Criminal Injury Claims – How Long Do They Take?

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How Long Does A Criminal Injury Claim Take?

By Danielle Jordan. Last Updated 8th November 2023. Welcome to our guide, which will address the question ‘how long does a criminal injury claim take?’.

If you’ve arrived at this guide, you may already know that if you suffer an injury during a violent crime, then you could receive compensation. In some cases, that could be paid by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Criminal injury claim

Criminal injury claim

We’ll look at the types of crime that could lead to a claim, the injuries that could be compensated and what compensation could be paid. We’ll also look at timescales for completing a CICA claim. In general cases, the process can take around 12 to 18 months to complete. However, we’ll look at what factors could mean a claim takes a bit longer than normal to complete.

Legal Expert could help you begin a CICA claim today. We provide free legal advice on the claims process and offer a no-obligation assessment of your claim. Should your claim appear viable, you could be referred to a specialist solicitor to help you. If they work with you, it’ll be on a No Win, No Fee basis.

If you’d like to start a claim right away, please give us a call on 0800 073 8804. If you’d like to find out more information in the meantime about claiming through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority before calling, please continue reading.

Select A Section

  1. How Long Does Criminal Injuries Compensation Take To Come Through?
  2. What Is A Claim For A Criminal Injury Or Assault?
  3. What Criminal Injury Claim Time Limits Should I Be Aware Of?
  4. What Are Claims Made Though The CICA?
  5. What Criminal Injuries Could I Claim For?
  6. Examples of CICA Payouts
  7. Criminal Injury Claims For Special Expenses
  8. No Win No Fee Claims For Criminal Injuries And Assaults
  9. Essential References

How Long Does Criminal Injuries Compensation Take To Come Through?

So, how long does criminal injuries compensation take to come through after being successfully settled?

The answer is there is no set time period. That’s because criminal injury claims are complex and a number of factors influence how long it may take to settle, such as whether you have acted within the time limit and have provided supporting evidence.

However, the CICA has provided a response to the common query, ‘how long does a CICA claim take?’ The CICA does aim to assess claims as fast as possible and, according to the government, the majority are assessed within 12 months. Again, where cases are more complex and involve serious injuries, these types of claims may take longer.

If you would like to ask our advisors about how long an injury claim takes to settle with the CICA you are welcome to get in touch at any time. It’s worth noting that it’s free to speak to us and you can contact us at whatever time is most convenient for you. We can also help you take legal action today if that’s an avenue you wanted to pursue.

What Is A Claim For A Criminal Injury Or Assault?

You could be eligible to claim compensation if you’ve been injured during a criminal act against you. Depending on the nature of the crime, you could claim for physical injuries, psychological injuries and also financial losses that are linked to your injuries.

There are a couple of different ways in which you could claim compensation following a criminal injury. These are:

  • Where compensation is awarded by a criminal court after the criminal has been convicted.
  • Or through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

One of the conditions of a CICA claim is that you have looked at other avenues of compensation before claiming. This can include the criminal courts, or some financial expenses could be covered by the benefits system or through the NHS.

In many cases, the criminal won’t have the means to compensate you themselves, so the CICA scheme could be possible.

Evidence That Can Support Criminal Injury Claims

When making a criminal injury compensation claim through the CICA, the most important thing you can do to support your case is report it to the police. 

When you seek a payout through the CICA, they are able to liaise with police for any additional information regarding your incident. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our advisors for free, no-obligation advice.

What Criminal Injury Claim Time Limits Should I Be Aware Of?

As well as wanting to know how long does a criminal injury claim take, our clients often ask about the time limits for claiming.

The rule of thumb for CICA claims is that you must apply as soon as it is reasonably practical to do so. For claimants who were an adult at the time of the crime, this should be within 2 years of the incident or 2 years from the date of knowledge about the injuries. However, this can be extended in some cases where:

  • There were exceptional circumstances for complex cases which prevented the claim being made sooner; and
  • Where the medical evidence that supports the claim means there’s no need for extensive enquiries to be made by CICA staff.

Something important is that you don’t have to wait for a criminal prosecution to have finished before claiming. In many cases, this won’t be deemed as an exceptional circumstance which would extend the time limit. The CICA will try to finalise your claim, where possible, regardless of the outcome of criminal prosecutions.

If you are outside of the two-year time limit, our solicitors could help you provide the necessary evidence so that CICA consider your claim. Please contact us for further information.

For crimes made against a child before they turn 18, claims can be made by parents or guardians on their behalf. While the two-year time limit doesn’t apply, CICA’s advice is to begin as soon as possible while all of the relevant information is still fresh in the mind. Where a claim doesn’t happen, the victim has two years from their 18th birthday to begin their own claim.

What Are Claims Made Though The CICA?

The CICA is a government-backed department that can provide compensation to those injured during a violent crime. We’ll look at what types of crime are included later in this guide. In this section, we’ll look at some of the eligibility criteria for making a claim through the CICA scheme.

The key phrase in the CICA scheme’s eligibility criteria is that you need to be a ‘blameless victim of violent crime’. That means that you had no control over the situation, and you didn’t aggravate the criminal in any way. Other criteria for the scheme include:

  • The crime needs to have happened in England, Scotland or Wales (or some other relevant places).
  • The crime must be reported to the police as soon as you were reasonably able to.
  • If the criminal hasn’t been identified, you could still claim but you must’ve co-operated with the police to help them try and catch the criminal.
  • Should you have any unspent criminal convictions, your claim might be refused. The more serious your crime (for instance where you served a custodial sentence), the more likely you are to be turned down.

If you require more advice about whether you’re eligible to claim via the CICA scheme, please contact a member of our claims team for free legal advice.

What Criminal Injuries Could I Claim For?

 So which crimes could potentially make you eligible for compensation? Here are some examples:

  • Assault, such as grievous or actual bodily harm, a mugging or robbery.
  • Sexual assault or rape.
  • Historical abuse.
  • Arson or fire-raising.

The key point is that to be eligible to make a claim, you’ll need to have been injured during the crime. As well as physical injuries, it’s possible to suffer psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which could also entitle you to claim. Also, the threat of violence during a crime, when none was used, could also entitle you to claim if it caused you to suffer.

Examples of CICA Payouts

As we have stated, you could make a claim through the CICA for compensation if you have been injured in a crime of violence. Below are some examples of CICA payouts for the pain and suffering you have endured following a successful claim for criminal injuries.

The amounts listed have been taken from the CICA’s Tariff of Injuries, which is set out in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. Following a successful claim for criminal compensation, the payouts listed are the exact amount you will receive that correlate with your injury.

Additionally, you could claim for multiple injuries. If your claim is successful, you will receive 100% compensation for the highest-valued injury, 30% for the second highest, and 15% for the third highest. You may be able to receive compensation from a different tariff that is not subject to this formula if you became pregnant, contracted an STI or lost a foetus as a result of the crime of violence.

Injury Type Severity Additional Information Tariff
Brain Damage Very Serious At this severity, the injured party will have no useful movement, little to no meaningful responses to their environment and require full-time nursing care with some degree of insight. £250,000
Major Paralysis – Hemiplegia Severe The injured party suffers impairments to their motor or sensory functioning in one half of their body. £110,000
Arm – Both Loss The claimant has lost both of their arms. £110,000
Thumb – Both Loss This tariff is appropriate for parties that have lost both their thumbs. £55,000
Ear – Both Permanent Total Deafness The claimant has permanent total deafness in both ears due to their injuries. £44,000
Tongue Loss This tariff applies to claimants who have lost their tongue. £44,000
Leg – One Loss This tariff applies to injured parties who have lost one leg above the knee. £44,000
Ankle – Both Fractured or Dislocated The injured party suffers continuing significant disability from their fractured or dislocated ankles. £16,500
Hip – Both Fractured or Dislocated The claimant suffers from a continuing disability that is significant. £16,500
Elbows – Both Dislocated or Fracture The claimant suffers continuing significant disability from fractured or dislocated elbows. £11,000

Do not hesitate to contact our advisors today if you have any questions about making a claim through the CICA. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to answer your questions and offer you free legal advice.

Criminal Injury Claims For Special Expenses

Your CICA claim may also include special expenses. Under special expenses, you could claim for:

  • Care costs relating to the preparation of food and your bodily functions.
  • Modifications made to your accommodation. This can include changes to both the inside and outside of your home, such as installing ramps and stairlifts.
  • Equipment required to cope with your injuries, such as a physical aid.
  • Any equipment that you relied on as a physical aid that was damaged in the incident, such as your hearing aids.

To recover special expenses, the costs need to be necessary, reasonable, and a direct result of the criminal injuries you suffered. Additionally, they cannot be available for free elsewhere.

Direct any questions, such as ‘How long does a CICA claim take?’ to one of the advisors from our team.

No Win No Fee Claims For Criminal Injuries And Assaults

If you are eligible to claim compensation for a criminal injury, you may like to instruct a solicitor to work on your case. If so, one of our criminal injury solicitors could provide their support. They typically use a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to provide their services. This is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement. 

When your solicitor works on your case using a CFA, they typically won’t ask you for any upfront or ongoing payments for their  services. However, they will take a success fee from your compensation if your claim has a positive outcome. This amount is a legally limited percentage. Should you not be awarded compensation following an unsuccessful claim, they won’t ask you to pay this success fee. 

One of the advisors from our team could answer any questions you have about claiming criminal injury compensation. They can also assess the eligibility of your case, and if it seems feasible, you could be connected to one of our solicitors. 

To speak with an advisor:

Essential References

We hope you now understand the claims process and have all the information you require. To provide further assistance, we’ve linked to some more of our guides as well as some links to external content which we hope you’ll find useful.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – The government’s CICA website which explains how to claim through CICA.

Victim Support – A charity in England and Wales that supports those affected by crime and traumatic events.

CrimeStoppers – This charity aims to give people the voice to stand up and stop crime from happening.

For any other questions you may have about our guide or your potential claim, we would ask you to please reach out to an adviser. They are available by live chat and could give you a direct answer to any questions you have.

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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.