Criminal Injury Compensation
We can help you get compensation for your injuries
If you’ve been a victim of a criminal act, then you’ve every right to seek compensation for your injuries and the stress caused by the event.
Criminal injuries can often feel like a random act of violence, and we know it can be difficult to come to terms with what happened to you. But claiming compensation following the injury can help you to get back to where you were before.
Of course, compensation can’t take away your injury, or your memory of being involved in a violent crime. But the money you receive can be put towards counselling to talk through what happened, or private medical treatment to help you recover from your injuries more quickly. It can also cover the expenses of your injury such as time off work, as well as travel or medical costs.
If you think you might have a claim and would like free advice, you can contact us on 0800 234 6438. All calls are confidential, and you’ll never be pressured into starting a claim.
What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-run body. Set up in 1966, the CICA are there to help people injured in a violent crime gain access to compensation, and as a result are often responsible for paying out compensation settlements.
The CICA can also award compensation for people injured while trying to prevent a crime; although this is often only the case when the risk was ‘justified and exceptional’.
You may also hear the CICA referred to as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Can you claim?
Claiming for a criminal injury is slightly different to a typical personal injury claim. This is because you have a shorter time frame to start your claim; it must start within two years, rather than three.
However, if your accident happened in the last two years, then it’s likely you can make a claim if:
- You were the victim of a violent crime
- You were in no way to blame for the incident
- You sustained an injury whilst taking reasonable steps to stop a crime
- You were psychologically injured by witnessing a loved one falling victim to violent crime, or by the aftermath of such an event
- You’re a relative of someone who has died as a result of violent crime
You also have longer to claim if your accident happened when you were a child or before 1st August 1964.
There are a few situations where it might not be possible to make a criminal injury claim. You may not be able to claim if:
- You failed to report the incident to the Police or took too long to speak to them
- You behaved in a manner which helped cause the injury
- You have a criminal record
- You failed to co-operate with the Police or CICA
Also, if your injury happened in Northern Ireland then the process of claiming is different – you can find out more here.
Criminal injury compensation is usually paid by a government-funded body called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – this video explains how these claims function.
You can still claim if nobody was convicted
Often people feel like there must be a conviction to make a claim for their injury, but this isn’t true. To be able to make a compensation claim for a criminal injury, you must:
- Prove that you were not responsible for the incident
- Show how you were injured in the attack
- Report the crime to the police immediately
Unfortunately, there are several types of crimes where the guilty party might not have been caught by the police – for example, in a mugging or a burglary. The CICA exists to make sure that anyone who suffers in these types of criminal acts is able to claim compensation for their injuries and any psychological effects it may have had on them.
Psychological trauma following a criminal act
When it comes to compensation for a criminal injury, the injury in question can be physical and psychological. If you’re mugged, beaten up, attacked or assaulted then it’s likely you’ve been physically hurt, but it’s also likely you’ve suffered some form of psychological trauma.
While psychological injuries aren’t as visible as physical ones, and therefore can appear less severe, this often isn’t the case. You may no longer feel safe when in your own home or walking by yourself.
If you’ve experience this, then you can talk to us about making a mental health claim – we can advise whether we think you might be eligible to make a claim and can help you take the next steps.
Claiming after witnessing a violent crime
If you witnessed a violent crime, it’s likely you’ll be experiencing some trauma and shock. Whether it was an armed robbery or a physical attack, the effects afterward can have a long-lasting impact on how you live your daily life; leaving you anxious about public spaces or even feeling afraid to leave your house.
If this sounds familiar then it’s likely we can help. We offer free, impartial advice, without any pressure to start a claim – so either contact us on 0800 234 6438 or provide us your details and we’ll call you back.