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Grievous Bodily Harm Criminal Injury Claims Guide

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 18th August 2023. This guide will look at making a claim for grievous bodily harm (GBH) through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA award compensation to those who have been injured due to a crime of violence that happened in Great Britain. We explain what GBH is before taking a look at the eligibility criteria you need to meet to make a criminal injury claim for this type of harm. Additionally, we look at a few situations in which you could experience this type of assault.

grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims

Grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims guide

If you are eligible to make a claim through the CICA, you may be interested in how GBH compensation could be awarded. This guide will explain how the CICA compensates criminal injuries. We’ll also provide a few examples from the tariff of injuries found in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

We conclude this guide with a look at the benefits of instructing a No Win No Fee solicitor specialising in criminal injury claims to work on your case.

If you’d like to learn about the key points from this guide, why not check out our video below:

If you need any help regarding your potential claim for compensation for GBH, please get in touch with an advisor from our team. To speak to an advisor:

Select A Section

  1. What Is GBH?
  2. What Is The Difference Between GBH And ABH
  3. What Harm May Be Caused To The Victim?
  4. Do I Need Evidence To Receive GBH Compensation?
  5. How Should People Report Being The Victim Of GBH?
  6. Claiming Compensation For GBH Through The Courts
  7. Claiming Compensation For GBH Through The CICA
  8. Criminal Injury Compensation Calculator
  9. Compensation For GBH – What Are Special Expenses?
  10. Claim Compensation For GBH With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  11. Essential References

What Is GBH?

A fairly common question when talking about criminal assault is, “what is classed as GBH?”. It is essentially where an assault causes a very serious injury to a criminal injury victim.

The Offences against the Person Act 1861 provides details on what determines GBH. It sets out what GBH with intent is and what GBH without intent is.

If you have experienced GBH, you may be eligible to make your claim through the CICA. For more information on how to make grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, please continue reading.

What Is GBH With Intent?

As per Section 18 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, GBH with intent is where someone unlawfully and maliciously intends to cause grievous bodily harm to any person.

It may be referred to as, ‘causing GBH with intent’ or ‘wounding with intent’.

What Is GBH Without Intent?

GBH without intent is where the attacker has intended to attack the person but hasn’t intended to cause the level of harm that was sustained by the victim.

For instance, the attacker may have intended to push over the victim but didn’t intend for the victim to fall and hit their head on the curb causing them to sustain a serious head injury.

Examples of GBH

There are various types of GBH, such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Puncture wounds, such as those caused by a weapon
  • Concussion
  • Brain damage
  • Spinal damage

If you have experienced a similar type of GBH or have another example of GBH that you would like to discuss, please get in touch with our team. An advisor could help you understand whether you’re eligible to make your claim through the CICA.

What Is The Difference Between GBH And ABH?

Both ABH and GBH are forms of assault. They can both be intentional or reckless, but they carry very different sentences for criminal conviction. ABH has a maximum sentence of 5-years in jail whereas section 18 GBH can result in life imprisonment.

So, if we take the analogy from the previous section. If somebody pushes over another person, and they sustain a sprained wrist from the fall, this would be classed as ABH as the injury is not serious. However, if the fall caused a fractured skull, then the crime could be classed as GBH due to the seriousness of the injury.

To learn more about grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, please read on.

What Harm May Be Caused To The Victim?

One of the criteria used by courts when sentencing a criminal for GBH is the level of harm caused to the victim. Therefore, they’ll consider:

  • The type of injuries caused by the assault. This can include psychological injuries or the transmission of disease.
  • Where the assault was sustained.
  • If the victim was particularly vulnerable.

Therefore, a sentence could be increased if the victim was an elderly or vulnerable member of society.

Do I Need Evidence To Receive GBH Compensation?

Whether your injuries were caused by GBH without intent, or GBH with intent, you need to be able to support your claim with evidence. However, the burden of evidence can be reduced depending on how you make your claim.

When making a civil claim directly against the assailant for you GBH injuries, then the evidence needs to be substantial. In other words, “beyond reasonable doubt”.

When making CICA claims, your claim is assessed based on “the balance of probability”. However, some evidence will still be required. Reporting the incident to the Police is a must. There then may be short investigation to corroborate your story.

If you have any questions, get in touch with our advisors today.

How Should People Report Being The Victim Of GBH?

We’re now going to look at how you should report being the victim of GBH. We’ll look at cases of GBH at work and in public places. This is because, in order to have grounds to make grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, the crime will have had to have been reported to the police first.

If you’ve been the victim of GBH in a different scenario, don’t worry, you could still begin a claim. Speak with an advisor and let them know what happened. In both of the scenarios listed below, you should seek medical attention for your injuries and report the crime to the police (and ask for a reference number).

Claims For GBH In The Workplace

All employers have a duty of care to try and ensure their staff’s safety wherever possible. This might mean putting security measures in place if there’s a perceived risk to staff from customer violence. For instance, they could provide security screens or security guards if necessary.

If you experience an assault at work, you should inform a supervisor or manager as soon as possible. By law, they should log the incident in their accident report book. If you do make a claim because your employer’s negligence led to the assault, the accident report form could be used as evidence to prove dates, times and who was involved.

That said, employers might have absolutely no way of knowing that an assault might take place. If that’s the case, you wouldn’t be able to claim against your employer, but you could be eligible to claim through the CICA.

For more information on making an accident at work claim, call our team. Alternatively, please read on for more examples of grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims.

Claims For GBH In Public Places

Similarly, if you are assaulted in a public place, you should report the incident to the staff so that it’s logged. If it can be shown that the operator of a business was somehow negligent and allowed the assault to happen, then you could be entitled to claim against them.

For instance, if a customer was allowed to continue purchasing alcohol in a bar when they’d already been aggressive and then went on to assault you, you might be able to claim compensation.

If you experienced a public park accident assault or an assault in another public place, please get in touch with our team on the number above.

Claiming Compensation For GBH Through The Courts

In some cases of grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, if the person who assaulted you has the means to compensate you, you could take legal action against them.

This could involve contacting a solicitor and explaining what happened. They could then contact the defendant or their legal representative to see if they admit liability. If they do, then the next step would be to work out how much compensation you’re entitled to. In cases where liability isn’t accepted or the amount of compensation is contested, the claim might have to be decided in court.

Claiming Compensation For GBH Through The CICA

If you’ve exhausted other means of claiming compensation for GBH, you could use the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). They are a government department that allow claims to be made for victims of violent crimes, such as common assault, unprovoked attacks or violent muggings.

Their criteria for claiming are different from a normal personal injury claim though. For instance, you only have 2-years to claim through the CICA compensation scheme, the crime must’ve been reported to the police and the amount of compensation paid is different too.

Criminal Injury Compensation Calculator

You may be wondering what criminal compensation payouts for injuries can include.

If you’re claiming for a criminal injury, you could receive compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. When claiming through the CICA, there is a fixed tariff for each type of injury.

Through the CICA, you could receive compensation for multiple injuries. However, you will only receive the full tariff value for your most serious injury. For multiple injuries, the payout system is:

  • 100% of the tariff value for the most serious injury
  • 30% for an injury with the equal or second-highest compensation value
  • 15% for any other injury with the equal or third highest compensation value

However, some injuries are not subject to this. This includes:

  • Pregnancy
  • Loss of a foetus
  • If you’ve contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STI)

The table in this section can serve as an alternative to a criminal injury compensation calculator to see how much your claim may be worth. It includes compensation amounts for different injuries as listed in the CICA tariff.

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.

As you’ll see, the amount of compensation awarded depends on the severity of your injury. Therefore, it’s important that your solicitor is able to prove the true extent of your suffering to try and ensure you’re compensated fairly.

As part of the claims process, our solicitors will arrange for a medical assessment with an independent medical specialist. They’ll assess you physically, review your medical notes and ask you some questions.

Based on their assessment, they’ll provide a report to your solicitor which will explain what injuries you sustained, how they affected you and whether you’ll have any issues in the future.

Alternatively, you could use a criminal injuries compensation calculator but again the figure you receive should only be used as a guide. Or you could speak with our advisors to get an accurate estimate of how much your claim may be awarded.

Compensation For GBH – What Are Special Expenses?

You could also receive special expenses when claiming compensation for GBH. Under special expenses, you could claim for:

  • Any equipment that you relied on as a physical aid that was damaged in the incident, such as your glasses.
  • Equipment needed to cope with your injuries, including physical aids and specially adapted vehicles.
  • Accommodation modifications. This can include changes to both the inside and outside of the home, such as stairlifts and ramps.
  • Care costs that relate to food preparation or your bodily functions.

All of these costs need to be necessary, reasonable and directly resulted from your criminal injury. They also cannot be available for free elsewhere.

Additionally, you might be eligible to claim for a loss of earnings as part of your claim. However, you will need to meet specific criteria.

Call our advisors to learn more about claiming for a loss of earnings and special expenses for criminal injury claims.

Claim Compensation For GBH With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

You could consider working with a No Win No Fee solicitor if you have valid grounds to claim compensation for GBH. Our advisors are available to discuss your claim. If they determine you have a strong case, they may connect you with one of our solicitors.

One of our No Win No Fee solicitors may offer to help with your GBH compensation claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this type of arrangement, you won’t be required to pay upfront or ongoing fees for the solicitor’s services. You also don’t need to pay your solicitor for their services if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your claim is successful, then the solicitor who helped with your claim will take a success fee. This is a legally capped percentage deducted from the compensation awarded to you.

For more advice on claiming compensation with a No Win No Fee solicitor, get in touch with our advisors for free. You can reach them by:

Essential References

Thanks for taking the time to read our grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims guide. We hope we’ve answered any questions you might have about criminal injury claims. In this final section of the guide, we’ve provided some links to some more of our guides and some relevant external resources as well.

Victim Support – An independent UK charity who aim to support those affected by criminal acts or traumatic events.

Domestic Violence And Abuse – Information and support from the NHS for anyone who’s suffered as a result of domestic violence or abuse.

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

Should you need any further information, we’ll be more than happy to help. Please contact an advisor for more details. Thanks for taking the time to read our grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims 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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