Criminal Injury Compensation

Criminal Injury Compensation Claims (injuries resulting from a crime of violence)

If you have suffered an injury resulting from a crime of violence, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government body.

The CICA is a government organisation which can pay compensation to you if you have been physically or mentally injured where you were the blameless victim of a violent crime.

The CICA Scheme is designed to allow you to make a claim by yourself, however, in certain circumstances, it may be advisable to seek the advice of a specialist solicitor to help you through the process, advise you on the kind of evidence you might want to obtain to present your case to the CICA, and to advise on appeals against eligibility and/or the level of compensation offered.

Unlike other types of personal injury claim, you are not entitled to seek your legal costs from the CICA and therefore your solicitor’s costs must come out of your eventual compensation.

A typical example of a case where solicitor intervention is appropriate is where the injury is a serious one – here is a typical example of a case where the involvement of a solicitor can make a vast difference: A young adult, attacked outside a nightclub, suffered internal bleeding to the brain. The injury was significant but not immediately recognised. The CICA obtain a short summary from the hospital to inform themselves of the kind of injury suffered and make an offer of compensation at a relatively low figure. However, in time, the injured person finds that they have not fully recovered from the brain injury and have problems with memory, concentration, fatigue, multi-tasking etc, and lose their job and are unable to find another. The value of the claim is in fact significantly more, however, was not recognised as such by the CICA until a specialist lawyer obtained evidence from a specialist neurological expert to confirm the condition and, more importantly, the prognosis for the future. The claim turns out to be worth several hundred thousand pounds instead of just a few thousand.

How do I decide if it is worth me instructing a solicitor?

We provide initial free consultation where we can ask the relevant questions of you to ascertain whether we feel our involvement will be cost-effective to you. Wherever we feel it appropriate to take on a claim, we will undertake to limit our costs to ¼ of your compensation at the most. Note, however, that where the claim is worth several hundred thousand pounds, our costs are likely to amount to far less than ¼ of the compensation.

Practical Advice

  • You should inform the Police of the incident as quickly as you can, as otherwise the CICA could deny you compensation.
  • You should co-operate with the Police to bring the guilty party to justice.