Acid Attack Victim Compensation Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation Criminal Injuries CICA

By Jo Jeffries. Last Updated 15th July 2022. 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 or one involving another corrosive substance. 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 acid attack victims how to go about this. We also answer questions such as ‘What acid is used in acid attacks?’ and ‘How long does an acid victim have to claim?’

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Acid attack injury claim

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.

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A Guide To Acid Attack Compensation Claims

Acid attack victim claims can deal with incidents that 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.

Further information

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 considerations 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. Plus, 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.

Getting help

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 liquid, 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 deformities. 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.

Who could claim?

People who are harmed in such a violent crime could be able to claim 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 chances 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 burn 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 that 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

If you have questions about the evidence you need to make your own claim for compensation for an acid attack, speak to one of our claim advisers today to have them answered.

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 injuries caused by an acid attack.

The Judicial College compares previous general damages payouts to the extent of the injury. In doing so, they build compensation brackets that can provide you with more information about your potential compensation. These figures are taken from their latest guidelines, published in April 2022. Please bear in mind that the figures below only relate to potential claim amounts for England and Wales.

Facial Scarring Compensation Amounts

Scar TypeSeverityNotesCompensation
Facial scarringVery SevereVery 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.£29,780 to £97,330
Facial scarringLess SevereWhere disfigurement is quite bad and noticeable, and a fair level of psychological discomfort is caused to the victim.£17,960 to £48,420
Facial scarringSignificantIn 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.£9,110 to £30,090
Facial scarringLess significantIn cases with multiple trivial scars or one worse scar, that are almost unnoticeable and cause only a little psychological discomfort.£3,950 to £13,740

Psychological Damage Compensation Amounts

General Psychiatric DamageSevereLong-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.£54,830 to £115,730
General Psychiatric DamageModerately severeLong-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.£19,070 to £54,830
General Psychiatric DamageModerateMedium-term mental problems, such as depression and anxiety that the victim will recover from fully in time.£5,860 to £19,070

Potential Compensation Amounts for Acid Attack Victims

If you’re making a personal injury claim as an acid attack victim, there are two types of damages you could receive compensation from. They are:

General damages

This compensates you for any physical or psychological injuries caused by the accident. This doesn’t just account for the initial suffering and pain, but the ongoing stress and trauma of the injury. Factors that can affect the amount you receive include the extent of the injury and whether any permanent health consequences are caused as a result.

Special damages

This compensates you for any financial losses caused because of the injury. For example, you may be unable to work because of your injury, meaning that you suffer from loss of earnings. If this is the case, you may be able to claim compensation. Other losses that acid attack victims may be able to claim for include travel fees, future loss of earnings, healthcare costs and home adjustments.

If you would like more information about the potential compensation you could receive, please contact us for free to see if you can claim. We can provide you with a compensation estimate and connect you with a specialised solicitor from our panel who could help you receive compensation.

No Win No Fee Acid Attack Compensation

We can provide you with a solicitor who’ll act on a No Win No Fee basis 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:

  1. Call our claims team, and explain your situation to them. They will answer any questions you have at this stage
  2. 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
  3. A solicitor will begin processing your claim for you and try to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible

You can always call us at any time if you want an update on your claim and what the solicitor has been doing on your behalf, or to get answers to any other claim related questions.

How Accident Claims UK Could Help Acid Attack Victims

We can handle claims to award compensation for the victim of an acid attack. 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.

What your solicitor will do for you

Claiming acid attack compensation through the CICA scheme might seem quite straightforward. However, to receive the correct amount of victim compensation, you’ll need to prepare a strong case with evidence to show what happened. This will need to show the extent of your injuries sustained in the acid attack.

To help make the process easier, a specialist criminal injuries solicitor from our team could help. We believe that their experience and their understanding of the CICA scheme could make a difference to the level of compensation you could receive. Furthermore, we believe using a solicitor will increase your chances of making a successful claim.

What do our solicitors do?

If a solicitor from our team represents you, they will:

  • Compile your claim after thoroughly assessing how you’ve been affected.
  • Collect suitable evidence including police reports to back up your claim.
  • Ask a medical specialist to review the injuries you sustained in the acid attack.
  • Deal with any queries raised by the CICA officers.
  • Be available for you to ask questions if you have any during the claims process.
  • Explain what’s happening with your claim on a regular basis.

Ultimately, when taking on compensation claims, our team will strive to achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible. If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our advisors will guide you through the process of claiming acid attack compensation and provide free legal advice.

Talk To Us Today About Acid Attack Compensation

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 For Acid Attack Compensation Claimants

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:

Essential Links Relating To Acid Attack Compensation

You may find these external links to be useful:

NHS Information On Chemical And Acid Burns

NHS Information About Plastic Surgery

UK Government Measures To Reduce Acid Attacks

These other guides could also be of use to you:

Claims For Burn Injuries

Making A Claim For A Criminal Injury

Claiming for a Chemical Burn

FAQs For Acid Attack Compensation Claims

How does the UK law deal with acid attacks?

In 2018 the UK government brought legal changes into force. These banned people from possessing a strong sulphuric acid without having a valid reason. 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.

Could I make a claim for the psychological injuries I’ve suffered when claiming acid attack compensation?

If you were injured in an acid attack, it might not just be your physical scars that you could claim for. An acid attack could be a traumatic event, and could lead to you suffering severe psychological or psychiatric damage. As part of your claim, you could include such mental injuries when seeking compensation. It is important to ensure you have a lawyer that understands the impact of psychological injuries on claimants’ cases. We could connect you with the solicitor that could take on your claim on a no win no fee basis to help you claim both the physical and psychological damages you deserve.

How long does an acid attack victim have to launch a claim?

Usually, the limitation period for acid attack victims claiming via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is 2 years from the date the incident occurred. There are some exceptional circumstances that may mean you’d be able to claim after this period, however.

We would advise you to seek legal advice if you believe you have exceptional circumstances that could impact your acid attack claim. 

What acid is used in acid attacks?

The acid used in acid attacks can vary. Any type of corrosive liquid could be the cause of acid attack victims’ burns. The most common types of acids used in these incidents include hydrochloride and sulphuric acid.

What treatment should an acid attack victim expect?

The acid attack treatment a victim could expect could depend on the site and severity of the burns. Depending on the severity of the burn and where it is located, a range of treatments could be considered. In severe cases, skin grafts could be required, and there may be significant permanent scarring. However, you should speak with a trained medical professional for more information on treatment. 

If you are an acid attack victim, you could consider claiming compensation for your injuries. The short and long-term effects of such attacks can not only be physical, but psychological too. Call us for more information.

Could I claim for medical negligence when making acid attack compensation claims?

If you are considering making a compensation claim for medical negligence regarding your injuries from an acid attack, it is important to understand that when claiming for clinical negligence you would claim for the undue harm you’d suffered due to the negligence. You would not be claiming for the original acid attack injuries. You would need to prove that the negligent treatment you’d received had led your acid attack injuries to become worse than they would had negligence not been a factor. When you make claims for compensation like this, it would be wise to search for a solicitor that is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

You could also look for one that has experience in pursuing medical negligence claims. The NHS paid out a significant amount of money in compensation, as you can see from the statistics below for 2020- 2021.

acid attack compensation statistics graph

Thanks for reading this article on acid attack compensation.