How to claim criminal injuries compensation
If you’re a victim of crime, the upset of the incident itself can be something that stays with you well into the future. But when you’ve been left physically, mentally or emotionally scarred by the crimes of others, it may also lead you to want to make a claim as a way of receiving compensation from the person at fault.
If you’ve been a victim of crime and think you may be entitled to criminal injuries compensation, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. In this blog, we explain how criminal injury compensation works before giving you all you need to know about making a claim.
How does criminal injury compensation work?
You may be wondering exactly what counts as a ‘criminal injury’ and how the process of claiming compensation works. When a crime occurs that results in an injury, an individual qualifies to make criminal injuries compensation if they themselves are injured, related to someone who died, saw the crime happen, were immediately involved in the incident or contributed to paying for a funeral for someone who died. It may also be possible to claim criminal injuries compensation if they were hurt during the process of attempting to prevent a crime from happening.
Criminal injury compensation claims can apply to physical, mental or emotional damage, physical or sexual abuse, loss of earnings (if over 28 weeks), bereavement and the cost of the funeral and expenses as a result of the injury. In most cases, criminal injury compensation claims can only be made within two years of the crime happening. However, exceptions could be made in circumstances where the individual is claiming historical or childhood physical or sexual abuse, or if the claim was previously prevented by the individual’s physical, mental or emotional condition.
Who pays criminal injuries compensation?
Although compensation for most injuries is paid by the insurers of the person responsible, criminal injury compensation works differently.
It’s true that the victim of a criminal injury could attempt to receive compensation directly from the person responsible. However, as the offender may be hard to find, difficult to prove as the cause of the injury, may be incarcerated due to the crime and potentially unable to afford the settlement, it’s not common. Instead, the government established the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) as a way of paying the victims of criminal injuries.
Is criminal injuries compensation taxable?
A common reason that some victims of criminal injuries are deterred from making a claim are that they’ve been told they may be required to pay tax on the settlement they receive. In fact, the truth is that you will be exempt from paying any tax regardless of whether the settlement was awarded in court or out of court, and you’re guaranteed this ruling by specific legislation.
How to make a claim for criminal injuries
As compensation for criminal injuries can be claimed in one of two ways, you need to decide your preferred method when it comes to making a claim.
If you want to claim directly against the person responsible, you should seek advice from a qualified injury lawyer. To do this, go to the ‘Criminal Injury Claims’ tab under the ‘Personal Injury’ section of the Compare Compensation Claims website and click ‘Make A Claim’. You can then explain exactly what happened and the injuries sustained, provide your contact information and an injury lawyer will be in touch if they believe you have a valid compensation claim.
Alternatively, you can make a claim to CICA, which is the usual method of claiming Criminal Injury Compensation. For your claim, you will need a selection of details including the location and date of the crime, the name of the police station it was reported to, the crime reference number provided, the contact information of your GP or dentist (depending on the injury), details of previous CICA claims and any unspent convictions. You can ‘Make A Claim’ on the Compare Compensation Claims website via a Solicitor, or even make a criminal injury compensation claim yourself online via the gov.uk website.
How long do criminal injury claims take?
A compensation claim of any kind can take any period of time, with the duration from start to finish varying if the person responsible refuses to accept fault. Unfortunately, you may see similar delays with criminal injury compensation claims that are made to CICA. However, on average, a criminal injury claim made against an individual or CICA would usually take between 6 and 18 months.
How much is criminal injuries compensation?
Due to criminal injuries compensation being paid out by one of two potential parties – the person at fault or CICA – the settlement will vary depending on who you receive compensation from. Below, we’ve highlighted the brackets of potential payouts based on the person paying it:
Traditional compensation settlements –
Settlements are traditionally based on general damages and special damages. General damages pay for physical, mental and emotional pain caused by the accident, while special damages is paid to make up for any and all financial losses caused by the incident and the negative impact it had.
Special damages is a sum that is quantified based on the money you’ve lost, or will lose in the future due to the incident, whereas general damages is more specifically determined by the accident.
Average settlement for criminal injuries:
Physical or sexual abuse – between £1,000 and £44,000
Mental injury between £1,000 and £27,000
Brain injury – between £1,500 and £250,000
Skull injury – between £1,000 and £4,600
Facial injury – between £1,500 and £11,000
Nasal injury – between £2,400 and £16,500
Teeth injury – between £1,000 and £3,500
Tongue injury – between £3,500 and £44,000
Neck injury – between £1,000 and £11,000
Back injury – between £1,000 and £11,000
Organ injury – between £1,800 and £55,000
Limb injury – between £1,800 and £110,000
Scarring – between £1,000 and £11,000
Burns – between £2,400 and £33,000
Deafness – between £1,800 and £44,000
Blindness – between £1,500 and £110,000
Illness – between £1,500 and £22,000
Death – between £5,500 and £11,000
With compensation from CICA, they will identify an appropriate settlement figure which is then paid at 100 per cent for the most serious injury, 30 per cent for the second most serious, 15 per cent for the third most serious and so on, depending on the amount of people affected by the crime. In circumstances where injuries have the same severity, certain criteria must be found to determine which of the two will be paid at the lower percentage.
For example, a settlement from CICA would work as follows:
Injury 1 – £3,000
Injury 2 – £900
Injury 3 – £450
Injury 4 – £225
Injury 5 – £112.50