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Grievous Bodily Harm Criminal Injury Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Could You Claim For GBH?

By Olivia Willow. Last updated 9th June 2021. If you’re interested in making grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, this guide will help.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have been the victim of assault, you may be surprised to hear that you could be eligible to make a compensation claim for damages. Unlike a normal personal injury claim where you’d sue the responsible party, compensation could be awarded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Grievous Bodily Harm (or GBH) is the most serious form of non-fatal assault and can lead to the criminal being sent to prison for a long time. In this guide, we’re going to look at when you could claim assault compensation, how long a criminal compensation claim can take and how much compensation you could be entitled to.

grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims

grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims

Legal Expert specialises in helping with criminal injury claims. Our advisors offer a no-obligation assessment of all claims as well as free legal advice on claiming. After reviewing your case with you, if it seems viable, you could be referred to one of our solicitors. Should they agree to handle your claim, they’ll do so on a No Win, No Fee basis.

To begin making grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims for yourself, you can call our team on 0800 073 8804 today. If you’d rather find out more about claiming compensation for an assault before contacting us, please continue reading.

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A Guide To How Much Compensation For GBH You Could Claim

If you’re interested in making grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, this guide will help.

Firstly, if you are assaulted and decide you want to make a compensation claim, there are two methods of doing so. You could sue the person responsible for the assault or you could make a criminal injury claim through the CICA scheme. CICA claims are an option when the criminal doesn’t have the means to compensate you.

In this guide, we’re going to try and answer a number of common questions about claiming compensation for GBH. These include:

  • How long does CICA compensation take?
  • Can you claim compensation for GBH?
  • How much compensation do you get for assault?
  • Which one is worse ABH or GBH?
  • What is GBH without intent?
  • Is a broken nose GBH?

We’ll look at the claims process for court claims as well as CICA claims and we’ll also look at what you could include within grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims. When claiming for a criminal injury, we advise that you should hire a specialist solicitor. That’s because their experience could help ensure you are compensated fully for your injuries. There are many different aspects of a claim which should be considered before filing the claim. The reason for that is that, if you forget to include something, you can’t go back at a later date and ask for more compensation.

Something else you’ll need to be aware of is the time limits involved in claiming. The personal injury claims time limit, in normal circumstances, is 3-years from the date you were injured. For CICA claims, the time is 2-years. Therefore, the best advice is to seek legal advice as soon as possible. This will allow your solicitor time to gather evidence to support your claim.

When you’ve read this grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims guide, if you decide you wish to pursue a claim for yourself, please call the number at the top of the page.

What Is GBH?

A fairly common question when talking about the criminal assault is, “what is classed as GBH?”. It is essentially where an assault causes a very serious injury to the victim. The law which legislates for GBH is the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Specifically, section 18 and section 20 of the act are used to determine what form of GBH has taken place.

Section 18 is the most serious form of GBH and shows that the criminal intended to injure the victim. It is commonly referred to as, ‘causing GBH with intent’ or ‘wounding with intent’.

Section 20, on the other hand, is usually referred to as ‘GBH without intent’ or ‘unlawful wounding’. So what is GBH without intent? It’s where the responsible person intended to assault the victim but didn’t intend for the victim to sustain a serious injury. For example, if the criminal pushed over the victim but fell awkwardly and hit their head on a curb, causing serious injury. They did intend to push the victim over, but it could be argued that they didn’t intend to seriously injure them.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, please continue reading.

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.

How Is The Defendant’s Culpability Ascertained?

Another key part of building cases for grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims is ascertaining the culpability of the offender. To calculate this, the court will assess whether:

  • The assault was racially or religiously motivated, based on sexual orientation or based on the victim’s disability.
  • Whether it was premeditated.
  • If a weapon was used in the assault.
  • Whether the offender intended to cause more serious harm than was actually caused.
  • If the offender targeted a vulnerable victim deliberately.

All of those factors could be used to demonstrate a high level of culpability and to increase any sentence given. Conversely, factors like a lack of premeditation, a mental disorder or excessive self-defence could be used to demonstrate lower culpability.

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 are assaulted 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.

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.

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 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

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.

GBH / Grievous Bodily Harm Compensation Claims Calculator

At this point of our grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims guide, let’s look at compensation amounts.

Importantly, no two assault claims are the same, so the figures we discuss in this section are only estimates. For more personalised advice about how much compensation you could claim, please speak with a member of our team.

Instead of using a personal injury claims calculator, which some people find cumbersome, we’ve provided some figures in the table below. The figures show compensation amounts for different injuries listed in the CICA Tariff of Injuries.

Updated June 2021.

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

Special Damages Awarded

Whether you’re claiming directly against the criminal who assaulted you, or through the CICA compensation scheme, there are a number of different elements to grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims that your lawyer could use.

The first is for general damages. This is designed to compensate you for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity caused by your injuries. The table in the previous section showed examples of general damages paid by the CICA scheme.

As well as general damages, your solicitor could claim for special damages. These are paid to compensate you for financial expenses incurred as a result of your injuries. You cannot claim special damages for CICA claims the same way you can do in personal injury claims. Here are some examples of what you could claim for:

  • Dental/Medical Treatments.
  • Prescriptions Charges. The only time they normally pay this is for very serious injuries.
  • Lost Earnings. You can claim any loss of earnings back if you are off work for more than 28 weeks.
  • Future Loss of Earnings. Finally, if your injuries have an impact on your ability to work longer-term, you could ask for future lost income to be considered too.
  • Full-Time Carer

Special Damages Evidence.

To assist your solicitor, it’s a good idea to keep evidence that can help prove the expenses that were incurred as a result of your injuries. For instance, bank statements, wage slips and receipts could all be used to support your claim. Also, it can be a good idea to diarise all of your spendings. That way, when it comes to making a claim, you’ll remember how an expense was linked to your injuries.

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

No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For GBH

It’s quite natural to worry about the cost of making any form of a compensation claim. To help reduce the financial risks and stress involved with a criminal injury claim, our solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis for any claim they handle. This gives potential claimants a way to pursue the compensation they could be entitled to.

To begin with, the solicitor will review your case with you to check it is viable. If they believe they could win compensation for you, they’ll prepare a No Win, No Fee agreement for you. This might be referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement.

The CFA is a contract between you and your solicitor that sets out the services they’ll provide. It will also state:

  • That you won’t have to pay any fees upfront.
  • There will be no additional fees during the case.
  • And, if the claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay the solicitor’s fees.

When a claim is won, and you receive compensation, the solicitor will ask for a success fee to be paid. This is a small contribution towards their costs that is deducted from your compensation. The success fee will be listed in the CFA, so you’ll know about it right from the start. You needn’t worry about the size of the success fee as they are legally capped.

If you’d like to know whether you could begin grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims on a No Win, No Fee basis, please contact an advisor today.

Why Choose Us For A GBH Criminal Injury Claim?

We hope that you’re now considering making a criminal injury claim with Legal Expert. Here is some more information about the way we could help you begin a claim:

  • We have a team of specialist advisors who’ll provide free legal advice about claiming.
  • They’ll also assess your claim on a no-obligation basis.
  • Our claims line is open 24-7 so you can begin when it’s convenient.
  • Our team of specialist solicitors have decades of experience handling all sorts of personal injury claims.
  • If your claim is taken on, your solicitor will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. They’ll also provide regular updates and explain any technical legal jargon as the need arises.
  • Our solicitors always try to ensure any settlements compensates your injuries fairly.
  • You can read some reviews of our service from previous clients here.

If there’s any more information you need to know about Legal Expert or how we could help you make grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, please contact us today.

Start Your GBH Compensation Claim

You’ve now reached the end of this guide about GBH compensation claims. We hope that, if you’ve decided to make a claim, you’d like Legal Expert to help you do so. If that’s the case, here are our contact details:

  • You can call and speak to a specialist advisor on 0800 073 8804
  • If you prefer, you can get free advice from an online chat advisor.
  • You could email details of your claim to us at
  • Or, finally, you can arrange for a call back by completing our online claims form.

When you contact us about your grievous bodily harm criminal injury claims, an advisor will go through your claim with you. They’ll look at what happened, whom you blame and what injuries you sustained. If they believe your claim has a chance of being successful, they could refer you to one of our solicitors. If they agree to process your claim, it’ll be as part of a No Win, No Fee service.

Grievous Bodily Harm Criminal Injury Claims FAQ

Here are some quickfire questions to conclude our guide with:

How much compensation do you get for criminal injuries?

Every claim is unique, so there’s no way of guessing how much you could be entitled to without learning more about your situation. However, compensation is intended to be awarded in proportion to the amount of suffering experienced by victims of crime. For some example payouts, please see our compensation calculator earlier in this guide.

Regardless of your financial standing, if you get legal help on a No Win No Fee basis, you won’t have to pay their fees unless they win your case. What’s more, there are no costs involved in the claims process, such as upfront fees.

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.

Assault Compensation Claims – Information on making a compensation claim following an assault.

CICA Compensation Calculator – A guide that explains how much compensation can be awarded for specific injuries when claiming from the CICA scheme.

Historical Sexual Assault Claims – Information on when it might be possible to claim compensation for cases of historical sexual abuse.

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.

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.

Written By Hambridge

Edited By Melissa.


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