Criminal Injury Compensation
What Is Criminal Injury Compensation?
The Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme is a government-administered fund that pays money to innocent victims of crime. It also pays money to people injured trying to apprehend criminals or prevent crime. There is normally a two-year deadline for applications but in special circumstances this may be waived.
There does not necessarily have to have been physical contact; threats of violence and harassment could also qualify for an award. Over 76,000 people apply annually to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority and it pays out over £200million. Often payments are made following criminal proceedings and you will be expected to co-operate with the police fully in order to receive an award. Even if the police are not successful in prosecuting the assailant you can still receive compensation.
There are 25 levels of compensation for injuries ranging from £1000 to £250,000. Extra money will be awarded for special expenses and/or lost earnings up to £250,000 and the maximum combined amount payable under the scheme is therefore £500,000. If you suffer multiple injuries the Authority will only pay for the three most serious and if the injury was fatal a fixed sum will be paid to the partner and family of the victim.
Those making a claim should contact the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority and ask for an application form. You will be given a reference number and your claim will be investigated. You will also be given a caseworker who will be responsible for dealing with your claim. Investigations may take some time after completing an application form and most claims are settled within twelve months. Cases involving a criminal trial and future loss of earnings can take longer.
When deciding on an award the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority uses a series of set tariffs to decide how much to pay. The system is fairly inflexible and will not normally be as generous as personal injury awards in Civil Courts. You will not receive any additional money from the CICA if you’ve already received compensation as a result of personal injury claim. Although for more complex injuries you may want to seek assistance from compensation solicitors; the CICA will not pay your legal costs. Instead these would be deducted by the solicitor from any award made.