How To Make An ABH Compensation Claim

By Daniel Sisko. Last Updated 29th March 2023. Welcome to this guide on claiming for ABH and assault. This guide will look at the process of claiming actual bodily harm (ABH) compensation. After experiencing actual bodily harm, you may be wondering, “can I get compensation for being attacked?” There are two channels through which you can claim compensation for ABH, and we will discuss each of them in this guide. Plus, we also offer information on ABH sentencing guidelines and who could claim compensation for an ABH assault.

This guide will explain how you could receive ABH compensation, as well as answer the following questions:

A man inflicting actual bodily harm on another man while sitting on a bench

  • How much do the CICA pay out?
  • What is the difference between ABH and grievous bodily harm (GBH)?
  • How much do you get for victim’s compensation?
  • How can I use a victim support compensation calculator?
  • What are the actual bodily harm sentencing guidelines?
  • Is there a time limit to making a personal injury claim?

Our advisors offer free legal advice and are available 24/7 so, if you have any questions such as “how much compensation for an ABH claim?” please get in touch with us. You can contact us using the details below.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide On How To Make An ABH Compensation Claim
  2. What Injuries Are Classed As ABH?
  3. Are There Different Categories Of ABH?
  4. What Is The Difference Between ABH And GBH Compensation?
  5. How To Report Assaults Occasioning ABH To The Police
  6. How Do You Prove You Were Assaulted?
  7. CICA Claims For ABH
  8. Do You Have To Claim Via The CICA?
  9. Do I Need Evidence To Claim ABH Compensation?
  10. ABH Compensation Claims Calculator
  11. What Other Damages Could I Claim?
  12. No Win No Fee ABH Compensation Claims
  13. Why Choose Us To Handle Your Assault Claim?
  14. Get In Touch
  15. Learn About Related Claims
  16. Rates Of Violent Crime In England And Wales
  17. Assault Claim FAQs

A Guide On How To Make An ABH Compensation Claim

Being a victim of actual bodily harm can be a very distressing and difficult experience to deal with. If you experienced actual bodily harm as the result of a violent attack, you might be able to claim compensation.

There are two main channels that you can go through to claim compensation for assault resulting in actual bodily harm. We will look at how agencies like the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) help in this process.

To learn more about this or see if you’re eligible to claim, please call us 24/7 using the contact details above. We can provide you with free legal advice, including providing a compensation estimate over the phone and potentially connecting you with a personal injury lawyer.

What Injuries Are Classed As ABH?

To see if you can claim ABH compensation, it’s important to be fully aware of actual bodily harm. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm involves injuries that can be painful but aren’t necessarily very harmful. Therefore, it is seen as a less serious crime than grievous bodily harm (GBH).

ABH injuries can include:

  • Bruises
  • Bite marks
  • Scratches
  • Mild cuts and lacerations

You can also claim for psychological damage caused by the attack.

In order for someone to have committed ABH, they don’t need to have intended to cause you harm or injury. However, they do need to have intended to use unlawful force. For example, if someone pushes you and you fall over and chip your tooth, it doesn’t matter that they didn’t intend for you to chip your tooth. They could still be found guilty of ABH because they meant to exert force in pushing you.

ABH Assault – ABH Sentencing Guidelines

Are you wondering what the ABH sentencing guidelines are for ABH assault? If so, we can look at the Sentencing Council’s updated guidance from 2021. 

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm and racially or religiously aggravated ABH are both triable. 

In terms of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, this is an offence under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (Section 47). It now carries a sentence of a maximum of five years of custody. The offence range is from a fine to 4 years in custody.

For racially religiously aggravated ABH, this is triable under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Section 29). It carries a maximum sentence of seven years of custody.

What Is ABH Assault?

ABH assault is known as actual bodily harm in which harm is caused to a person’s body. The harm sustained doesn’t need to be classed as serious in order to be categorised as ABH.

What Is The Difference Between ABH And GBH Compensation?

The difference between claiming compensation for ABH and GBH will usually be the severity of the injuries. The extent of the harm caused is the distinction between these two categories of assault.

If you’re seeking GBH compensation, your injuries will often be more serious than if you were the victim of ABH. The types of injuries defined as ABH have been stated in the section above. The Crown Prosecution Service helps define GBH injuries as incidents that lead to:

  • Life-changing injuries that can lead to permanent symptoms
  • Injuries that require sustained or significant medical treatment
  • Serious wounds

So, for example, a punctured lung or a fractured forearm would most likely be classed as GBH injuries. Less serious injuries will be associated with ABH.

How To Report Assaults Occasioning ABH To The Police

For you to claim ABH compensation through the CICA, you would need to report the crime to the police. This should be done as soon as possible after the accident to strengthen your chances of being successful in your claim.

You can:

  • Call the police on 999 if it’s an emergency
  • Call them on 111 if it’s not an emergency
  • You can also contact them online.

Once you’ve reported the criminal act to the police, you could then begin pursuing a claim through the CICA.

How Do You Prove You Were Assaulted?

Making a successful compensation claim is dependant on proving that you sustained injuries and that you are not at fault for the injuries you sustained.

Therefore, you need to:

  • Contact the police. They can open a crime report. This is particularly important if you want to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), as they will only consider claims that were reported to the police.
  • Go to the A&E department to get your injuries assessed. They can help assess your injuries and confirm the nature of your assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Furthermore, this will make sure that you get the medical attention you need for your injuries.
  • Write down the events that led up to and encapsulate the assault as soon as you can. This is so the event is still fresh in your mind.

Accruing witness statements and any relevant CCTV footage can also help with personal injury claims. This is because they can help corroborate your version of events.

CICA Claims For ABH

As previously mentioned, there are two channels through which you can claim ABH compensation. You can:

  1. Sue the offendant directly for the crime. To successfully claim compensation in this regard, you would need to know the perpetrator, and they would need to have sufficient funds to pay you your compensation.
  2. You can also use the CICA to claim for ABH. This method of claiming might be more appropriate if you don’t know the identity of the person who assaulted you or if they don’t have the funds to pay you directly.

The CICA deal with compensation claims for people who have been mentally or physically injured as the victim of a violent crime in England, Wales and Scotland. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 outlines the amount of compensation you could receive for a range of different injuries.

For more information about how this works, contact our advisors, either online or by giving us a call 24/7 at a time that works for you. A personal injury solicitor from our panel can still help you claim if you decide to claim through the CICA.

Do You Have To Claim Via The CICA?

Claiming through the CICA is not the only method you have of making a compensation claim. You can also make a claim directly against the person who assaulted you.

In order for you to do this, you would need to know who the person is that you are claiming against. They would also need to have the money available to pay your compensation. This is unlike CICA claims,

You may also be wondering what the personal injury claims time limit is. The answer to this depends on the method through which you pursue compensation:

  1. If you want to pursue the claim directly against the perpetrator, you have three years from the date of the incident to begin claims proceedings. This is the same timeframe as other personal injury claims.
  2. If you’re looking to claim through the CICA, you need to start claim proceedings within two years of when it occurred and was reported to the police.

When making a claim through the CICA, the time limit may be extended if you can show that there are extenuating circumstances that stopped you from doing so beforehand. For example, if you were too young to report the crime and pursue a claim beforehand or your circumstances prevented you from doing so.

A personal injury lawyer could help clarify how much ABH compensation you could receive. One of our advisors could put you through to a No Win No Fee lawyer at a time that works for you once your victim compensation eligibility has been assessed.

To see if you could receive ABH compensation or GBH compensation for incidents like sexual assault or for neck or wrist injuries caused by a criminal act, call us today.

Do I Need Evidence To Claim ABH Compensation?

If you’ve suffered due to ABH, compensation can only be claimed if you have evidence. However, the level of evidence you require can depend on how you make your claim. There are two main avenues you may be able to pursue: claims through the CICA, and a civil claim against the perpetrator.

CICA Claims

When making a claim through the CICA, you only need to be able to prove that you are telling the truth “on the balance of probability”. You will need to report the crime, provide a reference number to the CICA, and cooperate with any investigation that takes place. The assailant doesn’t need to be identified or convicted in order to make a successful CICA claim.

Civil Claims

This is when you claim directly against the person who inflicted your injuries due to ABH or assault. When doing so, the evidence you provide needs to corroborate your story “beyond reasonable doubt”. Examples could include:

  • Medical evidence
  • CCTV footage
  • Witness contact details

In order to make a civil claim, the perpetrator must be identified and have the funds to compensate you.

If you want to know more, such as answers to questions like, “what is an ABH claim worth?” then get in touch with our advisors today.

ABH Compensation Claims Calculator

Whether you’re looking to claim for injuries caused by domestic abuse or ones sustained in a mugging, the principle of the type of things you can claim for is always the same. There are two potential heads of claim when claiming against someone directly.

  • Psychological and physical injury caused by the incident, as well as the general decline in your quality of life is claimed through general damages.
  • Financial losses suffered by the injury are claimed through special damages.

Our personal injury claims calculator provides you with reliable compensation estimates if you decide to pursue the claim directly against the perpetrator. The Judicial College has helped in relation to this, as they’ve compared previous general damages payouts based on the severity and extent of the injuries.

This means they’ve been able to create reliable compensation brackets for many different types of injuries. We use these in our calculator.

However, if you choose to claim through the CICA, their tariff of injuries provide you with insight regarding what you could receive. Below is a list of injuries and their relevant compensation amounts if you were to claim through the CICA.

Area(s) of Injury Amount of Compensation
According to CICA Tariff
Multiple £33,000 Burns that affect multiple areas of the body – in total, over 25% of total skin causing significant scarring.
Brain £22,000 Minor brain damage leading to a good recovery, with the ability to socialise and return to work but causing persistant problems like concentration and memory loss. To receive this amount of compensation, the injury must be significant and long lasting (lasting for 2 years or more).
Eye £13,500 An injury that leads to serious double vision or permanently blurred vision.
Skull £4,600 Depressed skull fracture that requires surgery.
Elbow £6,200 An injury to one elbow causing significant disability that lasts continously.
Wrist £11,000 Fracture or dislocation to both wrists that result in a continuing significant disability.
Chest £2,400 Two fractured clavicles where substantial recovery occurs.
Heel £6,200 Fractured heel bone in one foot causing continuing significant disability.
Severe physical abuse £8,200 Physical abuse of adults, including domestic abuse, where a persistent pattern of severe abuse has been occurring for over three years.
Sexual assault £22,000 Sexual assault that results in serious internal bodily injuries.

What Other Damages Could I Claim? 

Special damages relate to the financial losses suffered due to the claim. It means that you can claim for things like:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Travel costs
  • Care costs, such as needing a care nurse or a care bed
  • Prescription medical costs
  • Loss of future earnings

When claiming for additional costs that your injuries have incurred through the CICA, this will be done through special expenses. Special expenses differ from special damages in a number of ways.

For example, you can only claim compensation for special damages if you have been left unable to work for at least 28 weeks after being injured. Your special expenses will be backdated to the date of the accident. However, you will only be awarded lost earnings from the 29th week onwards.

Whether you’re claiming special damages as part of a CICA claim or a claim against the perpetrator directly, you’ll need to provide evidence of the losses you have incurred. If you’re claiming through the CICA, you might also be asked to prove that the things you’re claiming for aren’t available for free elsewhere.

If you would like to know more about how much you could claim in special damages or special expenses, speak to a member of our team today. Otherwise, read on to find out more about how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you.

No Win No Fee ABH Compensation Claims

You might have heard of a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor before but are not sure exactly what their services entail. A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your solicitor that sets out the conditions that need to be met before you pay them.

It means that:

  • They don’t ask you to pay anything before your claim begins or while it’s ongoing.
  • If you lose your claim, there will be nothing to pay them at all
  • In the event that your claim is successful, they will deduct a small “success fee” from your compensation.

This reduces the financial risk that usually goes along with seeking legal advice for a claim. For more information on whether a No Win No Fee agreement

Why Choose Us To Handle Your Assault Claim?

While you have a wide range of options available to you when seeking compensation for your injuries, we believe that choosing Accident Claims will give you a good chance of getting the compensation you deserve. Our advisors are on hand to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can offer you a no-obligation assessment of your claim.

What’s more, if your claim is deemed to be valid, then you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. They can work on your case without requiring any upfront payment and have years of experience with claims of this nature.

Get In Touch

Our advisors are available 24/7, so you can call them at a time that works for you.

Learn About Related Claims 

For more useful information, please use the links below.

To learn more about different types of abuse, including physical abuse, visit the NHS website.

The CICA also provide information about the work they do. To learn more about this, view their 2020-21 Annual Report.

Do you want to learn more about assault compensation claims? If so, visit our website.

If you want to claim due to being the victim of sexual abuse, read this page.

Have you been injured at work? If so, and you want to see if you can claim, this guide could help.

Rates Of Violent Crime In England And Wales 

Chart showing number of crimes committed each month in England and Wales between 2019-2021

The Office for National Statistics provides crime statistics for England and Wales. The above compares crime rates from October 2019 to March 2020 with crime rates from October 2020 to March 2021. As you can see, with the exception of March 2020 compared with March 2021, there was a decline in crime rates for the same month the following year.

Assault Claim FAQs

For answers to FAQs about making a criminal injury claim, please see below.

Can I get compensation for being assaulted?

You can potentially receive compensation, either by claiming directly against the perpetrator or by claiming through the CICA. Whether you’re looking to claim ABH compensation or GBH compensation will depend on the nature of the injury.

How long does a CICA claim take?

According to the 2020/21 annual report, the CICA decided 70% of all new claims within 12 months.

What percentage do solicitors charge?

When funding a solicitor for a personal injury claim with a Conditional Fee Agreement, the success fee that can be taken by a solicitor is legally capped at 25%.

What does the CICA do?

They provide compensation for people in England, Scotland and Wales who have been physically or mentally assaulted or abused by a criminal act.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim ABH compensation.

Guide by MD

Edited by FS