Most Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) solicitors are personal injury specialists who deal with no win no fee criminal injury compensation claims. The CICA was established to ensure that victims of violent crime are offered statutory compensation. If you have suffered a physical or mental injury due to a violent assault which has caused you to visit a doctor at least twice and from which you did not recover for at least 6 weeks, then you may qualify for an award.
Physical and psychological injuries are graded in bands ranging from £1,000 to £250,000. A combination of minor injuries may qualify, if they have caused the victim at least two visits to a doctor for treatment and if recovery has taken 6 weeks or more. If the injuries have caused loss of earnings for more than 28 weeks, then the victim may be eligible for compensation for income losses. If the victim’s injuries cause them to be incapacitated for more than 28 weeks than they may be entitled to claim damages for the cost of ongoing medical treatment or care.
The following criteria apply for no win no fee criminal injury compensation claims:
- The incident should have been reported to the police promptly
- Value of the injuries should be £1,000 or greater
- A claim should normally be made within two years of the violent incident
- Behaviour of all the parties before, during, and after the incident is considered
- The victim should not have provoked the incident
- Unspent convictions are taken into account
- The victim must co-operate fully with the CICA and the police
- A claim may be made even if there was no criminal conviction
- Motoring offences are not considered unless a vehicle is used as a weapon
- Compensation for family violence may be awarded provided the offender doesn’t benefit.
Personal Injury Experts
Most injury lawyers are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts which demands that solicitors display high levels of experience, expertise and competence. Many solicitors offer no win no fee criminal injury compensation claims however the CICA do not contribute to legal costs which will be deducted from the award of compensation made by the CICA.
There is just one CICA scheme for residents of England, Scotland and Wales which is administered from offices situated in London and Glasgow. Residents of Northern Ireland claim under a different scheme which is administered from offices situated in Belfast. Regardless of location, a specialist personal injury solicitor will be able to deal with a CICA application.
A tariff-based scheme for criminal injuries compensation went into effect in Northern Ireland in 2002. This means that all injuries are assessed and placed into one of several financial value bands which should ensure that all victims with same injury will receive the same compensation. An award may be denied by the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Agency for any number of reasons and under the new rules the applicant must now be given a reason for the decision.
The new scheme also makes it easier to establish eligibility for bereavement payments. Psychological injuries are now given greater recognition and payments to people not at the scene of the crime are now available. People with prior convictions are no longer banned from claiming however there is a penalty points system in place which could cause a reduction or denial of an award for those with a bad criminal record. The victims of childhood sexual assault and abuse that occurred prior to 1st May 2002 are now entitled to submit an application for compensation under the new tariff scheme. The Agency must clearly state reasons for denial or reduction of awards. The new scheme provides enhanced allowances for the psychological effects of bereavement.