If you have received an injury as the result of a criminal act, then you are entitled to seek compensation to help to support you with your injuries and any financial consequences which are associated with your injuries. This includes both physical and psychological (e.g. increased anxiety) injuries which you received because of another party committing a criminal offence.
The government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will help you to gain compensation from the criminal who is responsible for your injuries. This scheme will help you to receive financial compensation, even if the criminal who caused your injury does not have any money of their own. It is even possible to make a claim for compensation if you were the victim of a crime where the perpetrator was never caught.
Who May be Eligible for Criminal Injuries Compensation?
The government offers a few guidelines on who may be eligible for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, although you may discover that other types of claim are also eligible under different regulations. If you are not sure whether or not you might have a valid claim, you should talk to a qualified solicitor who specialises in criminal injuries claims.
The government suggests that you may be eligible under their scheme if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- if you were the victim of a violent crime
- if you can show that you were not to blame for the incident
- if you sustained your injuries whilst taking reasonable steps to prevent a crime from being committed
- if you are the relative of someone who died as a result of a crime
- or if you have been psychologically injured after seeing a loved one fall victim to a violent crime or its aftermath.
They suggest that a loved one is defined as a child, parent, spouse or partner of either gender, provided that they were living with the partner at the time of the incident.
One of the main limitations for claimants under this scheme is the date that the crime was committed. Claimants are only allowed to start a claim up to 2 years after the date that the crime was committed. If they leave it any longer than this, then their right to make a claim under the scheme will be lost, and they will no longer be eligible for compensation.
In very rare circumstances, claimants may be able to make an alternative type of claim more than 2 years after the date of the incident. If you think that this may apply to you, then you should talk to a solicitor who specialises in criminal injuries claims.
Why You may Not be able to Make a Criminal Injury Claim
The government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme does make certain exclusion in regards to offering criminal injuries compensation. Your solicitor may ask you a few questions to see whether you may be considered to be one of the people who could be excluded.
You may not be eligible to make a claim under this scheme if:
- you behaved in a way that help to cause the injury
- if you did not report the incident to the police or failed to report it to the police within a reasonable amount of time
- if you failed to co-operate with the police as part of their enquiries
- or if you have a criminal record.
If your solicitor decides that any of these factors may apply to you then they will be able to advise you about any other options that could be available to you instead.
How Much Compensation?
If you have a sustained a criminal injury, then the amount of compensation that you will receive will be worked out by CICA if you apply through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This will be worked out based on a number of different factors, including the types of injuries that you experienced, and whether you are forced to make any significant lifestyle changes following the incident.
A solicitor may be able to give you a ballpark figure to help you to understand the value of the compensation that you might receive for the incident.