Can I claim compensation if no one has been convicted of the crime?
If you are injured in a criminal attack it can still be possible make a claim for compensation even if nobody is convicted of the crime.
Victims of violent crimes in the UK can claim compensation in several ways. If the offender is prosecuted and found guilty, the Criminal Court may order him to pay compensation.
A second option is to sue the offender for damages in the Civil Courts. You can do this up to three years after the assault, and it does not matter if the offender has been acquitted or even charged with the crime.
There are two problems with these type of claims;
First, you have to know who caused your injuries.
Secondly, for your award to have any value, the offender must have enough money to pay your compensation. If you are the victim of a random street attack or mugging, neither of these criteria are likely to apply.
Fortunately, a third option exists whereby victims of violent crime can seek compensation for their injuries even if they do not know who caused them. It is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Am I eligible to make a claim?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) accepts claims from anyone who has been injured in a violent criminal attack, including mugging, assault, sexual attack and arson.
The only conditions for making a claim are that:
- you are the blameless victim of a crime
- you suffered personal injury as a result.
Personal injury includes serious physical injuries such as broken bones as well as the psychological trauma you may experience after being involved in such an event. The scheme does not cover minor physical injuries such as cuts and bruises.
You do not need a guilt verdict or a prosecution to make a claim.
What evidence do I need?
You can make a claim to CICA even if you do not know who committed the crime. However, you will need to show that a crime took place. It will help if you reported the incident promptly to the police and assisted the police with their enquiries, for example, by making a statement or being willing to attend an identity parade.
How much compensation will I receive?
Compensation is awarded on a sliding scale depending on the nature of your injuries. For example, the loss of four or more front teeth attracts compensation of £3,500 on the current CICA tariff; losing both hands entitles you to £110,000. If you have suffered multiple injuries, CICA will award compensation for your most serious injury first and then award additional compensation for any further injuries at a reduced amount.
Further information is available on the CICA website.
How do I apply for compensation?
Ask for an application form from your local police station or apply online via the CICA website. You must make a claim within two years of the incident unless you are making an application on behalf of a child.
CICA takes up to one year to assess claims. If you are successful, a claims officer will write to inform you of CICA's decision and confirm how much compensation you will receive.
Have you been injured in a criminal attack?
Working with Quittance's experienced panel of solicitors can increase the chances of a successful claim. For a free, no obligation consultation, call us on freephone 0800 612 7456 or complete an online form today.