Criminal Injury Questions

 

I was witness to a violent crime, can I make a claim?

When it comes to criminal injury compensation, the types of injury which people suffer can vary widely. The most obvious type, of course, is the direct physical injury caused by something like a random attack in the street or a mugging. On top of this is the psychological damage which an attack like this can wreak. The knowledge that someone has gone out of their way to attack you in a manner which causes injury is deeply disturbing whether it’s a stranger or someone known to you, and can lead to longer term psychological damage.
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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.
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How much criminal compensation can I expect to receive?

If you’ve been injured as the result of a criminal act perpetrated by someone else then you may be in a position to make a claim for compensation. Unlike with other personal injury claims, the compensation isn’t claimed from the other party themselves but is paid out by a body called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government funded body which was set up in order to ensure that anyone who has suffered in this manner is in a position to seek a fair amount of compensation. The presence of CICA removes the need for the other party to be able to fund compensation, or even for the party in question to actually have been arrested or charged.
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Nobody was arrested for the crime I suffered, can I still make a claim?

The phrase ‘criminal injury’ covers a broad spectrum of occurrences. Put simply, it means an injury sustained by an innocent party following a criminal act perpetrated by someone else. In some cases this injury may be direct, having been caused by something like an assault or mugging. Other cases, however, may involve being a bystander or onlooker at the scene of a larger crime such as an armed robbery.
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What if the criminal does not pay the compensation order?

If you make a claim for personal injury after a road traffic accident or because you have been injured at work, you know that you will receive your money if your claim is successful because motorists and employers have insurance. However, this is not the case with criminals. If you are injured following an assault, mugging or other criminal activity, or you have been left with psychological trauma after witnessing a crime, how do you get damages?
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Is my claim guaranteed to be paid if I win?

Criminal injury compensation differs from other forms of personal injury claims. Rather than claim for damages against the person who caused you the injury, you make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government body funded by the taxpayer so you can receive damages to compensate you regardless of the financial circumstances of the person who caused your injury.
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How does the criminal injury claims process work?

Just as you can claim compensation if you have had an accident at work or on the road that wasn’t your fault, you can put in a claim if you have fallen victim to a crime and suffered an injury. However, while employers and motorists have insurance policies to pay for damages, criminals have no such cover. This is why the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was set up; it ensures that those injured due to somebody else’s criminal activity are able to claim compensation.
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How long will it take to receive criminal injury compensation?

Although claims for criminal injury compensation differ in some respects to those dealing with negligence, they do have some things in common. Although you’ll be making your claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, rather than negligent body or individual, the onus will still be on you to prove that you are eligible for compensation by presenting the evidence of your circumstances.
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What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

For a detailed breakdown of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and the work it does, see the website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/criminal-injuries-compensation-authority, which outlines the role they play and answers many of the questions people have when considering a claim for compensation.
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Am I still able to claim even if no one was convicted of a crime?

The very nature of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) means that personal injury claims of this kind are different in nature from any other. In all other cases you will be seeking compensation from another party who has acted in a negligent manner, and, through this negligence, caused you some form of harm. In the cases of criminal injury, however, the person who has caused the injury is the person guilty of committing a criminal act, a fact which could make the situation much more complicated.
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