The UK Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) operates from offices in Glasgow and London and its purpose is to compensate the victims of violent crime for any physical or mental injuries that they have suffered. The fund which deals with injuries in England, Scotland and Wales was set up in 1964 and now distributes over £200 million pounds in compensation every year. There is a separate scheme for Northern Ireland.
Damages were assessed on a common law basis in the same way that claims are assessed for injury in the County Courts however in 1996 a tariff scheme was introduced which was amended in 2001. The tariff scheme operates by classifying all injuries into bands dependent on severity and thereafter awarding the appropriate tariff for that band.
The scheme will not pay out for trivial injuries and an application will be only considered if :-
physical or mental injury arises as a result of a violent crime
the incident occurred in England, Scotland or Wales
the injury lasted at least 6 weeks and required at least two visits to a medical practitioner
The scheme will only pay out if :-
the violent incident was reported to the police as soon as was reasonably practical
the application is received by the CICA within two years of the violent incident
Awards may be reduced or refused for a number of reasons including:-
failure to report the matter to the police as soon as possible which involves making a formal report
refusal to assist the police in their investigation or any subsequent prosecution
in the event that a report to the police is impracticable a report must be made to a person in authority at a relevant organisation
failure to cooperate with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
an unacceptable record of previous convictions making it inappropriate to be compensated from public funds
behaviour before during or after the event:-
voluntarily being involved in a fight
striking the first blow
injured whilst taking revenge after an attack
if drink or drugs contributed to the attack or injury
if abusive language or gestures provoked an attack
any behaviour that causes or contributes to an attack
Claims can be made for violence, including sexual offences within the family however there is a general rule that compensation must not benefit the attacker which precludes payment of an award if the attacker and victim reside together as members of the same family. There are other complicated rules relating to these provisions and a prospective applicant should take immediate advice.
Criminal Injury Solicitors
If you have suffered injury in a violent assault, you may be able to claim compensation even if the attacker has not been identified or traced or convicted. Most criminal injury solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme and no charge is made unless you actually receive compensation. If your claim is refused or rejected, you pay nothing. For like free legal advice just contact a criminal injury solicitor who will advise on your potential claim without further obligation. If after talking to a criminal injury solicitor, you decide to proceed no further then that is your prerogative and you will not receive any bill for initial advice.