Criminal Injury Compensation Solicitor - CICA Claim
SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7004
The current Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme initially came into force in 1995 and it was substantially amended in 2001 and again in 2008. Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) claims officers determine solicitors applications for compensation which may be reviewed by more senior officers and ultimately appealed to an independent Appeals Panel the members of which are appointed by the Secretary of State.
Criminal Injury Compensation Solicitors
Our criminal injury compensation solicitors deal with applications to the CICA on a no win no fee basis. Our lawyers are completely independent of the CICA and if one of our claims is unsuccessful, for any reason whatsoever, our criminal injury compensation solicitors will not make any charge. Our CICA claims are completely risk free and you do not have to pay for any expenses during the course of the claim. Our criminal injury compensation solicitors have a client centred approach and will focus entirely on your needs by providing vigorous and committed expert representation to ensure that you receive fair and equitable compensation for your physical or psychological injuries. If you would like free advice on the telephone, without obligation, just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices. If after talking to us you decide not to take your criminal injuries compensation claim further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not pay for our advice.
Crimes of Violence
Compensation for trauma may be paid to an applicant who has suffered mental or physical injury or where the victim has died, to a dependent. Qualifying personal injuries include :-
- crimes of violence (including arson, fire-raising or an act of poisoning)
- the apprehension or attempted apprehension of an offender or a suspected offender
- giving help to any police officer who is engaged in any such activity
- an offence of trespass on a railway
- the prevention or attempted prevention of an offence
In the event of a fatality caused by criminal activity there are a number of classes of people including dependents who can claim an award from the CICA. The amount of the award paid to a sole claimant is a fixed sum however if there is more than one claimant the fixed sum paid to each claimant is half the amount. In addition a person who is not in one of these classes who has paid the funeral expenses can claim a reasonable amount to cover these expenses.
People who can claim include :-
- Those who have a close relationship with another person who has been the victim of a violent crime who were present when the crime took place, or involved immediately afterwards and who suffered psychological trauma.
- Those who have been physically or psychologically injured because of a violent crime.
- The parent, child, husband, wife or partner of a victim who died as the result of a violent crime.
Criminal injury compensation is not payable in the following circumstances :-
- If the crime took place outside England, Scotland or Wales (there is a separate scheme for Northern Ireland.)
- If you suffered only a single minor injury that did not necessitate at least two visits for medical attention and lasted less than 6 weeks.
- In certain circumstances relationed to sexual abuse which stopped prior to October 1979.
It may affect your criminal injury compensation claim if :-
- You fail to fully co-operate with the police when they investigate the matter (compensation can still be paid in the absence of a conviction).
- There was unreasonable delay in reporting the incident to the police or other relevant Authority.
- You started a fight or provoked or agreed to take part in a fight in which you were injured.
- Your behaviour after the assault was aggressive or unreasonable
- You or a deceased victim has a criminal record which is not 'spent' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
CICA Claim Requirements
The CICA was established to administer compensation in the UK to violent crime victims . There are certain requirements as follows :-
- Qualifying injuries require at least two visits to a doctor and have lasted at least 6 weeks.
- Payment is calculated by a tariff scheme in bands ranging from £,000 to £50,000.
- Loss of earnings may be paid in certain circumstances and in cases where recovery is a lengthy process it may be possible to recover all medical expenses incurred.
- The victims behaviour before, during and after the incident are considered when the amount of any award is being assessed.
- Any application by a violent crime victim for an award of compensation must be made within two years of the assault however there are certain rare circumstances in which this two year period may be extended.
- Delay in reporting the incident to the police can preclude payment and the incident must be reported to the police at the first possible opportunity. The applicant must take all reasonable steps to inform the police, or other body or person considered by the Authority to be appropriate for the purpose in the circumstances giving rise to the injury.
- The violent crime victim must co-operate with the police or other authority in attempting to bring the assailant to Justice and the claim will be rejected if the applicant has failed to give all reasonable assistance to the Authority or other body or person in connection with the application.
- Whether or not the victim provoked the assailant and any violent retaliation by the victim after the assault may have an effect on the amount awarded and in certain circumstances will negate an award.
- The victim's criminal record of 'unspent' convictions , especially those involving violence, is taken into account.
- It is not necessary for there to be a conviction of the offender and it is not necessary for the perpetrator of the assault to be identified.
- If the amount awarded under the CICA tariff scheme is rejected by the applicant as insufficient then there is a right to have the award reconsidered, and thereafter a further right to take the matter to appeal.
Conviction is Not Necessary
The Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme 2008 does not require that an assailant is convicted of a criminal offence in order for the victim to claim compensation which can still be claimed even where the assailant cannot be convicted by reason of age, insanity or diplomatic immunity.
Approximately 550 staff work for the CICA in administration at the Home Office and the Scottish Executive offices in Glasgow and London to process criminal injuries compensation claims from the victims of violent crime throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland has its own separate scheme. Over £200,000,000 is distributed to over 70,000 applicants for compensation every year.
The aim of the scheme is to recognise physical and mental injuries, caused by crimes of violence and where appropriate to compensate for pain and suffering, lost salary and certain special expenses which may include compensation for bereavement and for the lost earnings of a deceased person.
The administration of criminal injuries compensation claims made before 1 April 1996 were determined on the same basis as for a personal injury claim in the civil courts however in 1996 the system changed to a tariff scheme whereby each injury attracts a fixed payment.
The value of a claim is assessed by reference to a tariff table whereby each specific trauma is assigned a value which is set out in the schedule. A total of three injuries can be considered with second and third injuries being discounted. Damages can be reduced or refused in cetain circumstances the most common being if the claimant has not fully co-operated with the police or has 'unspent' criminal convictions. The claimants behaviour before, during or after the incident causing injury is also considered and scheduled tariff payments can be reduced or refused if such behaviour is unacceptable within the scheme.
Loss of Wages
Under the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme 2008 loss of salary can only be claimed for losses incurred for the period after 28 weeks absence from work. Nothing is payable for the first 28 weeks incapacity. In addition there are certain special expenses that can be claimed by those that qualify for wages loss compensation including :-
- loss of or damage to physical aids
- National Health Service costs for treatment
- reasonable cost of private health treatment
- cost of special equipment, home adaptations and care which is not available free of charge
Upon receipt of a completed claim form from a criminal injury compensation solicitor the CICA will acknowledge receipt and allocate a personal reference number and will thereafter make enquiries of the police, doctors, hospitals and any other relevant organisations. Due to different circumstances attaching to each claim there is a wide variation in the time taken for the CICA to come to a decision on whether or not to grant an award and how much the compensation should be. Over 90% of criminal injuries compensation claims are resolved within 12 months of receipt of the application but cases where there is a criminal trial and cases involving future loss of earnings or future medical expenses may take longer. The average time for determination of a claim is 8 months.
In the event of an initial decision by the CICA being unsatisfactory to the applicant then it can be reviewed by a more senior officer within the CICA. If the outcome of the review is also unsatisfactory an appeal can be made by a criminal injury compensation solicitor to an Appeals Panel, which is independent of the CICA.
If the decision of the Appeals Panel is unsatisfactory due to poor administration a complaint can be made to the The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman). If you want to make a complaint to the Ombudsman in England and Wales, you must write to your MP. If you want to complain to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman, you should write to:
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7004
23 Walker Street