How does criminal injury compensation differ from other types of injury cases?

All claims for personal injury compensation have certain things in common. The first of these, as the name suggests, is that the person making the claim should have suffered an injury of some kind, whether this is a physical injury, a psychological injury or some combination of the two. The second common factor is that the incident which caused the injury should be someone else’s fault. In some way, the negligence of another party should have brought about the situation which resulted in your suffering, whether this means developing whiplash after being hit by another car, or falling victim to bronchitis after years of breathing in dust at work. Compensation will then be sought from this party, whether that’s an employer, a body such as a council or a business.

Criminal injury compensation, whilst sharing some of these features, differs in one important respect. If you’re an innocent party hurt by someone else’s criminal activity then you may well be able to claim compensation for this injury, but there would clearly be problems in claiming from the criminal in person. To begin with, they may not have access to the funds to cover your claim and, in contrast to most other ‘occupations’, the average mugger or thief is unlikely to have taken out personal liability insurance! Indeed, in many cases the perpetrator might not even be caught.

In order to find a way round this situation and make it possible for people to seek compensation in all applicable cases, a body known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was created. This is funded by the government and examines all claims for criminal injury compensation before deciding if compensation is indeed due and how much it should be.

In order to make a successful claim you need to demonstrate that you were the innocent party in a criminal act committed by someone else and that this act resulted in you being injured. Even if the perpetrator of the crime is not arrested, you could still be eligible to claim. The compensation awarded to you will be calculated on the basis of the type and severity of this injury and an amount to reimburse you for any financial losses.

 

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