Criminal Injury Compensation Guide For Victims
If your a victim of a injury that was not your fault, then our free criminal injury claims guide will help you understand how you can make a claim for compensation.
Making a claim for an injury you have received as a result of a violent crime, for example following an assault or as a result of abuse, follows a slightly different process than making any other form of personal injury claim. This is because the person responsible for your injury is highly unlikely to be insured in the way that a company or driver might be. This means that your ability to claim compensation would be dependent on the personal finances of your assailant. As a way to rectify this, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme was set up by the government to compensate victims of violent crime. This compensation is often less than you might have been able to obtain via a normal personal injury claim (which follows the guidelines set down by the Judicial College), but it does mean that you are not dependent on your assailant and you do not have to deal with any consequences of trying to obtain your payment from the person who injured you. The Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme is far from perfect, but it does provide you with an alternative avenue to obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you think you might have a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme or you are unsure how to proceed, please call us on 0121 565 4317 or claim online to discuss your case with our expert team of experienced personal injury solicitors. This scheme was set up to make sure that victims of violent crime receive compensation to help them get back onto their feet, but also as a recognition by society that what happened to them was not right and not their fault. If you are entitled to compensation under this scheme, it is important that you claim it.
How Does The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme Work?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is under the control of a government funded agency which administers the scheme, making decisions about who is eligible for compensation and how much. As a result, there are often many forms to fill in and evidence to gather. The process can take a long time to reach payment, with waits of 12-18 months from the point at which you submit your claim being common. In order to submit a claim, you will need to provide evidence of what happened to you, evidence to support your assertion that what happened constitutes a violent crime, evidence of the full extent of your injuries and further evidence that you have reported the crime to the police and have assisted with their investigations and any subsequent action by the authorities to bring your assailant to justice. If that sounds like a lot of work, you are correct. The process can be time-consuming as well as lengthy. It is important that you still claim, however, as this is one way in which you are able to receive recognition that what happened to you was serious and unfair.
If making a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme feels too daunting for you to manage alone, we are here to help. We will take over the processing of your claim, meaning that you will only have the bare minimum of paperwork to deal with and you do not need to worry about chasing up doctors or witnesses to ensure that the full information reaches the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority by the deadlines that they have set. Given that one of the main reasons that criminal injury compensation claims through this scheme are denied is claimants failing to return documents in time, it is vital that you receive support if this might be difficult for you. If you would like our help in making a criminal injuries claim under the scheme, please call us on 0121 565 4317 or claim online and we will begin the process as soon as possible.
Is There A Deadline For Starting A Criminal Injury Claim?
Unfortunately, yes there is a deadline of two years from the date of offence for you to bring a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This means that it is important that you begin your claim as soon as is reasonable. Sometimes, it might be necessary to wait until the full extent of your injuries are known, but it is possible to make a claim and then wait to find out the full extent of your injuries (and the likelihood of you making a full recovery) before the amount is decided upon.
There are some circumstances in which the deadline can be extended. These include if you were under the age of 18 at the time when the incident occurred, if you were unable to make a claim earlier due to the severity of your injuries or, in some rare cases, if you have been advised by the police that making a claim prior to trial could be prejudicial to your case. In general it is better not to wait until after any prosecution, as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme does not require a prosecution to award compensation, but for certain cases such as rape or sexual assault you may be advised to wait. If the deadline has passed for you to make a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, please call us on 0121 565 4317 or claim online. This will allow us to talk to you and understand the details of your case. We may be able to help you to demonstrate that you had good reasons for your delay, allowing you to still make a claim.
What Factors Influence How Much I Can Claim Under The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme has strict guidelines as to how much compensation each injury can attract. Certain circumstances can increase the amount you might be eligible for. These include:
- If you have received multiple injuries. When making a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for multiple injuries, you will only be able to claim for the three most serious injuries. You will receive 100% of the ‘tariff value’ (this is the amount that has been set for that particular injury but the Criminal Injuries Compensation Agency) for the most severe injury. The most severe injury is the one which carries the highest amount of compensation. You will then receive 30% of the tariff value of the second most severe injury and 15% for the third.
- If your injury leads to a loss of earnings, you may be eligible to receive a portion of that lost money back. You are only able to apply for loss of earnings from 28 weeks after the date of your injury. Any loss of earnings in the first 28 weeks cannot be compensated. You will also only be compensated at the rate of the statutory sick pay currently in force on the date at which your claim is decided.
- If you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, become pregnant or lost a foetus as a result of your injury. Payments for these situations are not considered additional injuries as part of the multiple injuries mentioned above. There may be other special circumstances which increase the amount of your compensation payment. Please call us on 0121 565 4317 or claim online to discuss your case with us and see whether any of these might apply.
How Can My Criminal Injury Compensation Amount Be Reduced?
- Any unspent convictions. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme explicitly sets out to compensate “blameless victims of violent crime”. As a result those who have convictions, even if those convictions are not in any way related to the incident which caused your injury, are not entitled to the full amount of compensation and some are not entitled to any compensation at all. Different convictions lead to either a reduction in the amount of compensation you receive or to the full rejection of your claim. If you have prior convictions, it is essential that you call us on 0121 565 4317 or claim online before you submit your claim. It is not possible to withdraw a claim and re-submit, so it is essential that we make the best possible case from the start. We will discuss the details of your convictions and any other information we may need to put together a plan to ensure that you get the best compensation offer possible.
- If you are considered “of poor character”. This may seem like a nebulous requirement, but it is designed to ensure that those with a history of fraud and cautions or antisocial behavior orders, for example. Again, if you feel that this may be relevant in your case, please call or claim online before you submit your claim.
- If your conduct was such that you are considered to have contributed to the situation in which you were injured, for example if you willingly took part in a fight. As mentioned above, the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme is designed to compensate “blameless victims of violent crime” and the scheme does not consider those who inflamed or aggravated a situation to be blameless.
Making a claim under the Criminal Injuries compensation Scheme may appear complex, but we take all of the stress and worry out of the process. Call us or claim online to find out whether we can help with your claim.