If you, a friend or relative have suffered the trauma of being a blameless victim of violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales, you could be entitled to compensation from the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA.)
Compensation ranges from £1000 to £500,000 depending on the severity of the injuries.
The rules of the Scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by Parliament and are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries.
The Scheme is intended to be one of last resort. Where the opportunity exists for you to pursue compensation elsewhere you should do so.
There are strict time limits to apply to the CICA. The general rule is that a claim must be submitted to the CICA within 2 years of the date of the incident. However, the CICA may be prepared to consider an application submitted after this date in exceptional circumstances and where the evidence provided in support of the application means that it can be determined without further extensive enquiries by a claims officer.
Special provision is made if the applicant was under 18 at the time of the incident. If the incident or period of abuse was reported to the police before you turned 18, and no-one made a claim on your behalf, you can make a claim to the CICA up until the day of your 20th birthday. If the incident or period of abuse took place before you turned 18, but was not reported to the police at the time, you can apply to the CICA within 2 years from you reporting the incident or abuse to the police. In such cases however, you will still be required to provide supporting evidence in respect of your claim.
Compensation is available under the CICA for the following:-
- mental or physical injury
- sexual or physical abuse
- loss of earnings, where you have no or limited capacity to work as a direct result of a criminal injury provided that your loss of earnings lasted for a minimum of 28 weeks. You cannot get loss of earnings for the first 28 week’s loss
- special expenses payments- these cover certain costs you may have incurred as a direct result of an incident. However, the Scheme will only consider such expenses if your injuries mean you have been unable to work or have been incapacitated to a similar extent for more than 28 weeks
- a fatality caused by a crime of violence including bereavement payments, payments for loss of parental services and financial dependency and funeral payments
Not all claims to the Scheme will be successful; you must be eligible under the rules of the Scheme.
You must report the incident to the police as soon as practically possible and you must continue to co-operate fully with the police in their investigation of the incident. The CICA will take into account any relevant criminal convictions you have in considering whether to make an award or not. They will also consider whether your behaviour before, during or after the incident, caused or contributed to the incident in which you were injured.
Upon receipt of a claim, the CICA will liaise with the police. Where appropriate, they will ask you to provide medical evidence in support of your injuries. If there is a cost attached to obtaining the required medical evidence then you may be expected to meet this. The cost of obtaining the medical evidence will vary but the CICA do not expect to pay more than £50. The CICA may consider paying the cost if you can demonstrate that you are unable to meet this cost yourself or if the cost exceeds £50. Where they do this, they will deduct the cost, up to a maximum of £50, from any payment they make to you.
It can take up to 12 months before the CICA make a final decision regarding your claim.
Any offer of an award will be made in line with the tariff of injuries. If you have two or more injuries so serious that each, on its own, would qualify, you may be entitled to:
- 100 % of the full tariff value of the most serious injury; and
- 30% of the tariff amount for the injury with an equal or second highest value; plus
- 15% of the tariff amount for any additional injury with an equal or third highest value
The Scheme does not pay for more than 3 injuries.
If your injuries are not serious enough to fall within the tariff injuries, the Government has introduced a Hardship Fund. This Fund provides temporary relief from financial hardship to very low paid workers who are temporarily unable to work because they have been a victim of crime. The Fund only applies to injuries sustained in England and Wales.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you with a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority call RJT Solicitors now on 01942 409154.
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