Whilst a victim of crime can bring a civil claim for compensation for personal injuries against an attacker, this is only worthwhile if the prospective Defendant has the financial means with which to pay any compensation awarded by the Court. A victim of crime can alternatively apply for compensation from the Government/State under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) with such an application being made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Eligibility for a Compensation Award from the CICA
To apply successfully for compensation, the victim of crime must meet the following eligibility criteria:-
i. A “criminal injury” must have been sustained, whether physical or mental;
ii. The injury must be attributable to an act of violence that happened in Great Britain;
iii. The crime was within the last two years (although in certain circumstances the CICA may allow claims out of time);
iv. The crime was reported to the Police; and
v. The victim has residency in the UK.
A “criminal injury” is defined as one or more personal injuries sustained in Great Britain and directly attributable to one of the following qualifying events:
i. A crime of violence (eg assault, arson); or
ii. The apprehension or attempted apprehension of an offender or a suspected offender, the prevention or attempted prevention of an offence, or the giving of help to any constable who is engaged in any such activity.
“A crime of violence” is expressly defined for the purposes of the CICS and includes:-
i. A physical attack;
ii. An act or omission of a violent nature which causes injury to another person;
iii. A threat which causes the fear of physical violence;
iv. A sexual assault; and
v. Arson or fire raising.
For the purposes of making a claim to the CICA, personal injury is defined as including physical injury, mental injury, fatal claims, sexual and physical abuse.
Rescuers who suffer mental injury as a result of going to aid a victim of a crime of violence will not be eligible for compensation unless they are in a close relationship of love and affection with the victim.
Ineligibility and reductions in compensation
Even if an applicant has suffered personal injury in Great Britain, which is directly attributable to a qualifying event, there may still ineligibility for an award under the CICS. There are various restrictions on eligibility including:-
i. The withholding or reduction of compensation if the applicant has failed to report or to cooperate with the Police or other authorities;
ii. The withholding or reduction of compensation if the conduct of the applicant before during or after the incident makes inappropriate to make a full award or any award (eg provoking a fight);
iii. The withholding or reduction of compensation if excessive consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs by the applicant contributed to the circumstances giving rise to the injuries;
iv. The withholding or reduction of compensation if the applicant’s character makes it inappropriate to make a full award and or any award (eg a history of previous convictions);
v. Not making any award to an applicant who has a conviction for an offence relating to the incident;
vi. Not making any award if the assailant may benefit from the award; and
vii. Not making any award to an adult applicant who lives together with the assailant as members of the same family unless the applicant and assailant are no longer living together and are unlikely to do so again.
If you think that you might be eligible for making a claim to the CICA then please contact Daven Naghen (Head of Personal Injury) on 01775 722261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to or come into or offices at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.
In certain circumstances your case may be funded by a form of “No Win No Fee” Agreement.