Compensation for the victims of crime

Photo by: Robert KuykendallHave you been assaulted or attacked in the UK within the past 2 years? If the answer is yes, and you have suffered a personal injury as a result of the attack, you may be entitled to make a no win no fee criminal injury compensation claim.

Who pays compensation to victims in criminal cases?

If you have been the victim of a crime, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. This compensation is there to help you if you have been injured or suffered financial loss as a result of the crime in question. Who actually pays that compensation will depend on the nature of the crime itself and the situation that surrounds it.

  • You may be able to get compensation from the criminal, providing they have not been sent to prison. This is done through a criminal court (i.e. magistrates’ or crown court), which can order the offender to pay you compensation if it is deemed appropriate. To pursue compensation in this manner, you will need to speak to the police officer dealing with your case and give them as much information as you can about how you have suffered. Keeping receipts and records of extra costs or loss of earnings as a result of the crime helps with this. Any compensation granted by the court in this manner will always take what the offender can afford into consideration.
  • You may be able to get compensation from the person to blame through a civil court (i.e. county court). If you are considering suing someone for compensation in this way, it is important to seek legal advice to determine whether the cost of taking someone to court is worth it. Call our team free on 0808 231 5942 for free, no obligation advice.
  • You may be able to get compensation from the government if you have been a victim of violent crime and have suffered injuries or loss of earnings, or if a loved one has died as the result of such a crime. The government agency that deals with these claims is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

Although it is possible to make a criminal injury compensation claim against the actual person that attacked you, in most cases an attack claim is made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is a government funded scheme which was set up to provide compensation to people who suffer physical and psychological injuries as a result of violent crimes.

To make a criminal injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the attack must have happened in either England, Wales or Scotland. It is important that the police are notified about the attack as soon as possible, and that you co-operate fully with the police investigation. Compensation for criminal injuries may be reduced or withheld if you have behaved inappropriately before or during the incident, such as by taunting the attacker.

Compensation for being assaulted

If you have been the victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible for compensation from the government organisation, CICA, under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The CICA pays compensation for victims of violent crimes, including attacks and assaults, as well as compensation for rape victims in the UK, providing the application is eligible. Although financial awards cannot undo the damage violent crimes cause, it can be viewed as a form of justice in some sense, whether the offender has been convicted or not.

The CICA handles the majority of criminal injury compensation claims in the UK and makes financial awards to successful claimants, ranging between £1,000 and £500,000. After you have sent your application form to the CICA, the organisation contacts the police, as well as the doctor, hospital or any other people with relevant information about your claim, before making a final decision. This process can take a year or longer.

In order to be eligible to make a claim to the CICA, you must have been injured in an act of violence in England, Scotland or Wales within the last two years, although this length of time may be extended if there are sufficient special circumstances to explain a delay in making the claim. An offender does not necessarily have to have been convicted or charged with the crime your injuries relate to. As long as you have co-operated fully with the police investigation, you should still be eligible to make a claim. Applications for financial awards from the CICA may be refused or reduced for a number of reasons, including a victim’s behaviour before, during or after the incident in question, the victim’s criminal record or failure to co-operate with the police or the CICA itself.

Compensation for dog bite victims

If you have been injured as a result of being the victim of a dog attack, you may be eligible for compensation, which will typically be paid by the dog owner’s insurance company.

Dog bites and other dog attacks are the most common type of personal injury claim for attacks by animals and can leave victims with both mental and physical injuries. For a compensation claim regarding a dog bite, in most cases there would need to be evidence that the owner, keeper or handler of the dog knew, or ought to have known, that the dog was dangerous. If you have been attacked by an un-muzzled dog of a breed covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, which requires such dogs to be micro chipped and muzzled in public places, a personal injury claim is likely to be successful, regardless of whether the animal has been aggressive previously.

If you have suffered an injury as the result of a dog attack then you may be entitled to make a ‘no win, no fee’ compensation claim against the owner, keeper or handler of the dog. If the person who owns the dog has home or dedicated pet insurance, any compensation granted would be paid for by the insurance company in question. It is also possible, in some cases, to make a claim for compensation for dog bite victims through the CICA.

What is the deadline for making a criminal injury claim?

Photo by: kobiz7Unlike most personal injury compensation claims which have a three year deadline within which to make the claim, a criminal injury claim made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority must be made within two years from the date of the attack. If you were the victim of an attack over two years ago, you may still be able to make a criminal injury compensation claim if there are special circumstances for the delay in making the claim. This is down to the discretion of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, and a late application is only likely to be accepted if it is judged reasonable and in the interests of justice to do so.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can award compensation amounts between £1000 to £500,000. This means the injuries you have sustained through an attack must be judged serious enough to be valued at £1000 or more. Therefore if you have only suffered a very minor injury which has completely recovered within a few weeks, it is unlikely you would be able to make a criminal injury compensation claim through the CICA.

Will I still get compensation even if no one was convicted?

There is a common misconception that criminal injury compensation can only be awarded if a person has actually been convicted. However this is not the case. You may still be eligible for criminal injury compensation if the attacker has not been convicted, and even if the attacker has never been traced. As long as you have co-operated fully with the police investigation into the attack, you should still be eligible to make a compensation claim.

If you have been the victim of a violent crime within the past two years and have suffered injuries as a result, you may be entitled to make a criminal injury compensation claim.