How To Claim Compensation As The Victim Of GBH
In this online guide, we are going to provide you with all of the necessary information related to making a personal injury claim if you are the victim of grievous bodily harm (GBH). We will explain the claims process, and also many of the legal factors related to making such a claim. We will also try to demonstrate why using the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor can be a good idea in many cases.
If you have any questions about your claim, the claims process in general, or the contents of this guide, then please give our claims team a call on 0800 073 8801. One of our claim advisors will talk over your claim with you, answer any questions you have, and let you know what your legal options are.
Select A Section:
- A Guide On How To Claim As The Victim Of GBH
- What Is Grievous Bodily Harm?
- What Types Of Injuries Are Classed As GBH?
- What Is Worse, GBH Or ABH?
- Reporting Incidents Of GBH To The Police
- How To Prove The Defendant Caused You GBH Injuries
- Calculating Compensation For GBH
- Compensation Awarded For Claims Through The CICA
- Compensation Awarded For Claims Through The Courts
- How Else You Could Be Compensated For GBH
- How Accident Claims Could Help The Victims Of GBH
- No Win No Fee Victim Of GBH Compensation Claims
- Begin A Claim As A Victim Of GBH
- Where To Learn More
A Guide On How To Claim As The Victim Of GBH
This online guide is aimed at providing you with a primer to the legal process of making a claim for compensation for GBH. It should give you, the GBH victim, sufficient knowledge to approach your claim from a position of understanding.
We begin this guide with information about what GBH is. Indeed, the very first section contains an overall definition of GBH. We then cover the kinds of injuries that could be construed as GBH, and we compare GBH to actual bodily harm (ABH).
We next move on to look at some of the legal considerations of making a claim. We explain the procedure for reporting GBH to the police. You will also find some information that explains how you can prove that a perpetrator caused your injuries.
The financial considerations of making a claim come in the last part of this guide. We have provided an example table that will help you to get a good idea of the level of compensation you might receive if your claim is a success. You will find separate sections that explain how compensation might be paid through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and a claim that’s pursued through the civil courts.
We support these sections with a list of the potential types of damages your claim might consist of. Finally, we explain how we can help you, and also how a No Win No Fee claim works, showing you that such a legal service delivers the dual benefits of minimising financial risk and providing you with expert legal help.
You will need to be within the personal injury claims time limit in order to make a claim, which is 3 years from the date of the incident. If pursuing a claim through the CICA, you will need to make your claim within 2 years from the date of the incident. If you’re unsure whether you’re within time, call our claims team and talk to one of our advisors. At this stage, they can also answer your questions, and help you to begin moving your claim forward using one of our lawyers.
What Is Grievous Bodily Harm?
In order to answer a question such as, “how much compensation will I get for GBH?”, we first need to take a look at what GBH is. The UK legal system defines two separate classifications of GBH, and these are:
- Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (OAPA) – where the perpetrator has inflicted GBH intentionally, of they have inflicted some kind of wound with the intention of causing GBH.
- Section 20 of OAPA – where the perpetrator has inflicted GBH, but the wounding was not intended to cause GBH.
Section 18 is entirely related to GBH that was inflicted with intention. It defines it as any person who maliciously or unlawfully causes grievous bodily harm by any means to a person with the intent to inflict such harm.
The type of GBH outlined in section 18 is the more serious of the two, as section 20 deals with GBH that was done without intent. Therefore, the punishment for section 18 GBH is more serious than that for section 20 GBH.
However, it can sometimes be difficult to draw a line between Section 18 and Section 20 assault. Often, the decision to prosecute an offender under one of the sections is driven by the perceived state of mind of the perpetrator at the time the incident happened. In relation to Section 18 GBH, there has to be solid proof that the perpetrator was motivated to do GBH and had the full intention of wounding the victim unlawfully.
So, we can see that there are two kinds of GBH that the UK legal system makes provision for. If you are unsure which type of GBH you need to claim for, please speak to one of our advisors to have your claim evaluated.
What Types Of Injuries Are Classed As GBH?
If you have been assaulted, then the injuries you could have suffered will depend on the circumstances of the assault. For example, was a weapon used? How many assailants were there? Did somebody intervene to stop the assault quickly? Some of the more common kinds of injuries that a GBH victim might suffer could include:
- Knife or bullet wounds.
- Bruising, cuts and lacerations.
- Bone fractures.
- Swelling of the eyes.
- Cuts and damage to lips, nose and ears.
In the worst case, an assault can result in death. Either at the time of the assault or later during treatment. If you have been harmed in some way as the victim of an assault, then we could be able to help you to make a compensation claim for the harm you have suffered. Please call our claims team for more information.
What Is Worse, GBH Or ABH?
Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) is prosecuted under sections 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act. Wounds that are the result of ABH are not particularly harmful. And for this reason, ABH is a less serious offence than GBH.
There is a process that is followed, at the discretion of the prosecuting lawyer, that can be used to judge whether an injury falls under the definition of severe. Typical examples of injuries that constitute ABH are:
- Minor bruising.
- Scratches or bites.
- Skin grazes.
- Damage to hair.
So, we can see that the injuries that are typically suffered by a victim of ABH are less serious than those suffered by a GBH victim. If you need to make an assault claim as a victim of ABH or GBH, we can likely help you. Speak to our claims team to find out how we can assist you in moving your claim forward.
Reporting Incidents Of GBH To The Police
Before you can make a criminal injury claim, you will need to have reported the attack to the relevant police force. The police operate a general procedure for reporting all types of assaults. The level of assault is judged on the injuries that the victim has suffered. This could be common assault, ABH or GBH. All of these are criminal offences that will need to be reported to the police.
Once you have reported the crime to the police, if you wish to move on to make a compensation claim, please call our claims team and explain your situation to them, they will be able to help you further.
Claims For GBH In The Workplace
If you are assaulted at work, by a co-worker or a member of the public, then there are certain actions you should consider taking.
- Report the assault to your line manager.
- Fill out the appropriate forms to report the assault at work.
- Contact the police.
- If there were any witnesses to the assault, get their contact details.
- Use a company first aider to get initial treatment for your injuries.
- Visit the local hospital to have your injuries dealt with fully.
Taking action such as this will both ensure you get the care you need and leave a document trail that can be used when you make a compensation claim.
Claims For GBH In Public Places
In order for a personal injury lawyer to be able to help you by processing a claim for you, you will first need to make sure that it can be proven that your injuries were caused by the assault, and would not have happened had you not been assaulted. You could take actions such as:
- Find out if anyone videoed or photographed the attack and ask for copies.
- Call the police and report the attack.
- Gather the contact details of any witnesses.
- Visit the hospital to have your injuries treated.
Our claims team can provide you with more advice on how to prove your claim if you give them a call today.
How To Prove The Defendant Caused You GBH Injuries
No assault claims guide would be complete without an explanation of how GBH is proven. The acid test for judging whether GBH has taken place under section 18, would be that each of these three statements is true:
- The perpetrator caused serious injuries to the victim.
- The perpetrator fully intended to wound the victim seriously.
- The perpetrator was fully aware that what they were doing was wrong, and that it was a criminal offence.
It is important to understand that this is a very strict set of criteria for proving GBH. For example, if the offender displays behaviour that is reckless, then it is unlikely that they could be found guilty under section 18. Put simply, section 18 GBH must be premeditated and done by a person who is fully aware of their actions. There are some additional considerations that could lend weight to a case and also show that the assault was more serious. These include:
- The victim was attacked repeatedly.
- The offender planned the attack prior to the event.
- The offender clearly chose to use a specific weapon during the attack.
- High levels of force were used, such as kicking the victims head with steel toe cap boots or hitting it with a baseball bat.
- The victim had been threatened by the offender previously.
If you have been the victim of GBH and it has been proven that the offender is guilty, using similar guidelines to those above, then we may be able to help you to make a compensation claim for the harm you suffered. Reach out to one of our claim advisors for further assistance.
Calculating Compensation For GBH
The table below should give you a rough idea of how much compensation for grievous bodily harm you might receive. Please note that this table only pertains to CICA claims. The figures are based on the CICA Tariff of Injuries.
Injury Severity Notes Compensation
Injured arm Moderate Here, we would be including injuries such as sprains, strains and minor fractures. As well as cuts, burns, lacerations and cuts. Although the injury will heal almost fully, there will be permanent symptoms and some level of impairment. Up to £2,400
Injured neck Moderate Here, we would be including injuries such as fractured vertebrae of the neck, as well as less serious damage to the spinal nerves, soft tissue injuries and cuts or lacerations. Healing would never happen completely and there would be some level of permanent disability. Up to £3,500
Injured leg Moderate Here, we would include moderate injuries to a single leg, such as fractures, strains, sprains, lacerations, puncture wounds and crush damage. Long-term or permanent impairment would be the result of the injury failing to heal completely. Up to £3,500
Injured head/brain Moderate Here, we could include injuries to the brain that could cause a moderate effect on the cognitive abilities of the victim. There would be a permanent disability for the rest of the victim’s life. Up to £27,000
Fractured hand Moderate Here, we would include all moderate injuries to a single hand. Crush damage, puncture wounds, burns, lacerations, soft tissue injuries, minor fractures, etc. The injury would never heal completely and there would be some form of ongoing impairment. Up to £3,500
Fractured back Moderate Here, we would be including injuries such as fractured vertebrae of the back, as well as less serious damage to the spinal nerves, soft tissue injuries and cuts or lacerations. Healing would never happen completely and there would be some level of permanent disability. Up to £3,500
Injured foot (fractured tarsal) Moderate Here, we would include injuries such as a fractured tarsal. In healing the foot would be deformed. This would result in a permanent impairment such as a change in gait and inability to walk across uneven surfaces. Up to £6,200
It is very difficult to come up with a figure for the average compensation for GBH, as each claim has its own unique aspects. This is why in some cases, a personal injury claims calculator will be inaccurate. If you want a more accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you will receive based on your own unique circumstances, please call our claims team today. They can arrange for a solicitor to value your claim for you.
Compensation Awarded For Claims Through The CICA
In some cases, the victim of GBH will make personal injury claims against CICA. The CICA is funded by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and this funding is used to compensate victims of violent crimes where no other route to compensation is available. For example:
- The perpetrator was never caught.
- The perpetrator lacks the financial means to compensate the victim.
- The perpetrator has died.
In this case, CICA would act as a proxy defendant and would pay a limited amount of compensation to the victim. Our claims team understands CICA claims and can explain the process of making one to you if you call them today.
Compensation Awarded For Claims Through The Courts
In other cases, the offender will be available and able to face the charges, and also pay any compensation for assault awarded to the client. The claim would be made through the civil courts.
Your solicitor can help you prepare for making such a claim and will also represent you if the claim goes to court. In some cases, an out of court settlement might be offered, and your solicitor will be able to advise you as to whether it would be a good idea to accept such an offer or not. We can provide you with a solicitor to help you take your claim to court; just call our claims team to get started.
How Else You Could Be Compensated For GBH
As part of the service they offer, a personal injury solicitor will advise you on the types of losses you should try to make a claim for. You will potentially claim for several types of damages whether you accept an out of court settlement, you apply to CICA for compensation, or you take your claim to a civil court.
The main component of compensation is general damages. They are paid in relation to physical hardship. The amount of compensation received takes into account whether there are any long-term symptoms, the kind of treatment you had to go through, and how much pain and suffering you faced. General damages might include provision for:
- Pain and suffering at the time of the assault.
- Mental shock and trauma caused by being assaulted.
- Undergoing invasive or traumatic treatment.
- Psychological damages such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Long-term or permanent impairment.
Another component is special damages, which are paid in relation to financial and other ad-hoc, non-physical losses. If you intend to try and claim back money you have already spent due to the assault or your injuries, you will need to submit documented proof as part of your claim. Special damages might include provision for:
- Out of pocket expenses (must be proven).
- The cost of hiring a nurse at home.
- For private healthcare costs.
- To make up for lost income due to missing work.
- To compensate for lowered earning potential in the future due to an impairment.
These are some of the more common types of damages. Call our claims team to find out which might apply in your own case.
How Accident Claims Could Help The Victims Of GBH
Our accident and injury lawyers have more than 30-years’ experience in helping claimants make assault claims. They will do all they can to make sure your claim is a success, and that you receive the maximum level of compensation possible. Call us today to learn more, and to get your claim started.
No Win No Fee Victim Of GBH Compensation Claims
Using a No Win No Fee solicitor provides you with the legal expertise you need while reducing the level of financial risk. Your solicitor won’t charge to take your claim on, or while they are processing it. If they fail, they will not collect a fee at all.
If they do win your claim, they will likely ask you to pay a legally capped success fee, which can be collected out of the compensation payment that they have received for you.
Begin A Claim As A Victim Of GBH
Do you need to make a compensation claim for a criminal injury? Or perhaps you are still in the fact-finding stage and just want some free legal advice. Either way, please contact our claims team on 0800 073 8801, who will provide you with any assistance you may need.
Where To Learn More
These other guides are worth reding over:
Also, check the information on these external pages:
Guide by Wheeler
Edited by Billing