UK Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) will pay compensation to the innocent victims of violent crime. The decisions of the CICA can be appealed either internally or externally to an independent body. Our lawyers are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts and deal with CICA applications on a no win no fee basis. Offers of compensation by the CICA do not include a sum to cover legal costs which are deducted from the final award. For free advice without obligation just use the helpline or complete the contact form.

CICA Tariff Scheme for Injuries

When deciding on compensation the Criminal Compensation Authority use a series of set tariffs for each individual injury sustained. This system is rigid and will not in general give as substantial injury awards as the civil courts. The CICA will pay out for a maximum of three injuries for each violent incident but the tariff value for the second and third injury is discounted by a set percentage.

Damages awarded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority are now calculated using a tariff scheme whereby each potential injury is awarded a fixed sum based on a wide-ranging table of injury values which is publicly available. If the victim of an assault has more than one injury then the scheme will cover the three most serious injuries and a discounted award applies to the second and third most serious injury, prior to the individual amounts being aggregated to produce a final overall award.

Appeal Panel

There is a complex system of appeals whereby interim decisions by Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority administration officers can be escalated to a more senior member of staff for reconsideration and final decisions can be referred to an independent appeals panel which is not connected with the body making the original decision.

Time Limits

Application for an award to The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority must be made within two years of the assault and although there is provision to extend this time period it is only exercised in exceptional circumstances but such an application if refused can be appealed.

Compensation Awards

The current lowest CICA award is £1000; therefore, the injury sustained must be serious enough to qualify for this level of compensation. The lower award applies if the injury took at least six weeks to resolve and required at least two visits to a medical practitioner. The maximum compensation level for physical injury is at present £250,000. Time limits are in place and it is imperative that CICA receives your application within two years of the incident taking place. In certain circumstances, exception of this rule can be made.

                              Other matters which are considered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in assessing the value of a claim are as follows: –

                               The minimum value of an award is £1,000 and that figure will not be reached unless the injury necessitated at least two visits for medical attention and lasted more than 6 weeks.

                                Failure to fully co-operate with the police or other proper authorities investigating the assault is likely to lead to refusal of an award of compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority however compensation can still be paid even in the absence of a conviction provided that the applicant has given assistance to the investigation.

                                 There was unreasonable delay in reporting the incident to the police or other relevant Authority. It is necessary to report the incident as soon as is reasonably possible to the police. If the claimant is incapacitated or bed bound, then a report should be made either on the telephone or in person by a friend or colleague. Delay of just a few days is enough for refusal of an award especially if delay hinders the apprehension of the offender.

                                 Behaviour by the claimant will be considered before, during and after the incident and no award will be made if the applicant started a fight or provoked or agreed to take part in a fight which caused the injury. Seeking revenge after an assault is also likely to result in refusal of an award.

Previous Convictions

Consideration is given to the applicant’s character and all previous ‘unspent’ criminal convictions are considered prior to making an award. A conviction is ‘spent’ if it falls within the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act whereby some offences become ‘spent’ after the passage of a pre-determined period. The Criminal Compensation Authority (CICA) will pay damages to qualifying victims of crime. Awards of compensation do not include a separate award to cover legal costs which are deducted from any sum awarded. If you have been injured in a violent assault you can make a CICA claim. The CICA was established in 1964 and handles almost 80,000 individual cases and pays out around £200 million in compensation annually.

No Prosecution or Arrest Necessary

To make a successful Criminal Compensation Authority application it is essential to prove that you have been physically or mentally injured as a result of violent crime; however, it is not necessary for anyone to have been prosecuted or even to have been arrested for the offence. You must however prove that the crime occurred, and you must also have reported the crime to the police immediately or have a very good reason for any delay in reporting it. You may be surprised to hear that if you have been injured in the course of crime prevention you may also be eligible for compensation.

Deceased Victims

As a ‘dependent or relative’ of a deceased victim you may also be entitled to claim, this can either be on behalf of yourself or a child. An individual dependent can claim £11,000 but if there is more than one dependent the sum goes down to £5,500 for each dependent.

Appeal Tribunal

If you are disappointed with the outcome of your claim, you can request a review of your award. If the outcome of this review is still in your opinion unsatisfactory then you can appeal to the CICA Appeal Tribunal.

Compensation Claims

The victims of crime have several options including Criminal Compensation Authority claims, issuing legal proceedings for damages in the civil courts or applying for compensation through the prosecution in the Magistrates Court or in the Crown Court and it may be best to seek legal advice about which one you should pursue.

No Win No Fee Solicitors

Most CICA solicitors will deal with your claim on a no win no fee basis, the terms of which will be explained to you fully, both verbally and in writing before you start your claim. If for any reason your CICA claim is rejected don’t worry, you don’t have to pay any legal fees or expenses on a no win no fee arrangement. If, after your first consultation, you decide not to proceed with your claim you will not normally be liable for any fees – there is no risk involved with most CICA claims.