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Criminal Injury Solicitors - CICA Compensation Claim Lawyers UK

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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.

It is important to note that the accused offender does not have to be convicted of a criminal offence to be liable for compensation. Compensation can be claimed even if the assailant cannot be convicted by reason of age, insanity, or diplomatic immunity. Motor vehicle accidents do not fall under the remit of the criminal injury compensation scheme unless the vehicle was effectively used as a weapon to deliberately to inflict injury. Similarly dog bite injury cannot be used as a basis to claim unless the animal was deliberately set on the victim by a controlling third party with the intention of causing personal injury.

Application must normally be made within two years of the incident that caused the injury although the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority does have discretion to extend the time limits and will do so as a matter of course for certain types of incident. Even if the primary limitation period has expired it is worth taking advice from a CICA claims solicitor as a great many applications are allowed outside the basic time limit.

If an award is refused or if the amount of the award is reduced due to the applicants behaviour, there is a right to reconsideration of a controversial decision, by a more senior claims officer within the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority and there is a subsequent right of appeal of any proposed award to the independent Criminal Injury Compensation Appeal Tribunal (CICAP).

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. If you would like free advice, just email our criminal injury solicitors offices or complete the contact form or use the helpline and a personal injury solicitor will speak to you on the telephone with no charge and no further obligation.

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.

Physical Injury & Psychological Damage

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.

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CICA Determining Factors

There are a number of factors that can affect the amonut of a CICA award including :-

CICA Criteria

The amount paid by the UK CICA is dependant on the degree of trauma and injury sustained and whilst an assailant can be sued for damages in the county court it is far from certain that any sum awarded will be actually paid to the victim however an application to the CICA will ensure early and secure payment.

There are several basic criteria that must be satisfied in order that criminal injury solicitors can make a successful application to the CICA. Whilst it is not necessary for there to be a court conviction to secure payment of an award, in the event of failure to comply with any one of these requirements it is likely that an award of compensation will be refused :-

Claims can be made by criminal injury solicitors for other losses in addition to the award for pain and suffering. If the applicant is incapacitated and is likely to remain so for more than 28 weeks there is entitlement to claim for loss of earnings and the cost of medical care and expenses upon the expiry of the initial 28 week period. This potential award is also capped at £250,000.

CICA Eligibility

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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 :-

CICA Tariff Scheme

The CICA is a public body that deals with the administration of a compensation scheme throughout mainland UK. The Authority's purpose is to pay damages to the innocent victims of violent crime in Great Britain by providing compensation for mental trauma, physical injury and consequent financial loss. The amount of the award of compensation for personal injury is based on a 'tariff' scheme and is decided after consideration of a printed guide that allocates a figure for each potential individual injury. All potential injuries are assigned a value within a tariff band ranging from £1,000 to £250,000. To qualify for an award the injury must have lasted at least 6 weeks and have required at least 2 attendances on a medical practitioner. Damages awards for personal injury have a minimum value of £1,000 and are capped at a maximum value of £250,000. Your criminal injury compensation claim solicitor will advise you and will consider an appeal if the amount initially offered is inadequate.

If there is a case which involves multiple injuries, only the three most serious injuries will be considered. The lesser of the three injuries suffered which are considered are discounted by a set rate, before all three amounts are added together to establish the total amount of the award as follows :-

The amount of compensation that may be awarded is based on a tariff system and calculated by reference to:

Claim Procedure

An initial application is made to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority in Glasgow on a pre-printed form usually within two years of the violent incident. The application is acknowledged and given a reference following which the CICA obtain medical evidence and a police report. The CICA follow up the initial application with a questionnaire and thereafter make a decision of whether or not an award will be offered and the amount of the award. The applicant can accept or refuse and may ask for internal review or take the matter to an independent tribunal for appeal. The entire process is usually completed in less than a year.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Panel

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.

Fatal Injury

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.

Sex Offences

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.

No Win No Fee

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.

Criminal Injury Solicitors

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.

Our solicitors deal with Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) claims using the no win no fee* scheme the terms of which will be explained in full both verbally and in writing to you before the claim commences. If your claim is refused by the CICA you will not have to pay any legal fees. You do not have to fund or finance the case as it proceeds and you do not have to pay for any medical reports. If after taking our criminal injury solicitors initial advice you decide to proceed no further then you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged any legal fees. Our claims are completely risk free.

Victim Support

This organisation is a completely independent charity that provides a free and confidential service, whether or not the matter has been reported to the police, to give emotional support, information and practical help to those who have suffered from the effects of crime. Victim Support operates a helpline where victims can obtain advice in complete anonymity. Victim Support witness service is available in every criminal court to provide information about court procedures to witnesses and victims.

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