By John Bowes. Last Updated 12th February 2021. On this page, you are going to read a comprehensive online guide to the process of making a compensation claim if you have been injured in an acid attack. As an acid attack victim, you have the right to attempt to make a claim for acid attack compensation. This guide to acid attack claims will show you how to go about this.
There are likely unique aspects to your claim, as individual acid attack compensation claims are different. This means that this guide may not answer all of your questions. If it doesn’t, don’t worry, we can still help you. All you have to do is pick up the phone and have a short conversation with a member of our claims team on 0800 073 8801. A claim advisor will talk over your claim with you, and then offer you some free legal advice on how to move your claim forward to the next stage.
Select A Section:
- A Guide To Acid Attack Compensation Claims
- What Is An Acid Attack?
- Has There Been An Increase In Acid Attacks In The UK?
- Why Do Acid Attacks Happen?
- Acid Attack First Aid
- How Are Acid Burns Treated?
- Could I Claim If The Offender Is Not Caught Or Convicted?
- What Evidence Do I Need To Claim Via The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
- Acid Attacks Are Life-Changing
- Acid Attack Victim Personal Injury Claims Calculator
- Other Damages You May Claim After An Acid Attack
- No Win No Fee Acid Attack Compensation
- How To Make An Acid Attack Victim Compensation Claim
- How Accident Claims UK Could Help Acid Attack Victims
- Talk To Us Today
- Acid Attack Victim Support
- Essential Links
A Guide To Acid Attack Compensation Claims
Acid attack compensation claims can deal with incidents which may be traumatic. By reading this guide to the process of claiming compensation for the victim of an acid attack, you will come to understand how to best proceed with your own claim. However, you will need to conclude your claim within the personal injury claims time limit, and our claims team can let you know what this time limit is. We begin this guide to making acid attack claims by looking at what an acid attack actually is.
Next, we move on to look at some of the key facts related to acid attacks. This includes some of the main statistics, as well as a discussion of why acid attacks take place, etc. We also cover acid attack first aid, and how acid/chemical burns are treated by medical professionals in this part of the guide.
The next part of this guide goes over some facts related to the claim itself. We take a look at how a claimant could have a route to compensation, even if their attacker is never caught. We also take a look at the role of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) in relation to violent crimes, and the kinds of evidence you will need to submit when you apply to CICA for compensation.
The final part of this guide relates to some of the financial consideration when making acid attack claims. We will look at how the scars left by an accident attack can have a catastrophic effect on the life of the victim. We have included a table that shows the typical compensation range for different levels of severity of scaring. We also list some of the most commonly awarded kinds of damages that a settlement could comprise of. Finally, we give some advice on how to start your claim, and the logical steps to take, and we also explain how a No Win No Fee solicitor can assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to, whilst reducing the financial risks associated with making a claim.
If you need more information, have questions about the contents of this guide, or simply need some advice about acid attack compensation claims, then call our claims team today on the number at the end of the page. One of our claim advisers will be happy to provide you with any additional information or answers that you need.
What Is An Acid Attack?
An acid attack, also known as a vitriol attack, is a type of criminal assault that is perpetrated by throwing a corrosive chemical, usually acid, at the victim. The intent of the attack is to cause chemical burns or acid burns, that will result in pain and suffering, and leave the victim with permanent scars and other kinds of facial deformity. In a most extreme case, the skin can be burned away completely, and the underlying tissue and bones dissolved either fully or partially.
Commonly, nitric acid or sulfuric acid are used in the attack, as these are both easy to acquire. Sometimes hydrochloric acid is used, but this is much more difficult to procure, and is not as strong as either sulphuric or nitric acid. Sometimes a substance such as sodium hydroxide is substituted for the acid, which although nowhere near as harmful, can be procured easily, cheaply, and in greater quantities.
People who are harmed in such a violent crime, could be able to claim for acid attack victim compensation. If you would like to know more about this, please speak to a member of our team today about acid attack claims.
Has There Been An Increase In Acid Attacks In The UK?
According to the Metropolitan Police, taking 15 years of acid attack cases in the UK into account, we see the following acid attacks UK statistics:
- In 74% of cases, the perpetrator was male
- In 67% of cases, the victim was male
- Only 6% were carried out by an Asian perpetrator, and only one case was an “honour” attack
- 80% of all cases never went to court
In the time period 2012 to 2016, the number of acid attacks grew by over 500% with a total of 469 attacks on record.
Why Are Such Attacks On The Rise?
Acid or other chemical attacks have become one of the most common forms of male on male attacks in the UK. The reasons for this include:
- The weapon is easily procured and legal to carry
- The damage done by the attack is hard to mitigate, and can have very serious effects on the victim. Put simply, this is a very effective form of attack
- The chance of being caught after performing a hit and run or drive by acid attack is very low
As with any trend, many instances of acid attacks are copycat crimes. Many attacks are some form of gang on gang violence. As such, the tit for tat nature of such conflicts leads to escalation and more violence. Acid attack claims can help to compensate the victims of these criminal attacks.
Why Do Acid Attacks Happen?
Consider for a moment that an acid attack is effectively a kind of physical assault. However, in other kinds of physical assault, the perpetrator has to actually attack the victim physically, either with their hands or using a weapon. This means that for a period of time, it could be possible for the perpetrator to be seen by members of the public, and it also means they must be close to their victim for some time, and the victim may identify them. On the other hand, an acid attack is far less personal, and usually happens as some form of drive-by attack. In many cases, the victim will never see who attack them or what the identity of their attacker is. Therefore, the changes of the attacker being caught are very low.
Put simply, an acid attack is a very effective, harmful kind of assault with a very low risk of being caught. If you become the victim of an acid attack, we can provide you with a personal injury lawyer who can help you to make personal injury claims.
Acid Attack First Aid
The physical harm from an acid burn or any kind of chemical burns to the face can be greatly reduced by administering the proper First Aid as soon as possible after the facial burns took place. This includes:
- Using fresh or saline water, wash all areas that have been exposed to the chemical
- Make sure any water used to clean the burns is clean itself, so as not to cause infections
- Keep applying cool (not cold) water to the burns, until the burning sensation subsides, this could take up to 40 minutes in some cases
- Remove all clothing and other items such as jewellery which came into contact with the harmful chemical
- Do not use any kind of cream or ointment to treat the burns
- If you have some surgical gauze to hand, use this to gently wrap the burned area
This is the kind of initial first aid that can be applied in the case of an acid attack. It does not cover additional kinds of injuries that may have been caused, such as eye injuries. Once First Aid has been administered, the victim must visit the hospital for full emergency treatment as a matter of urgency.
How Are Acid Burns Treated?
The treatment for an acid burn depends on the severity of the burn, in the case of a minor to moderate burn, treatment after First Aid could include:
- Prescribing antibiotics to reduce the chance of infections
- Prescribing anti-itching medication
- Debridement of the burnt skin and tissue
- Skin grafts onto the burned areas
- An IV for fluids
In the case of severe burns, the additional kinds of treatment may also be administered:
- Skin replacement on the burned areas
- Pain management (therapy and medication)
- Cosmetic surgery to reduce scarring
- Counselling and occupational therapy
Could I Claim If The Offender Is Not Caught Or Convicted?
Acid attack claims could be made even if the perpetrator is not caught. The perpetrator of the crime does not need to be apprehended, charged and convicted in order for the victim to make a personal injury claim for an acid attack. A special Government body in the UK, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority provides a way for a personal injury solicitor to apply for compensation on behalf of a claimant. CICA handles all forms of criminal injury claims and claims related to sex crimes. We can provide you with a solicitor that is experienced with the CICA claim process, to handle your claim for you. Speak to our claims team to learn more about this.
What Evidence Do I Need To Claim Via The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
In order for a claimant to be able to make a CICA claim, they will need to provide medical evidence that will show the extent of the injuries the victim sustained. This kind of evidence includes:
- A medical report after a medical examination. CICA can provide a form for the claimant to give to the doctor performing the examination, that the doctor can fill in
- Medical records related to the treatment of the injuries
- Photographs of the injuries and also any scarring left after recovery. If possible, take photographs of the scarring long after the initial injuries have healed, to show how severe they are. Photographs have to be of high quality in order for them to be accepted by CICA
Acid Attacks Are Life-Changing
When a person becomes the victim of an acid attack, the initial pain and suffering is the lesser part of the harm the victim suffers overall. Once the initial injuries have healed, the victim could be left with a facial scar or some other permanent scar. Furthermore, if they suffered an eye injury, they could be left with impaired vision or even be completely blind. These kinds of long-term effects of the acid attack are going to have a very serious negative impact on the quality of life if the victim.
And then there is the psychological damage to contend with. After a traumatic event such as an acid attack, the victim could develop psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression. Once again, these conditions are going to have a negative effect on the victim’s life quality. As we can see, an acid attack can be a truly life-changing event.
Acid Attack Victim Personal Injury Claims Calculator
You might be able to find an online personal injury claims calculator that can give you some kind of estimate of the level of compensation that you could be able to claim as the victim of an acid attack. However, the tables below gives accurate information about the ranges of compensation for acid attack victims in the UK for different levels of scarring, and also for psychological damage caused by an acid attack.
Facial Scarring Compensation Amounts
|Facial scarring||Less significant||In cases with multiple trivial scars or one worse scar, that are almost unnoticeable and cause only a little psychological discomfort.||£3,710 to £12,900|
|Facial scarring||Significant||In cases where the original scars, or the scars after they have been subjected to plastic surgery, result in some cosmetic disability, with no great psychological discomfort.||£8,550 to £28,240|
|Facial scarring||Less Severe||Where disfigurement is quite bad and noticeable, and a fair level of psychological discomfort is caused to the victim.||£16,860 to £45,440|
|Facial scarring||Very Severe||Very severe disfigurement in a person generally under the age of 30, where psychological discomfort is acute, and has a significant negative impact on the life of the victim.||£27,940 to £91,350|
Psychological Damage Compensation Amounts
|Psychological damage||Severe||Long-term mental problems caused by reasons such as prolonged and frequent physical and sexual abuse, etc. Issues such as new phobias, heavy depression and life-changing anxiety. The condition will last for a long time.||£51,460 to £108,620|
|Psychological damage||Moderatly severe||Long-term mental problems, caused by reasons such as negligent stillbirth or the traumatic birth of a child, work-related stress, etc. Issues such as new phobias, heavy depression and life-changing anxiety. The victim will recover over time.|| £17,900 to £51,460
|Psychological damage||Moderate||Medium-term mental problems, such as depression and anxiety that the victim will recover from fully in time.||£5,500 to £17,900|
Other Damages You May Claim After An Acid Attack
When a solicitor procures compensation for acid attack victims, the overall settlement will be made up of potentially a number of different types of damages, such as:
- Special damages – paid to compensate for financial and other losses:
- Private medical fees – if you had to pay for treatment that wasn’t available for free on the NHS
- Costs of care – if you needed a nurse at home to care for you, or you had to hire in a home help to assist with day to day upkeep of your home
- Travel fees – to reimburse you for out of pocket expenses paid out for travelling to have your injuries treated
- Lowered future income – if your injuries will leave you with a reduced capacity for work, or even unable to work at all
- Loss of current earnings – if you had to take time away for work and lost out on your pay
- General damages – paid to compensate for physical and psychological harm:
- Suffering and pain – at the time of the accident and whilst receiving first aid or emergency treatment
- Stress and trauma – of the initial accident and subsequent emergency treatment
- Psychological damage – such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder and new phobias
- Long and painful recuperation – if the patient will have to undergo painful medical treatment before they have recovered completely
- Long-term or permanent disability – if the patient will not recover completely and will be left with a disability
No Win No Fee Acid Attack Compensation
We can provide you with a No Win No Fee solicitor to handle your acid attack compensation case. You won’t need to pay anything to have the solicitor start working on your claim, or during the time the solicitor is processing it. If you don’t get any compensation at all, you still don’t pay a thing. When the claim is successful, the solicitor will automatically take their pre-agreed fees out of the money they have received for you, and then you will be given what is left which is referred to as a ‘success fee’.
How To Make An Acid Attack Victim Compensation Claim
The steps involved in making a claim are quite straightforward, all you have to do is follow these three steps below:
- Call our claims team, and explain your situation to them. They will answer any questions you have at this stage
- A claim advisor will evaluate your claim, and let you know whether it is valid or not. If it is, you will move on to the next stage
- A solicitor will begin processing your claim for you and try to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible
How Accident Claims UK Could Help Acid Attack Victims
We can handle claims to award acid attack compensation to the victim. Each of our panel of solicitors is an experienced accident and injury lawyer. They will always do everything they can to ensure that your claim is a success, but will never do anything to put your claim in jeopardy. They will answer your questions using plain and simple English without any legal jargon.
Talk To Us Today
Thank you for reading our guide to acid attack claims. Do you believe that you have a valid cause to make an acid attack compensation claim? Or perhaps you are not ready to move on to making a claim yet, and need additional information and free legal advice. Either way, please speak to a member of our claims team on 0800 073 8801 today. When you contact us, a claim adviser will evaluate your claim, and then help you decide what your next move should be.
Acid Attack Victim Support
These resources are provided to help those who may have been affected by acid attack compensation claims. There are a number of organisations that provide support for victims of an acid attack, such as:
- Action Aid – providing support to women and girls who are victims of an acid attack.
- The British Association of Plastic Reconstruction and Aesthetic Surgery – offering general advice for acid attack victims.
- The NHS – has published advice on how acid attack victims can get help and support.
You may find these external links to be useful:
These other guides could also be of use to you:
FAQs For Acid Attack Claims
How does the UK law deal with acid attacks?
In 2018 the UK government brought legal changes into force which banned people from possessing a strong sulphuric acid without having a valid reason to do so. This has been part of the government’s effort to tackle acid attacks. The legal changes made it a criminal offence to possess sulphuric acids which have a concentration above 15% without having a licence to do so. Those breaking this law could face an unlimited fine or a 2 year prison sentence.
Types of acid used in attacks
The most common types of acids which are used in acid attacks are sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. Sulphuric acid is the more commonly used substance. It is odourless and colourless as so is easy for an attacker to conceal.
Exposing these substances to the skin can cause intense pain and severe burns. If the eyes are exposed to enough sulphuric acid the victim could even be left blind.
Article by MW (Mac)