Criminal Injury Claims | No Win No Fee

By Jo Greenwood. Last Updated 13th June 2023. If you’ve suffered an injury as a victim of a criminal act, or while trying to stop a crime, did you know you could claim compensation? Below, we provide you with vital information on criminal injury claims.

We also offer a No Win No Fee claims service, so if you want to begin the process of claiming compensation, we can help.

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A guide to criminal injury claims

Below, you can find more information on making a criminal injuries compensation claim. We explain who pays compensation, the role of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and set out some potential payouts.

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  1. The Ramifications Of Being A Victim Of A Criminal Attack
  2. The Criteria For Criminal Injury Claims
  3. What Types Of Injuries Can You Claim Compensation For?
  4. How Criminal Injury Claims Differ From Other Personal Injury Claims
  5. Why Hire A Solicitor To Represent You?
  6. Compensation Payouts In Criminal Injury Claims
  7. Learn More About Criminal Injury Claims

The Ramifications Of Being A Victim Of A Criminal Attack

A criminal attack may involve being mugged, beaten up, attacked with a weapon or sexually assaulted. Domestic violence and child abuse are also types of criminal attacks that people begin criminal injury claims for.

In any of the above instances, there are likely to be visible physical injuries to cope with – bruises, cuts or even broken bones.

In addition to these physical injuries, most people who are involved in any of the above incidents, often also suffer ongoing psychological trauma. Some may suffer from depression and stress. Others may be plagued by panic attacks and find it difficult to go out anywhere without being afraid.

Some victims even find it hard to live their life as they did before the incident in question.

In criminal injury claims, the law takes all of this into account, and any victim of an unprovoked criminal attack may be compensated for both, their physical as well as their psychological injuries. They may also be compensated for loss of earnings or limited earning capacity if they have been forced to stay off from work for longer than 28 weeks.

The Criteria For Criminal Injury Claims

Successful criminal injury claims depend upon being able to prove two basic facts.

Firstly, you will have to establish that you were the innocent victim of a criminal act and you had no part at all in provoking the attack.

Secondly, you have to show evidence that the attack resulted in some kind of injury, whether physical or psychological.

You are entitled to make a criminal injury claim for compensation even if you were not directly assaulted or attacked, but you were witness to a violent crime. For example, if you were witness to another person being beaten up or to an armed robbery. In these cases, you may escape physically unscathed, but the incident can have a profound effect on you mentally.

You may find yourself experiencing inexplicable panic attacks at any time and generally find it hard to go on living your life as you did before. So, you should receive criminal injury compensation for this ongoing mental trauma.

The CICA’s Terms And Conditions For Awarding Compensation

In addition to establishing that you were an innocent victim and that you were injured in the unprovoked criminal act, you must meet a few other eligibility criteria in order to be able to file a criminal injury claim with the CICA:

  • You must be a resident of the United Kingdom or a member of the EEA (European Economic Area).
  • Filing a formal report of the assault at the police is a mandatory requirement of the scheme.
  • You must file the claim within 2 years from the time of the incident.
  • Your injury must be valued at more than £1,000. The scheme only makes provisions for compensating serious injuries.

When investigating your case, CICA takes into consideration the way you behaved before, during and after the attack. They will also investigate if you have any criminal records and will look into whether or not you cooperated with the police.

The CICA does not award compensation for the first 28 weeks of lost income. Moreover, there is a cap on the total amount they payout for lost earnings, which means you may not be fully compensated for the total income you have lost because of your injuries.

The CICA does not cover your legal costs, which means you will have to pay your solicitor’s fees from your own pocket. You cannot claim reimbursement for it.

How Long Do Criminal Injury Claims Take?

You may also be wondering, ‘How long do criminal injury claims take to settle?’ The CICA handle a large number of claims every year, however, they aim to assess each case as quickly as possible, and the majority are assessed within 12 months.

When assessing claims, each case is considered on its own merits and is determined based on the evidence that has been made available to support the application. The CICA also states that more complex cases may take longer to finalise to ensure that the CICA payout awarded reflects the severity of the injuries suffered and their long-term impact. If your level of recovery is not yet known or your medical treatment is still ongoing, it may not be possible to make a final decision until the long-term impact of your injuries is understood.

Once the financial sum offered for your claim has been accepted, the CICA aims to pay compensation to your bank account or that of your solicitor/representative within 20 working days.

To see if you could be eligible to make a claim through the CICA for criminal injuries compensation, you can contact our advisors. They may also connect you with one of our solicitors who could help you with your case.

What Types Of Injuries Can You Claim Compensation For?

There are various injuries that you could sustain if you were a victim of a crime of violence. If you can prove that your injuries resulted from a violent crime and you meet the eligibility criteria for making a claim through the CICA, you could receive compensation for your injuries. The CICA lists various types of injuries you could be compensated for within Annex E of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

Some examples of physical and psychological harms that could be compensated for in criminal injury claims include:

  •       Burn injuries from acid or chemical attacks.
  •       Broken bones from physical assaults.
  •       Penetrating wounds from stabbings.
  •       Injuries relating to sexual assault/sexual abuse.
  •       Psychological injuries due to being involved in a crime of violence.

To learn more about claiming compensation for a criminal assault causing injury, please contact our advisors. They are available 24/7 to help you and offer free advice.

How Criminal Injury Claims Differ From Other Personal Injury Claims

In broad terms, claiming compensation for an unprovoked criminal injury is similar to claiming compensation to any other type of personal injury that was due to no fault of yours. There is one difference, however.

With most personal injuries caused due to slips, trips and falls, workplace accidents, an accident at a construction site or medical negligence, the claim is filed against the person responsible for the accident. With criminal injury claims, this is not always possible.

While you may be able to identify the assailant in the case of domestic violence, there is every chance that you may not be able to identify the attacker in the case of a sexual assault, home invasion, mugging or other similar incidents. In many cases, the perpetrators of random acts of violence are never caught.

This could pose a major problem as it is impossible to seek redress from a criminal who remains unidentified. Even in the event that the perpetrator is arrested, charged and convicted of the crime, they are unlikely to have the funds to cover the claim.

To overcome these problems, all compensation claims for criminal injuries are handled by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authorities. This organisation ensures that anyone who suffers injuries from witnessing or being involved in a crime is adequately compensated even if nobody was convicted or even arrested for the crime.

Why Hire A Solicitor To Represent You?

The CICA is committed to helping out genuine victims of crime and will definitely award you the compensation that is due to you. However, filing the case yourself is no easy undertaking.

First, you have to make sure that you meet all of the organisation’s eligibility requirements. Then you have to complete all of the formalities and paperwork, ensuring that everything is filled out completely and correctly. Not only is this tedious and time-consuming but there is also a lot of room for errors that may disqualify any criminal injury claims.

They will help you put together a strong case demonstrating that you were unwittingly caught up in a criminal act and that you have suffered an injury as a result of the act. The stronger your case, the better your chances of getting the highest compensation possible, which will allow you to start putting your life back together.

Compensation Payouts In Criminal Injury Claims

The compensation amount you can expect to receive for a criminal injury claim will depend upon the type and extent of injuries you have sustained and the long-term effect it has had on your life, including any limitation in your ability to earn a living.

The CICA has set fixed amounts for various types of injuries. In addition, they will also compensate you for medical expenses, loss of income and other actual expenses for damages directly associated with the crime.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority’s minimum payout is £1,000, which means your injuries must be serious enough to merit this minimum amount. Meanwhile, the maximum payout for the most severe criminal injury claims is £500,000. The table below shows some potential figures.

ArmParalysis or equivelant loss of function in the dominant arm.£44,000
LegLoss of one leg below the knee.£33,000
Sexual AssaultSexual abuse that results in internal bodily injuries.£22,000
FaceFacial scarring that causes a serious disfigurement.£11,000
Physical AbuseA persistent pattern of sever abuse of a period of more than 3 years.£8,200
HandBoth hands have been fractures and results in a continuing significant disabilty.£6,200
Teethfractures to four or more front teeth that require an apicectomy.£3,500
Mental InjuryA disabling mental injury as confirmed by a prognosis or diagnosis that lasts 28 weeks or more up to 2 years.£2,400
AnkleOne ankle has been fractured but makes a substantial recovery.£2,400
LungOne punctured lung.£1,500

Learn More About Criminal Injury Claims

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming criminal injuries compensation.

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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.