How Long Does A Criminal Injury Claim Take? – What Time Limitation For A CICA Claim?

how long does a criminal injury claim take

Criminal injury claim

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 5th March 2021. This online guide will attempt to address the question, how long does a criminal injury claim take? On this page, we look at what the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is and the process of making a claim for compensation from CICA.

The criminal injuries claims process is similar to that which is followed by a personal injury lawyer processing a personal injury claim. If you have read any of our other accident/injury guides, a lot of the information will relate to criminal injury claims as well. If you need any additional information once you have read this guide, please call our claims team on 0800 073 8801. One of our expert claims advisors will be happy to assist you.

Select A Section:

A Guide To How Much Time A Criminal Injury Claim Could Take

We have published this online guide for people who believe they may want to make a claim through the CICA and want to know how long a CICA claim can take. If you have ever dealt with a personal injury solicitor, you may already know some of the facts we have published in this guide. However, the criminal injuries claims process is different from an accident/injury claim, so please read this guide in full to learn these differences.

The guide starts with a general introduction to criminal injury claims, why you could be eligible to make one, and why you may need to apply to the CICA for damages. We follow this up with an overview of what the CICA is and how it helps victims of violent crimes.

The next part of this guide relates to some of the legal considerations of the claims process. We list some of the types of criminal injury claims that CICA can help with. We look at the time limits that could apply to your criminal injury claim, how long it can take for CICA to pay out on a successful claim, and some of the things that could delay a pay-out.

The last part of this guide covers some of the financial considerations of making a claim. You will find that we have added a table that can help you to work out roughly how much compensation you could receive. We have followed this with a list of some of the common types of damages you might be able to claim for. Lastly, we evaluate the benefits of using a solicitor working under a No Win, No Fee deal and how this type of fee arrangement works.

You may already be familiar with the personal injury claims process. However, there are some subtle differences when making a claim through the CICA for criminal injuries. If you need additional information after reading this guide, or have questions about the contents of it, then please call our claims team on the telephone number at the bottom of the page. One of our claim advisors will answer all of your questions, provide any other information you need, and also help you to get your claim started.

What Are Claims For Criminal Injuries?

We start this guide to how long do CICA claims take, with a general overview of what these kinds of claims are, why you might be eligible to make one, and why you might need to claim damages through the CICA.

A criminal injury claim can be the result of any incident where the claimant has been injured by one or more perpetrators of a violent crime. This could be a violent crime such as assault or a crime that turned violent, such as aggravated burglary. In many cases, it could be impossible to make a claim against the criminal, and this is where the CICA steps in, acting as a proxy for paying damages to victims of violent crimes.

You can engage a solicitor to help you make your criminal injures claim, and this is something that we can help with. If you would like to learn how to start your claim right away, please call our claims team and speak to an advisor.

What Is The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

Before we can address the question, how long does a criminal compensation claim take? We need to explain what the CICA is and the role it plays. Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an executive agency of the UK Government. It has its main offices in Glasgow and has been in operation since 1996. CICA covers Wales, Scotland and England, and receives its funding from the  Ministry of Justice in England and Wales and the Justice Directorate in Scotland. CICA was preceded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB), which was established in 1964.

All injuries claimed for must have been the result of criminal violence (more on this later in the guide). A claim is possible for both physical and psychological harm. However, the claimant must qualify, meaning that they must be:

  • A British citizen.
  • A close relative of a British citizen.
  • A citizen of a member state of the European Union (subject to change in the post-BREXIT landscape).
  • A person who had a right to be in the UK by virtue of being a family member of an EU/EEA national.
  • A service member of the UK armed forces.
  • A close relative of a member of the UK armed forces.

In some cases, compensation may be denied, or the amount of compensation reduced, for claimants who:

  • Contributed to the cause of the crime.
  • Did not cooperate fully with the police.
  • Delayed reporting the crime to the relevant authorities.
  • Did not cooperate properly with CICA during the claims process.
  • Have one or possibly more unspent criminal convictions.

Additionally, CICA might refuse to entertain a claim if the claimant still lives with the perpetrator of the crime due to the fact the criminal might actually benefit from a compensation settlement. It could be possible to sidestep this issue if the compensation paid is placed in a trust.

If you would like to know more about the way that CICA operates and how they could help with your own criminal injury claim, please call our claims team, and an advisor will help you further.

Types Of Criminal Injury Claims Which You Could Make

Annex B of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 outlines what a criminal injury is. In summary, a criminal injury could be:

  • A physical assault or attack. GBH, for example.
  • Any other act (including omission) that is violent in nature and results in a person being assaulted or injured.
  • A direct threat that causes fear of violence which the victim is reasonably sure they should fear.
  • A person who is sexually assaulted due to not giving consent to the act.
  • Fires and arson.

These are the main reasons for a person to make a criminal injury claim through the CICA. However, there are some more rare circumstances, such as:

  • The assailant was not mentally equipped to understand their crime.
  • A child below the age of criminal responsibility but understood that they were committing a crime.

If you have suffered a criminal injury, due to, for example, a criminal assault, you could have a valid basis for a compensation claim. To find out for sure whether you are eligible to claim, please speak to our claims team today.

What Time Limits To Claim For A Criminal Injury Do I Need To Know?

The time limit for making a claim through the CICA is different from the general personal injury claims time limit in the UK. In general, the limit for making a claim via CICA is two years from the date the attack occurred. However, if the victim is under the age of 18, then the two-year time limit will start from their 18th birthday unless a parent or guardian acts as a litigation friend. In which case, the claim can be instigated before the child’s 18th birthday. Not knowing that CICA existed or there was a way to claim compensation for a criminal injury is not an acceptable excuse for not meeting this time limit, which is strictly adhered to.

In some cases, it is possible for this time limit to be extended. If you think you need an extension, and want to find out if you qualify, then speak to our claims team to find out.

How Long Could A Criminal Injury Claim Payout Take?

In this section, we will answer the question, how long does victim compensation take to be awarded? CICA provides no guaranteed upper time limit for the duration of a claim. However, in general, a claim takes 12 to 18 months, depending on the complexity of the case.

Some claims take longer to resolve than others. For example, claims that are made for serious injuries, where the victim is still recovering, and the final prognosis for recovery is not yet known. In such cases, CICA might be prepared to make an interim payment.

Certain kinds of claims can be fast-tracked through the CICA. For example, claims that are made for sexual assault could be dealt with within 8 weeks of the CICA becoming aware of the claim. But only if the victim is happy for the claim to be processed based on evidence provided by the police and nothing more.

For claimants who are claiming for some form of psychological injury, which has already been formally diagnosed, settlement can only occur once CICA has been given access to medical evidence to support the claim.

If your CICA claim is a success, you will be offered a settlement. You must tell the CICA that you are accepting the settlement, and then the compensation will be paid into your bank account within four weeks. If a minor has received a settlement, the money paid in compensation will be put into an interest-bearing account, and the claimant can access this money once they turn 18.

If you need any of this information explained more fully, please call our claims team and speak to an advisor; they can help you.

Potential Delays To Getting A Compensation Payout

Delays to a claim are primarily caused by the need for CICA to gather and correlate evidence from multiple sources before the claim can be evaluated fully. If a party to the claim, such as the police or a medical professional, delay providing evidence, this could delay the claim.

For claims where the criminal was not apprehended or convicted, the CICA might need additional information from the police and other parties in order for a claim to be evaluated, and this can cause a delay.

Lastly, in claims where the prognosis for the recovery of the victim is not yet known, the CICA may decide to defer making a decision until more is known about the health of the victim.

If you would like an estimate of the duration your criminal injury claim could take, please speak to one of our claim advisors, they can give you an estimate.

Calculating Compensation For Criminal Injuries

It is very hard to answer the question, how much compensation do you get for assault? As each claim is different. However, the table below, which is based on CICA criminal injury amounts, can give you a rough idea of the range of compensation you might be able to claim.

InjuryNotesCompensation
Injured armLoss of the non-dominant arm or the dominant arm£33,000 to £55,000
Injured neckA moderate injury such as a sprain or whiplash with the lower end of the bracket being an injury that healed fully within 13 weeks. At the upper end of the bracket there could be permanent impairment.£1,000 to £11,000
Femur (thigh bone)
Fractured
Fractured leg injuries to both legs. At the top end of this bracket would be injuries that result in continuing disability of some kind.£3,500 to £11,000
Fractured hand Fractures of the both hands, from a single fracture, multiple fractures of both hands. Where there could be some level of continuing disability.£1,800 to £6,200
Injured back
Fracture of vertebra
Injuries such as a minor fracture to one or more of the vertebrae, with the upper bracket being for injuries that result in some level of continuing significant disability.£1,000 to £6,200
Injured foot
Fractured metatarsal bones
Injuries could include specific medical conditions such as a displaced metatarsal fracture (one or both feet). In some cases, the foot would be left deformed and the victim would be unable to wear normal shoes.£1,000 to £3,500

You might be able to find a tool similar to a personal injury claims calculator to evaluate your criminal injury claim. Or you can ask our claims team to organise a solicitor to value your claim for you.

Other Types Of Compensation You May Be Awarded

There are two parent categories of damages. Special damages and general damages.

General damages are paid to compensate for physical and psychological injuries. The level of compensation depends on the severity of the injuries, the kind of treatment administered, long-term impairment or disability, etc. This could include:

  • Loss of life quality.
  • Permanent impairment.
  • Psychological injuries.
  • Stress and trauma.
  • Pain and suffering.

Special damages are paid to compensate for financial and other kinds of losses. Documented evidence will need to be provided if you intend to claim back incurred costs. CICA claims special damages differ from personal injury claims. Damages could include:

  • Loss of earning potential.
  • Lost current income – if unable to work for more than 28 full weeks
  • Medical fees
  • The cost of nursing care.

If you would like to find out what kinds of damages you might be able to claim for, please speak to our claims team, and an advisor will be able to give you an indication.

No Win No Fee Criminal Injury, Assault And Attack Claims

When you use a solicitor willing to handle your claim under a No Win, No Fee deal, you will have gained access to the expert help you need and also mitigated some of the financial risks of making a claim.

The proper name for a No Win, No Fee arrangement is a Conditional Fee Agreement. A CFA is a contract between the claimant and a solicitor for the solicitor to provide legal services without expecting an upfront payment or payment while the claim is being processed. If the claim fails, the solicitor won’t expect to be paid their fees. If the claim is won, though, the solicitor will ask the claimant to pay a small success fee. This success fee is capped at 25% of the overall value of the settlement the claimant receives.

For more information on how a CFA works and the fee structure, please speak to our claims team. One of our claim advisors will be able to provide you with all of the further information you need.

Begin A Claim For A Criminal Injury

Have you been harmed in some way? Perhaps you were assaulted or have been the victim of a mugging? Did you know that CICA might pay you compensation for your injuries? If you would like to find out if you can make a claim through CICA, please contact our team today on 0800 073 8801. One of our claim advisors will listen to your story, evaluate your claim for you, and then if applicable, help you to move on to making a claim.

Criminal injury claims- FAQs

What was the CICA claim waiting time in 2019? 

As we’ve touched upon in this guide, plenty of factors can affect how long it takes for a CICA claim to be processed and paid out. For instance, CICA may delay making a decision until the full extent of your injuries is clear, which could take some time.

However, in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme Review 2020, it was revealed that in 2018/19, CICA received over 31,000 applications and resolved over 35,000 cases, including ones received the year before that carried over. The outcome for 81% of these cases had been decided within 12 months, and it took just 6 months for them to reach a decision on 45% of cases.

Should I accept the first offer from CICA? 

When you claim from CICA, you won’t usually be given multiple offers of compensation. But if you disagree with the amount that you’ve been offered, or you’ve been denied compensation and feel that this is unfair, you can appeal the decision. This can be done through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.

You should submit your request for appeal within 90 days of receiving CICA’s decision, but this can be extended if there are circumstances that prevent you from appealing within this time frame, such as waiting for medical reports. The tribunal can increase or reduce the amount you receive in your CICA claim, or ask CICA to make a decision again. They can also uphold the decision made by CICA, or decide that you aren’t entitled to any compensation.

Where To Learn More

You might like to check out these external pages that have useful information related to criminal injury claims:

The CICA Website

The Offences Against the Person Act 1861

NHS- Help After Rape and Sexual Assault 

These other claim guides we have published might also be of some help to you:

How Much Compensation Could I Get For Assault?

Claiming For An Assault At Work

A Guide To Claiming For Historic Sexual Abuse

Thank you for reading our guide, looking at the question, “how long does a criminal injury claim take?”. 

Article by MW

Edited by MM.