The Criminal Injury Compensation Solicitors make claims under the CICA Scheme which initially came into force in 1995 and 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.
Under the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority 'tariff scheme', various physical and psychological injuries are assigned a value. Each injury is then placed into one of 25 tariff bands in accordance with the assigned value. The bands range in value from ï¿½1,000 to ï¿½250,000. A victim receives compensation only for their three worst injuries. For their worst injury, the victim is awarded the full value dictated by the applicable band. The amount awarded for the second and third worst injuries is reduced by set percentage rates. There is a ï¿½250,000 cap on the maximum amount of damages a victim may be awarded. The effect of the tariff scheme is to limit the opportunity for a criminal compensation solicitor to make an appeal thereby making the process more manageable from the CICA point of view.
The victim may also qualify for further compensation in addition to that awarded for their injuries under the tariff scheme. For instance, a victim may be entitled to lost wages if, as a result of their injuries, they were absent from work for more than 28 weeks but losses are only awarded for the subsequent period. Your criminal compensation solicitor can also claim for certain other expenses which may include :-
Claims for compensation for violent crime can be made directly to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and no fee is usually payable. You do not have to instruct a solicitor to represent you and if there are no complicated issues it may be to your advantage to claim directly.
There are three realistic methods of obtaining compensation following a crime of violence however in most cases only a criminal injury compensation board application will achieve the desired result of payment within a reasonable time :-
Criminal Injury Compensation Authority
Victims of violent crime may be entitled to make an application to the criminal injury compensation board. The claim fund is financed by central government and UK residents who are innocent victims and have sustained physical or mental trauma as the result of a violent crime are entitled to apply for compensation. In order to qualify you must have visited the doctor a minimum of two times and your recovery period must have been greater than six weeks. In some cases, relatives of victims who were fatally injured during a violent crime are also eligible for compensation. Victims can bring a claim regardless of whether the perpetrator has been caught or prosecuted. The maximum compensation payable is £500,000 including personal injury, financial losses and expenses.
Criminal Court Compensation
If the offender has been convicted in a criminal court, they may be ordered by the Judge to pay compensation to the victim for personal injury or other losses. In this case, after consultation with the victim, the Crown Prosecution Service will make the request in court. However, many perpetrators neglect to pay this compensation and the amount awarded is often limited. For those reasons almost all victims of violent crime get better results from claims made to the criminal injury compensation board.
Civil Court Compensation
It is also possible for a victim of violent crime to personally sue the offender in the civil courts. Seeking the assistance of a solicitor in these circumstances is highly advised. A qualified, experienced personal injury solicitor can help ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your losses. This option is only a sensible alternate if the perpetrator of the violent crime has substantial assets and the injury is extremely serious. Awards made by the criminal injury compensation board have a cap of £500,000 whereas awards made in the civil courts have no upper limit. This financial limit becomes a serious consideration in the case of severe brain damage or spinal injury where damages can frequently exceed this sum by a very large factor.
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.
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 :-
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 :-
Criminal injury compensation is not payable in the following circumstances :-
It may affect your criminal injury compensation claim if :-
The CICA was established to administer compensation in the UK to violent crime victims . There are certain requirements as follows :-
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.
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
23 Walker Street
Criminal injury compensation solicitors instructed to claim damages for injury sustained as a result of violent crime can use one of the three methods outlined below and while all may result in an award of compensation, only claims made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) are guaranteed to be paid.
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.
The CICA tariff scheme assigns an injury to one of 25 tariff bands. The band range is £,1000 to £250,000. Victims receive compensation for their three worst injuries. The worst Injury is awarded full value and awards for the second and third worst injuries are reduced by set percentage rates. The total personal injury award is subject to a cap of £250,000.
Victims who have been incapacitated for more than 28 weeks can seek compensation for lost wages, however the compensation will only be considered for period following the expiry of 28 weeks.
Other expenses that your criminal injury compensation solicitors can pursue for you include:
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 :-
Our criminal injury compensation solicitors offer legal representation on behalf of innocent victims of violent crime. By applying the 'no win no fee*' principle our clients are assured that a failed CICA application for compensation will not attract any fees. Further, clients are not required to fund the claims process or pay any money upfront. Under appropriate circumstances, our solicitors will appeal CICA decisions should your claim be declined or if the award amount is insufficient. Call us on our helpline to speak to a solicitor about your claim. You can also complete the contact form or send us an email. Our solicitors will provide you with legal advice at no cost on criminal injury compensation claims with no further obligation.