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.
CICA, however, is run and funded by the government, in order to ensure that the victims of crime are able to seek compensation even if the person who committed the crime remains unknown. The rules state that the perpetrator does not have to have been charged, convicted or even identified for a claim to go ahead, just as long as a crime took place and was reported to the police.
There are factors which may result in CICA refusing to award compensation, however, and these include your own criminal record, if you have one, your behaviour before, during or after the incident itself, any refusal to co-operate with the police or indeed any delay in reporting the incident to the police. There is also a time limit of two years from the date of the incident, after which claims will generally not be considered, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If you feel you may have been injured during an act of criminality, then discussing your case with an injury lawyer will allow you to make an informed choice as to whether to go ahead with a claim for compensation. Getting caught up in a crime can often shake an individual’s faith in the rule of law and the fairness of society. Seeking compensation can begin to rebuild this faith.