By Danielle Griffin. Last Updated 27th July 2023. Coming to harm at the hands of a criminal can be upsetting and traumatic. While money can’t reverse that, it can help. In this guide, we look at how to make a criminal injury claim for compensation.
Below, we look at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), its tariff for payouts and how our No Win No Fee solicitors can help you.
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- Can I Make A Criminal Injury Claim?
- What Criminal Injuries Can You Claim Compensation For?
- What Is The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?
- Could I Make A Criminal Injury Claim If No One Has Been Caught Or Convicted?
- How Long Do I Have To Claim Criminal Injury Compensation?
- Gathering Evidence For A Criminal Injury Claim
- CICA Tariff And Criminal Injury Compensation Calculator
- What Other Damages Or Costs Could I Claim?
- No Win No Fee Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims
- How Our Criminal Injury Claim Specialists Could Help You
- Start Your Criminal Injury Claim
- Learn More About Criminal Injury Claims
Before contacting a personal injury solicitor to make a criminal injury claim, it’s worth checking CICA claims’ eligibility. Some of the most important criteria include:
- Your injury needs to have been caused by a violent act against you.
- That you did not contribute to the criminal act that was committed against you
- The crime needs to have happened in England, Wales or Scotland, or another relevant location.
- You must have reported the crime to the police
- The claim must be made within 2-years of the crime happening (the normal personal injury claims time limit is 3-years)
The 2-year time limit could start from the date you reported the crime to police when considering cases of sexual assault. In extreme cases, where you can show that circumstances prevented you from claiming earlier, the time limit could be waived altogether. This might be the case if you were physically or mentally incapable of lodging a claim.
When might I not be eligible for CICA payouts?
Claims could be disregarded if:
- The crime was not reported to the police as soon as possible. This is usually within 48 hours if exceptional circumstances didn’t prevent you from doing so.
- You’ve already applied for the same injury through the CICA scheme.
- Your injury happened before the scheme was introduced (1st August 1964)
- The claim could be rejected if you fail to cooperate with the authorities. Or, your own behaviour contributed to the assault.
- Making a CICA claim with a criminal record could also mean that it is rejected. The same is true if you have outstanding offences which have not been resolved. This includes driving offences like drunk driving.
Who could be eligible for CICA payouts?
As well as handling claims where you’ve been personally injured, the CICA also deals with claims where:
- A relative, close friend or loved one died.
- You witnessed a crime happen to a loved one.
- Or you paid funeral costs of a person who died following a violent crime.
According to the CICA website, their priorities for 2019 to 2020 include:
- Providing an accessible, sensitive, compassionate and fair service
- To operate efficiently and accurately.
In order to make a criminal injury claim through the CICA, you must have been injured in a crime of violence. The CICA define a crime of violence as an attack, an omission or act of a violent nature that causes harm, a threat of attack, arson or sexual assault. There are various instances in which a claim can be made through the CICA for criminal injuries compensation. If you have suffered physical or mental harm due to any of the following, you could make a claim through the CICA:
- Historical sexual abuse
- Criminal assaults
- Child abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Abuse in a school
- Abuse by a sports coach
You could make a claim directly against the perpetrator, but you will need to know who the person is, and they will need to have enough funds to pay you compensation. Alternatively, you could make a claim against a vicariously liable party. This is when blame can be placed on a third party who owed you a duty of care, such as a school.
Contact our advisors today about starting a claim or for more information on how a CICA calculator could help value your claim.
CICA is an executive agency linked with the Ministry of Justice. They handle compensation claims from those who were the victim of a violent crime. Their offices are based in Scotland, and they employ over 200 staff who manage more than 30,000 claims each year. According to their website, they pay out over £130 million in compensation to crime victims every year.
The government controls the criteria for how much compensation is paid out. CICA’s main role is to handle and consider claims made through the scheme and to decide who is eligible for a compensation payment.
Could I Make A Criminal Injury Claim If No One Has Been Caught Or Convicted?
So long as the criteria for claiming have been made, you could still claim compensation from CICA if a criminal was never identified. You could also claim that you identified the criminal in cases, but they haven’t yet been convicted of the crime.
How Long Do I Have To Claim Criminal Injury Compensation?
Let’s take a look at how long you have to claim criminal injury compensation.
As mentioned earlier, to make a claim for criminal injuries compensation, you’ll need to ensure you claim within the scheme’s time limits. Whereas a personal injury claim usually allows a 3-year time limit, criminal injury compensation claims through the CICA scheme must be made within 2-years of the crime, or 2-years from the date the incident was reported to the police.
For adults, the only exceptions to the 2-year rule are:
- Where exceptional circumstances prevented you from claiming sooner, and
- Where you can provide evidence to support your application (or there is already enough police evidence) which means a claims officer doesn’t need to conduct an extensive enquiry
In cases that involve children, a parent could claim on their behalf before they turn 18. At this point, if no claim has happened, the victim has 2-years from their 18th birthday to make their own claim.
How Long Does A Criminal Injury Claim Take?
In addition to knowing what time limits apply to filing your claim, you may like to know how long does a criminal injury claim take once it is filed. The CICA provides some guidance about their services.
Although they cannot give an exact answer to how long your claim will take, they aim to have the majority of cases assessed within 12 months. However, complex cases may take longer to finalise. This is to ensure the payment made reflects the severity of the injuries you suffered as well as their long-term impact. In these circumstances, they might be able to make an interim payment.
If your criminal injury claim is successful, they aim to pay the compensation into your bank account, or that of your solicitor’s, within 20 working days.
If you have any questions about how a solicitor can help with your claim for criminal injuries compensation, get in touch with an advisor from our team.
If you wish to claim compensation for a criminal injury you suffered, the CICA will ask you for certain items. This is so they can liaise with the police who will investigate the crime. You will not need to supply the CICA with evidence of the crime of violence taking place.
Evidence required for a claim made through the CICA is:
- The police reference number.
- Medical evidence. This may cost up to £50. However, if you cannot meet this yourself, the cost can be deducted from your award.
- Proof that you meet the residency requirements.
- If you are claiming special expenses, you will need proof of these. For example, if you are claiming for a replacement walking stick, you will need the receipt.
The CICA claims are awarded based on probability. This means that a conviction is not necessary to start your claim.
Call our advisors for examples of the CICA payouts. In addition, if it seems like you are eligible they could connect you with one of our expert solicitors.
Should your claim for the CICA be successful, they have a tariff of injuries in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 that dictates how much compensation you could receive.
After reporting the incident to the police, the CICA will coordinate with them to work on your compensation claim. They would need a police crime reference number to process your claim which is one of the reasons it’s important to report the crime to the police.
You could use a CICA compensation calculator or use the table in the section below to better understand what your claim may be worth.
If you’re claiming compensation for a criminal injury, your payout will be awarded according to the tariff included in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. CICA payouts are based on the severity of injuries and their impact on your life.
The table below lists examples of CICA payouts for injuries that could result from a criminal incident, taken from the tariff. This can show you what would be awarded for certain injuries.
|Type of Injury
|Loss of fertility
|Sexual offence where victim is any age (if not already compensated as a child)
|Sexual assault causing severe, permanent mental illness confirmed by psychiatric prognosis.
|Injury necessitating thoracotomy with extensive repair/removal of one or more organs.
|Severe burns to the face
|One dislocated or fractured ankle and continuing significant disability.
|Sexually transmitted infection (not including HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C) causing permanent disability.
|Physical abuse of adults, including domestic abuse
|Severe: a pattern of repeating violence causing minor disfigurement.
|Sexual offence where victim is a child (under age of 18 at time of or commencement
of offence) or an adult who lacks the mental capacity to give consent.
|One or more instances of sexual assault. Non-penile penetrative or oral genital act(s). Two or more isolated incidents.
|Fracture of one vertebra and continuing significant disability.
|Physical abuse of children, including domestic abuse
|Serious: intermittent physical assaults causing an
accumulation scalds, burns or healed wounds but
with no appreciable disfigurement.
It’s possible that you could suffer multiple injuries from a criminal incident. In this scenario, you would be entitled to 100% of the full tariff value for the most serious injury. Then, 30% of the tariff amount for the second most serious injury or an equal injury. For a third injury, you would be entitled to 15% of the tariff amount.
However, there are some exemptions to this rule. For example, if you are claiming for sexual abuse or sexual assault, you would still receive 100% of the tariff value in some cases. For example, if you contracted an STI, lost a foetus, or became pregnant as a result.
You could also potentially claim for special expenses. This is covered later in this guide. Contact us anytime to discuss how much you could receive if you successfully claim compensation for a criminal injury.
What Other Damages Or Costs Could I Claim?
When your solicitor begins to fill in the criminal injuries compensation claim form, there are a number of different elements that can be used. The elements they’ll use in your case will depend on how you suffered and may include:
These could be paid if your injury is listed in the CICA tariff of injuries. Any injury which is deemed to be worth less than £1000 won’t be paid. The scheme also allows injury payments to be made where an existing injury is made worse because of the criminal act against you.
Any mental injury caused by sexual assault will either receive payment for the mental injury or the type of assault, not both. In successful cases, the higher payment will be awarded. Finally, injury payments do not include payments for scarring caused by surgery performed during treatment that is required.
These are reasonable expenses caused as a direct result of your criminal injuries. Examples of special expenses could be:
- Lost Earnings – If your injuries mean your earning capacity is affected, or you have lost income, then you could include these losses in your claim
- Property Damage – You could include the cost of damage to equipment you owned that you rely on as an aid that was damaged during the criminal act against you. This could include spectacles, a walking stick or dentures.
- Specialist Equipment – Following the crime, if you require any specialist equipment to support you because of your injuries, then the cost could be claimed back. This could include wheelchairs, walking sticks and frames or implements used around the house where your grip has been weakened. This category of special expenses is only considered where the equipment is required rather than desirable.
- Home Adaptations – When you return home following treatment, your criminal injury claim could include adaptations to your home. These might include entrance ramps or stairlifts. You’ll usually be asked to prove that these cannot be obtained from another source before CICA will consider them as part of the claim.
Because CICA is a government body, they have to ensure ‘double payments’ don’t occur. Therefore, they will reduce special expenses where you might receive a social security benefit, which will cover the same expenses.
The raft of different elements of a CICA claim can be quite confusing. Therefore, please let us help you make your claim. Speak with an adviser today. If your claim is eligible, one of our solicitors could help to try and ensure you receive the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
No Win No Fee Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims
Even though a criminal injury claim is not the same as a traditional personal injury claim, our solicitors could help you claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Before doing so, they’ll assess your claim and check that you have a chance of being accepted by the authority and compensated through the CICA scheme.
If they agree to handle your claim, you’ll both sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is your contract which is really important because it explains that:
- There are no solicitor’s fees to pay unless you receive compensation through the CICA scheme.
- When a claim is won, the success fee you’ll pay
You don’t need to worry about having the funds to pay the success fee, however. That’s because the success fee is deducted from the money you are awarded through the CICA scheme with the remainder being paid to you.
We truly believe that more people are able to claim when we offer them No Win No Fee terms when filing a criminal injury claim through the CICA scheme. That’s because the financial risks of claiming are reduced greatly, leading to a lot less stress and worry during your claim.
How Our Criminal Injury Claim Specialists Could Help You
Here some reasons we believe you should consider when deciding to work with one of our personal injury solicitors:
- We have specialist advisers available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
- They offer free claims advice as well as a no-obligation assessment of your claim.
- Our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for all claims they take on.
- We have received great feedback from previous clients.
- Our team of solicitors have up to 30 years’ experience of dealing with all sorts of claims.
Start Your Criminal Injury Claim
If you’re ready to begin a criminal injury claim with Accident Claims UK, then there a few ways in which you can contact us:
- Give our advisers a call on 0800 073 8801 and discuss your claim right away.
- Send details of your claim via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask us to call you back at a convenient time by filling in our online claims form.
- Finally, you can chat online with an adviser using the live chat feature on any page of this website.
Our advisers understand that you might not be comfortable discussing personal issues. They’ll therefore deal with your enquiry sensitively and at your own pace. If you find it easier to write down what happened initially, please send details of your claim in an email, and we’ll get back to you. When you do get in touch, we’ll never put any pressure on you, and you’re under no obligation to continue while we’re assessing your claim.
Learn More About Criminal Injury Claims
Now you’ve come to the end of this criminal injury claim guide. We provide some more useful information for you. Below you’ll find links, guides and external resources that we hope you’ll find helpful.
- The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – The government website providing further details about the CICA claims process.
- Victim Support: Reporting A Crime – Advice from the Victim Support charity in different ways that you can report a crime.
- Police UK – Information relating to all police forces in the UK including local news, advice and information.
- For advice on claiming rape compensation head here. It offers lots of support and guidance on making a CICA claim, how we can help you on a No Win No Fee basis, and details of potential payouts.
- Assault Compensation Claims – This guide provides information on what types of injuries can result from an assault. It also explains how much compensation you could be awarded.
- Sexual Abuse Claims – A guide that explains in more detail when it might be possible to claim sexual assault. It also covers claims for historical sexual abuse.
- Care Home Neglect Claims – A guide that provides guidance on how to claim for negligence in care homes. In general, this will cover medical negligence but could be relevant in care home abuse scenarios too.
- Assaulted at Work – take a look at our guide on workplace assault claims.
- Psychological injuries compensation guide – why not take a look at our guide to learn more about psychological injury cases.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder guide – many people suffer from PTSD after an accident, so take a look at our guide to learn how we could assist you.
- If you’re looking to use a criminal injury claim calculator, head here. You can find guidance on how compensation payouts are calculated and how our No Win No Fee solicitors can help you.