vary depending on several factors such as the person’s life expectancy and the physical limitations. £282,010 to £403,990
Paralysis (b) Paraplegia – The level of compensation will depend on how severely factors such as independence, mental health, and life expectancy are affected. £219,070 to £284,260
Hand (b) Where both hands have been seriously damaged, leading to permanent disability of either a cosmetic or functional nature. £55,820 to £84,570
Eye (d) One eye will be totally lost. £54,830 to £65,710
Arm (b) Arm injuries that cause a permanent and substantial disability such as fractures of a serious nature to either one or both forearms. £39,170 to £59,860
Elbow (a) An elbow injury that is severely disabling £39,170 to £54,830
Neck (b) Moderate – (i) Injuries such as fractures and dislocations, that bring on symptoms immediately with a spinal fusion being required. £24,990 to £38,490
Digestive system (a) Damage that has been caused by a traumatic injury: (iii) Injuries might include a penetrating stab wound. £6,610 to £12,590
Shoulder (e) Clavicle fracture £5,150 to £12,240
Wrist (e) A Colles’ fracture that is simple in nature. In the region of £7,430

Other Expenses

Whether claiming against a perpetrator or through the JCG, there are sometimes other figures you may be able to claim. For instance, a loss of earnings may take place due to you being unable to work due to your injuries.

However, the avenue you take to claim may differ. Please get in touch with our advisors to find out more. They can provide further clarification and also answer questions such as “how long does it take for criminal compensation to come through?”.

Special Expenses Applicable To Compensation Claims

Special expenses cover the financial costs the victim endures because of their injury. These might include goods or services that were necessary, reasonable and weren’t available for free from another place. They could include:

  • Dental/Medical treatments – Any costs because of the injury for dental/medical treatment or medication for serious injuries.
  • Care Expenses – Costs for care help as a result of suffering their injury.
  • Loss of earnings – If you weren’t able to work for over 28 full weeks.

It is especially important to keep hold of any receipts and invoices as proof of payment of these costs.

No Win No Fee Criminal Injury Compensation Claims

If you have valid grounds to make a criminal compensation claim, then you could seek support from a solicitor. We recommend getting support from a solicitor who has experience in handling criminal injury claims. If you contact our advisors about your case, then they may put you in touch with one of our solicitors.

One of our No Win No Fee solicitors may offer their support towards your claim for victim of crime compensation under what’s called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this type of agreement, you won’t need to pay either upfront or ongoing fees for the solicitor’s services. You also won’t need to pay for your solicitor’s services if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your claim does succeed, then the solicitor who supported your claim can take a success fee. This is a legally capped percentage deducted from the compensation you are awarded.

To learn more about making a criminal injury claim, or to see if you could be eligible to work with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, you can contact our advisory team. They can be reached via:

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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.