The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an independent government funded body that awards compensation to the innocent victims of violent crime. The CICA distributes over £200,000,000 ever year to qualifying applicants. When the CICA receives an application from a firm of criminal injury solicitors they reference the documentation and start investigations which may involve speaking to the police, physicians and any other relevant parties. These investigations are carried out prior to asking the claimant to update their medical and financial position. The CICA thereafter makes a decision to make an award or to reject the claim. The most common reasons for a rejected claim are failing to cooperate with the police investigation and unacceptable behaviour on the part of the victim before, during or after the incident.
Our criminal injury solicitors are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts and they settle claims using the no win no fee scheme. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.
When a person is injured in a violent assault, criminal injury solicitors are entitled to make an application for compensation for both physical and psychological damage. Whilst the effects of any physical injury can be difficult to overcome, when accompanied by the emotional trauma of a violent attack, the incident can be devastating and victims may suffer serious long-term psychological damage. The CICA will pay compensation for psychiatric illness caused as a result of violent abuse including compensation for harm caused as a result of threats or harassment. Although money can never compensate for physical harm or anxiety it can help to avoid the extra stress of financial difficulties and it allows people to concentrate on reclaiming their lives.
There are a number of factors that can affect the amonut of a CICA award including :-
In order to justify a CICA claim there are a number of criteria that must be satisfied :-
In order to be eligible for compensation from the CICA, the following requirements must be met :-
If certain factors are present, the award may be reduced or refused altogether :-
The amount of the award in a CICA claim is determined by considering the main injury and comparing it with similar injuries in a tariff guide which can be obtained from the CICA. The guide is divided into different categories ranging from minor injuries valued at £1,000 which is the minimum amount of an award ranging up to £250,000 which is the maximum amount of an award. Thereafter any other less severe injuries are also considered and a predetermined discount is applied to the 'value' of these lesser injuries before all of the figures are added together to determine a final award for the injury. Any financial losses are then considered as a separate calculation before both figures are aggregated and a final award is made.
The amount of compensation that may be awarded is based on a tariff system and calculated by reference to:
If a claimant is not satisfied with the CICA's decision, a criminal injury solicitor can take advantage of the appeals process that is in place. The first step is to have the case reviewed by a senior case officer. The forms needed to instigate this action are included with the advisement letter from the CICA. If the claimant is dissatisfied with the decision of the senior case officer they can thereafter make apply to the to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Panel (CICAP) which is an independent review body whose decisions are binding on the CICA.
The most tragic cases are those where the victim ultimately dies as the result of the violent attack. In this situation, there are certain classes of individuals who are eligible to claim fatal injury compensation through the CICA. The groups of eligible people are outlined in the 2001 amendments to the CICA scheme and include parents, spouses and children. If there is only one claimant, then that individual receives a fixed bereavement award. When there are multiple claimants, each individual receives a reduced fixed sum. Also, the individual who covered the costs of the funeral may be compensated by the CICA for reasonable expenses. In addition compensation can also be claimed for dependants at the discretion of the CICA.
Victims of sexual offences may be eligible for compensation through the CICA provided that the award does not benefit the attacker, which means that payment may be denied if the victim and the attacker live together as members of the same family. Because of the relative complexity of these cases, victims of sexual offences in particular are advised to seek the assistance of a solicitor in bringing their CICA claim.
Our criminal injury solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.
We will review the CICA matter initially at no cost and will deal with the application on a no win no fee basis. Once the case is accepted by our criminal injury solicitors they will agree with you the amount of legal charges that will apply in the event of a successful claim. No legal costs are payable by the CICA over and above any award they make to you. Legal charges will be deducted from the amount of any award.
Our CICA solicitors deal exclusively with personal injury compensation claims on a no win no fee basis. If our criminal injury solicitors fail to obtain compensation on your behalf we will not charge you anything at all. The CICA does not pay legal costs and should we be successful in claiming damages on your behalf we will charge you a pre-arranged percentage of the amount of the award as a legal fee. If we appeal your case to the independent appeals body we will make no further charge to you. We will minimalise any inconvenience to you and we offer free advice without obligation from some of the best lawyers in the business. We ensure that our client's interests are a priority and our lawyers deal with claims in a friendly, efficient and competent manner to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve in the shortest time scale possible.
If you have been the victim of a violent assault and wish to make application for a CICA settlement you should speak to a criminal injury solicitor to find out whether you have a valid claim and what action you should take to ensure that you receive fair compensation for any personal injury sustained. If the claim is rejected in full, you will need advice on review and appeal. In the claim is accepted you will in due course need expert legal advice on whether or not any offer made to settle the claim is fair and if not you will need advice on the appeals procedure. There are a number of reasons why a claim can be refused and if you are not eligible to make a CICA claim, a solicitor may be willing to take up your case for serious injuries using the no win no fee scheme to claim damages and costs through civil action in the local county court. If you have been injured in an assault within the last two years you should contact us. You will receive a complete professional service from lawyers who specialise in claiming compensation for personal injury.SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7004