I was injured in a criminal assault - can I get compensation if no one was convicted?

Woman looking concerned after being injured

If you are injured in a criminal attack, you should be able to claim compensation, even if no one is convicted of the crime.

Claiming compensation

If you have been a victim of a violent crime in the UK, you have two options when seeking injury compensation:

Claiming through the criminal court

If the defendant (the offender) is prosecuted and found guilty, a criminal court may order the defendant to pay compensation.

Claiming through the civil court

A second option is to sue the offender for damages in a civil court.

How long after the incident can I start a claim through the courts?

You can claim compensation for being attacked up to three years after the assault. It does not matter if the offender has been acquitted or even charged with the crime.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

In order to seek compensation through the courts:

  • You have to know who caused your injuries.
  • The offender must have enough money to pay your compensation.

If you are the victim of a random street attack or mugging, you probably won't be able to meet these criteria.

Fortunately, a third option exists that enables you to seek compensation for your injuries through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) - even if you don't know the identity of the offender.

See also:

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) claims

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-funded authority that allows victims of violent crimes to seek compensation.

The CICA operates the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which sets a tariff of injuries that determines how much compensation will be awarded.

Am I eligible to make a claim through the CICA?

The CICA accepts claims from anyone who has been injured in a violent criminal attack, including mugging, assault, sexual offences and arson.

The only conditions for making a claim are that:

  • you are the blameless victim of a crime, and;
  • you suffered personal injury as a result.

A personal injury could include 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.

The defendant does not need to be found guilty for you to be able to make a claim.

What evidence will I need to make a claim?

You can claim through the CICA even if you do not know who committed the crime.

However, you will need to be able 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 inquiries. This could include making a statement or being willing to attend an identity parade, if asked to do so.

How much compensation will I receive?

Compensation is awarded on a sliding scale that depends 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, the CICA will award compensation for your most serious injury first and then award additional compensation for any further injuries at a reduced amount.

You can further information on the latest CICA injury tariff here.

How do I apply for compensation through the CICA?

Ask for an application form from your local police station or apply online via the CICA website. You will need to start a claim within two years of the incident unless you are making an application on behalf of a child.

The CICA takes up to one year to assess claims. If you are successful, a claims officer will write to inform you of the CICA's decision and confirm how much compensation you will receive.

Read more:

How to claim injury compensation through the CICA

Claiming compensation on behalf of a child

What happened?

The claims process for a criminal injury may depend on where and how the injury happened. Click the icons below for more information:

How we can help you with your criminal injury claim

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning criminal injury claims.

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If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee criminal injury claim, we are open:

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher