If you have been the victim of a violent crime and suffered physical or mental injury as a result you may be eligible for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. The scheme exists to compensate the blameless victims of violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is government funded. The rules of the scheme and value of the payments awarded are set by Parliament and are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries. Although the amount of compensation varies to reflect the seriousness of the injury, it will never fully compensate what a victim has suffered or lost but it is society’s way of recognising that they have been a victim.
The victim must have reported the crime to the police and co-operated with the police in bringing the assailant or abuser to justice although it is not always necessary for there to have been a successful prosecution.
Before making an award, the scheme will give consideration as to whether the victim’s behaviour before, during or after the incident caused or contributed to the incident in which they were injured. Consideration will also be given to a victim’s conduct after the incident happened, such as whether they sought revenge against their assailant.
The scheme is intended to be one of last resort. If there is an opportunity for a victim to pursue a claim elsewhere this should be made first. The scheme may ask whether it is possible to claim compensation from the assailant, whether the victim has made enquiries from their employer about damages or insurance entitlements and whether the victim has applied for all benefits to which they may be entitled.
There is a 2 year time limit from the date of the incident occurring for making an application. For children the time limit runs until the day of their 20th birthday if no one has made a claim on their behalf before.
How to apply
If you think you are eligible for an award under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme an application can be made online at www.justice.gov.uk/victims-and-witnesses/cica/apply-online. You do not need a solicitor to make a claim and the scheme does not pay legal costs.
However, if you would like Wolferstans to make the application on your behalf, we would be more than happy to do so. Your legal costs would be deducted from any compensation awarded to you and this would be discussed with you in detail at the outset.
If you would like assistance in making an application, please contact Karen Walker on 01752 292265.