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.
In all of these cases, the injury sustained may be either physical or psychological, since witnessing violent crimes can often leave people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, re-living the event over and over and developing symptoms such as depression, agoraphobia and panic attacks.
If you have been injured in this manner then it can have a devastating and long term effect upon your life. In simple terms it may severely impinge upon your earning capacity, both now and in the future. Any physical injuries suffered may alter your quality of life on a permanent basis, whilst psychological damage can be just as long lasting, and the distress this can cause is something which you deserve to be compensated for.
The process of making a claim for criminal injury is slightly different to that which is involved with other forms of personal injury. Rather than claiming against the actual person responsible for the crime itself, you’ll be claiming from a government funded body known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). What this means is that it doesn’t matter if the person responsible doesn’t have the money to compensate you, and even if the criminal has not been arrested or charged, you can still make a claim.
So yes, you will still be eligible for compensation even if the police haven’t arrested somebody, as long as it can be demonstrated that a crime actually took place, that you were an innocent party and that you suffered an actual injury.