The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority is a Government body which provides compensation for victims of violent crime such including all kinds of assault, sexual abuse and other violent acts in England, Wales and Scotland. The CICA administers the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and decides all claims. The rules of the Scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by the Parliament and are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries. The Scheme applies to all applications received on or after 27 November 2012.
An assault is when someone physically attacks you, or threatens to attack you. Assault might include things like being punched, pushed or kicked, and can even involve weapons. For example, if someone threatens to stab you with a knife or hits you with a bottle.
There are several different types of assault including:
It is important to note that even if the violent act does not result in physical injuries, it can still be considered as an assault. Assaults can happen anywhere – in the street or at home and are likely to have a significant impact on you emotionally.
It is also important to know that you may also be entitled to compensation for psychological injury, although this can be more difficult to define than a physical injury. For example, if you witnessed a violent crime, just because you were not injured, this does not mean that you are not entitled to claim. There are two basic requirements for a successful compensation claim: that the victim is an innocent party caught up in a criminal act and that this has led to them suffering the physical or psychological injury.
You can apply for compensation from the CICA if:
In addition, you will need to meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:
Once the claim has been reported, you will need to provide the police as much information as possible, including the date and location of the crime, name of the police station where the crime was reported, crime reference number, GP name and address, details of any previous applications to the CICA, details of unspent criminal convictions and proof of identity for you or anyone you are responsible for.
The time limit for adults (ie. 18 years old or older at the time of the incident) is two years from the date of the incident. However, this time limit can be extended if there are exceptional circumstances which prevented you from applying earlier.
For children under 18 years old at the time of the incident, the two-year time limit does not apply. If the incident was reported to the police before the child turned 18, then the two-year limit would run from the date the child turned 18, i.e. they would have to make the claim before their 20th birthday.
The CICA will consider extending time limits where it can be proved that the victim of a crime was unable to make the claim earlier, for example, if he/she had psychological issues as a result of the incident. It is therefore always advisable to check with the CICA to see if it is still possible to bring a claim, even if outside of the applied time limit.
Yes, the CICA only compensates for injuries that according to their tariffs are worth over £1,000 and the most serious injury awards are limited to £500,000. You are able to claim for more than one injury, getting the full value for the most serious injury with subsequent injuries receiving a reduction according to the CICA rules. Please note that you will not be entitled to receive compensation for more than three injuries under the CICA Scheme, but there are additional tariff payments which you can receive if, as a direct result of your injury or assault, you become pregnant, lose a foetus or contract a sexually transmitted disease.
You may also be compensated for the loss of earnings, medical expenses, and some other costs that occurred as a result of injuries sustained at a violent crime.
If you have been a victim of a violent crime and think that you meet the eligibility criteria, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to assist you with your CICA claim.