Criminal Injuries: The Essential Facts

Even though official crime statistics recorded by the police show a fall of around 4% between March 2011 and the same month in 2012 in England and Wales, it’s clear that criminal activity is still rife in many parts of the UK. The London riots which spread across the entire nation and saw many innocent homeowners, shop owners and passers-by suffer as a result immediately spring to mind – but there are many other forms of crime which occur on an everyday basis. These include sexual assault, robbery, gun crime and knife crime.

While victims of criminal activity may take a long while to recover both physically and mentally, they can at least rest assured that nowadays people who come to any harm as a result of a crime of violence can apply to be awarded compensation. This is overseen and managed by The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS); set up by the government, awards compensation for the following reasons:

–          To recognise the physical and mental injuries obtained from crimes of violence

–          To compensate for past or future loss of earnings or other unique expenses incurred by such a crime

–          To compensate for bereavement should the crime of violence result in the death of the victim

–          To compensate for the lost earnings of the deceased (based on individual cases)

It is always worth claiming if you think you have a case. The CICA can award between £1,500 and £11,000 for facial scarring, between £3,300 and £8,200 for jaw or dental or anywhere from £1,000 to £27,000 for sexual assault.

Those who believe they were the blameless victim of a crime of violence should speak with criminal injury solicitors in order to receive expert advice from specialist lawyers on how to go about making a criminal injury claim.

Determining your eligibility

You should be able to claim full criminal injury compensation as long as you:

–          Have sustained an injury serious enough to qualify for the minimum award of £1,000

–          Have been injured in an act of violence in England, Scotland or Wales

–          Have submitted your application form within two years of the incident that caused your injury

However, if it wasn’t reasonable for an application form to have been submitted within this time limit and the victim possesses enough evidence for a tribunal to consider, the application may still be accepted. It is also important to remember that the offender who caused your injury does not necessarily have to have been convicted or charged with the crime for you to submit a claim.

It is, however, worth taking into account that an award can be refused for various reasons. These include:

–          Not being completely blameless

–          Failing to report the crime, or stalling in providing information to the police

–          Failing to cooperate with the police of CICA

These factors can not only affect your ability to seek compensation but they may affect the amount of compensation you are offered if your case is submitted. It is therefore always recommended that you speak to qualified professionals to receive expert advice on your individual situation.

If you have been the the victim of Criminal Action or have any queries on the subject of Criminal Injury why not visit for some free advice.