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.
Do I qualify for criminal injury compensation?
If you have been injured due to somebody’s criminal activity then you may qualify for criminal injury compensation. You don’t have to have suffered a physical injury or have been the actual victim of a crime, as witnesses and those suffering psychological trauma can also qualify. The only requirements is that the crime has been recorded, which means that it has been reported to the police and they have issued a reference number, and that you have suffered some form of physical or mental trauma, which has to be evidenced by a doctor or medical professional. It doesn’t even matter if the identity of the criminal is unknown, or even whether or not they have been arrested.
How do I make a claim for criminal injury?
If you qualify for compensation, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will look at your claim and calculate how much money should be awarded in damages. This will vary depending on the severity of the injury (or injuries) you have suffered and the impact of the crime on your life. The more serious the injury and the larger the impact it has on your life, the more money will be awarded. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will also take into account any financial losses that the injury may have caused you, such as loss of earnings.
Will I receive damages?
Compensation received for criminal injury varies and typically falls between £1,000 and £500,000. If your claim is successful, you are guaranteed to be paid compensation. This is because you don’t have to rely on payment from the person responsible because the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority pays all damages. However, despite this, the process for claiming criminal injury compensation can be quite long and complicated. To ensure that you get the right amount of compensation it is best to speak to a solicitor whose area of expertise is personal injury and can help you with your claim and make sure that you get the amount you deserve.