Compensation for Victims of Violent Crime
If you have been injured as a result of a violent assault within the last two years or have suffered serious abuse in the past you can make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for an award of damages. The CICA is a publicly funded body that pays damages to the innocent victims of violent crime. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will consider a claim and if it is within their strict parameters will make an offer of compensation in settlement. If the claim is refused or is inadequate an appeal can be made to the Criminal Injury Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP).
The CICA Tariff Scheme
To qualify for a payment it is a requirement of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority that the effects of the injury lasted at least 6 weeks and needed at least two attendances on a qualified medical practitioner. The CICA pays according to a Tariff Scheme whereby all injuries are assigned to one of 25 bands each of which has a set value.
The categorisation of the injury is decided following receipt of records from the attending physicians and the medical authorities. If there are several injuries the CICA will compensate for the first three and each one will have a value attributed to it however the two lesser injuries will be discounted. The maximum sum payable by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for the pain and suffering of the injury is £250,000 and the maximum sum payable for losses and expenses is a further sum of £250,000 which makes a total maximum payment of £500,000. The CICA does not pay legal costs.
In order to qualify for a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority award the claimant’s behaviour before, during and after the violent incident is taken into account. Provocation prior to the incident, retaliation at the time or subsequent retribution by the claimant will usually be sufficient for an award to be refused. The assault must be reported to the police or a relevant authority as soon as reasonably possible. A delay of just a few days may be grounds to refuse an award.
The victim’s record of ‘unspent’ criminal convictions is taken into account on the basis that it is against the public interest to compensate someone who has a substantial criminal record particularly if that includes previous offences involving violence. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claim form must be submitted within two years of the assault taking place however the CICA does have discretion on time limits and particularly in the case of some instances of sexual abuse will consider claims that occurred in the victim’s childhood. The victim must fully co-operate with the police and the prosecution authority. It is not necessary for either a criminal prosecution or a conviction to make a successful CICA claim.
CICA Fatal Injury
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will make an award in the case of a fatal injury in the fixed sum of £11,000 to the next of kin which includes a spouse, parent, partner or child and if there is more than one potential claimant will pay each the sum of £5,500 plus reasonable funeral expenses. In this case qualifying conditions include injuries as a result of crimes of violence, injuries incurred while apprehending or attempting to apprehend an offender or a suspected offender or whilst assisting a police officer to carry out the same task or in the prevention of an offence. The CICA can also make payments to dependents of a person killed as a result of violent crime.