Can I Claim Criminal Injuries Compensation?
Suffering any injury can be incredibly traumatic, but becoming the victim of a criminal injury can be even more devastating. Victims can find themselves involved in protracted police investigations and often report that their self confidence and lifestyle is seriously restricted for a long period of time following the incident. But compensation is available and can help ease the financial impact of your injury. Here is a quick guide to criminal injury compensation, including questions on who can claim compensation and how.
Can I claim criminal injuries compensation from the attacker themselves?
All criminal injuries compensation is handled by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Agency. The CICA deals with all cases put forward by victims and witnesses, making a decision both on their eligibility for compensation and the level of the award.
How does CICA make its decisions?
All CICA’s decisions are made following a set of rules called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This scheme is a guide to both the eligibility and the level of payment awarded. The scheme is published online at:
I am a victim of a violent crime – can I claim criminal injuries compensation?
Yes, if you have been injured as a direct result of a crime involving violence against yourself, you can claim criminal injuries compensation.
I was a witness to a violent crime and I got injured – can I claim criminal injuries compensation?
Yes, as a witness who got injured, you can claim compensation for your injuries.
I was trying to stop a criminal – can I claim criminal injuries compensation?
Yes, if you are injured in the process of trying to either prevent a crime from happening or stopping a criminal from leaving the scene of a crime, you can claim criminal injuries compensation.
The criminal was not convicted – can I claim criminal injuries compensation?
Yes – the offender does not necessarily have to have been convicted of, or even charged with the crime. The status of their conviction does not stop you from claiming compensation.
What could stop me from being able to claim criminal injuries compensation?
There a some criteria applied by the CICA to your compensation case – you need to meet the conditions to be able to make a claim. They include the following:
- You must have been injured seriously enough to qualify for at least our minimum award (£1,000).
- You must have been injured in an act of violence in England, Scotland or Wales.
- You need to have made your application within two years of the incident that caused your injury, unless there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from making your application.
- You must have reported the incident to the police. If the crime for which you are claiming has not been reported to the police, CICA will not be able to deal with your case.
Is there anything else that might impact on my criminal injuries compensation claim?
Yes – CICA has the right to refuse or reduce your compensation because of:
- Your behaviour before, during or after the incident in which you were injured.
- Your own criminal record.
- Your failure to co-operate with the police or with us.
- Your delay in informing the police
Can Accident Advice Helpline assist me?
If you would like to talk about your eligibility for criminal injuries compensation, simply call our freephone helpline and see what advice we can offer you.