Assault Compensation Solicitors - UK CICA Claim Lawyers
Our assault compensation solicitors assist victims in making claims for personal injury to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) on a risk-free 'no win no fee*' basis which means that should the application be unsuccessful there will be no legal fees or expenses charged.
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.
Offences Against the Person Act 1861
The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 outlines potential criminal charges that relate to violence against another which may give rise to application to the CICA. Robbery is defined as the combined act of theft and assault (or the threat of assault). There are 4 main categories of violent assault:
- S18 relates to wounding another with the specific intent to cause injury and is charged when a weapon is involved.
- S20 relates to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) or malicious wounding.
- S42 defines a common assault as the unlawful violence or fear of violence upon another person.
- S47 relates to assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) usually with visible injury which must be the result of the actions of the assailant.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
The CICA legislation sets out basic requirements that must be met in order for a victim to lodge a claim. Applications must usually be submitted to the CICA within two years from the date of the incident. The CICA has discretion to extend this time limit upon which our assault compensation solicitors can advise.
Those eligible to claim compensation are as follows:
- A victim of violent crime who has been injured physically or psychologically.
- A child, parent, spouse or partner of a victim who died from the violent crime.
- A person who can show proof of a genuine relationship with the victim of a violent crime and was in the company of the victim when the assault occurred or was involved immediately after it happened and consequently suffered psychological trauma.
An applicant seeking compensation must consider the following:
- Injuries must have taken more than 6 weeks to heal.
- The injuries must have required the attention of a medical practitioner on at least two occasions.
- The claim must usually be lodged with the CICA within two years from the date of the incident.
- The incident should be reported to the police or any other relevant body as soon as possible.
- CICA takes into the account the victims criminal record of 'unspent' convictions.
- The applicant must collaborate with the authorities in order to bring the perpetrator to justice.
- Conviction of the assailant is not a pre-requisite to payment nor is identification of the assailant.
- Compensation is based on a tariff scheme whose band ranges from £1,000 to £250,000.
- Other losses can also be claimed up to a maximum of £250,000.
- An applicant can claim lost wages if recovery is lengthy.
- Some or all medical expenses may be recovered.
- The victims behaviour before, during and after the incident is considered.
- An applicant has a right to have CICA decisions reconsidered and a right to appeal.
The CICA can deny claims or reduce compensation payable based on the following:
- The victims reluctance or refusal to cooperate with the police.
- Unnecessary delay in reporting the crime to the police or other relevant authority.
- The victim instigated the attack or willingly took part in the incident that caused the injuries.
- The victim exhibited aggressive or unreasonable behaviour following the assault.
- The victim has 'unspent' criminal convictions as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
Criminal Injury Compensation Claim Procedure
The following is a brief guide to criminal injury compensation for assault and robbery. In the UK, there are basic requirements set forth by legislation that must be satisfied in order to bring a successful claim. Applications must be received by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years of the reported incident. However, the CICA does have the authority to extend this time limit for cases that involve unusual circumstances.
Three main categories of people are eligible to bring a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claim :-
- An innocent victim who was physically or psychologically injured as the result of a violent crime.
- The parent, child, spouse or partner of a victim who died as the result of a violent crime
- Acquaintances that can claim a genuine relationship with a person who has been the victim of a violent crime. This person needs to have been present when the crime took place or involved immediately afterwards and must have suffered psychological trauma as a result.
If you have been injured as a result of violence and would like assault compensation an application can be made to the CICA. There are certain requirements as follows :-
- Injuries must have lasted at least 6 weeks
- The injuries must have necessitated at least two visits to a medical practitioner.
- Claims must be submitted in writing to the CICA within 2 years of the violent incident. In rare circumstances, this two-year period may be expanded.
- The victim's criminal record of 'unspent' convictions , not only those involving violence, is taken into account.
- The incident should be reported to the police or other relevant authoritative body at the first possible moment. Any delay in reporting can preclude payment.
- An applicant for compensation must cooperate with the authorities to attempt to bring the assailant to justice.
- It is not necessary for there to be a conviction of the offender and it is not necessary for the perpetrator of the assault to be identified.
- Payment for the injury is calculated by a tariff scheme in bands ranging from £1,000 to £250,000.
- An additional amount up to a maximum of £250,000 can be paid for other losses.
- Lost wages may be claimed where recovery is a lengthy process.
- It may be possible to recover some or all medical expenses.
- How the victim behaved before, during, and after the incident is considered when an application is being processed and may result in a reduction or refusal of compensation.
- If the amount awarded under the CICA tariff scheme is rejected by the applicant as insufficient then there is a right to have the award reconsidered, and thereafter a further right to take the matter to appeal.
Refusal of Compensation
If any of the following circumstances apply to the claim, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will refuse an award of compensation :-
- The crime took place outside of England, Scotland or Wales; note that a separate scheme is used in Northern Ireland.
- Only a single minor injury was suffered, it did not require at least two visits to a doctor and the recovery period was less than 6 weeks.
- The crime was related to sexual abuse which ceased prior to October 1979.
Reduction of Compensation
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has the authority to deny claims or reduce the amount of compensation awarded based on a variety of factors, including :-
- The victim failed to fully cooperate with police investigations.
- There was an unreasonable delay in reporting the incident to the police or other appropriate authority.
- The victim provoked the assault or agreed to take part in the event that caused the injuries.
- The victim's behaviour following the assault was aggressive or unreasonable.
- The victim has 'unspent' criminal convictions as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
Murder & Fatal Injury
Murder is the offence of killing a person with intent to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm. The penalty is a mandatory life sentence and murderers are only released from prison when they have served a period (currently known as the 'tariff') considered necessary to meet the requirements of retribution and deterrence and when they are no longer a risk to society.
In cases of fatal injuries the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may make payment to the victim's parent, child, spouse or partner. If there is a sole claimant, an award of £11,000 will be paid. If there is more than one qualifying recipient, the sum of £5,500 is awarded to each claimant. Compensation for funeral expenses can be awarded to the individual who paid for such services.
A victim of assault or robbery who is dissatisfied with the amount of compensation awarded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has the ability to appeal the decision. Any decision made by a junior claims officer can be appealed to a more senior officer. The senior officer will then review the decision and may adjust the amount awarded. A senior officer's decision may be appealed to the independent Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP).
Assault Compensation Solicitors
To receive free legal advice about your case and the CICA claims process, contact us today. You will speak with an assault compensation solicitor who is a member of the Law Society panel of personal injury experts. There is absolutely no charge for this consultation and you are under no obligation to proceed with your claim. Simply complete the contact form or call our helpline.