There are few legal situations in which it is easier to determine who is in the right than when you claim compensation for a criminal injury. If you have been assaulted and have reported it to the police, you will have a strong case and there will usually be evidence already in place to back it up. A successful claim, however, does not always mean a big payout or quick access to the money that you are entitled to. To ensure things work out as well as possible, you will need a good solicitor – and that is where Accident Advice can help.
At Accident Advice, we believe everyone deserves access to justice, even if they cannot afford to pay solicitors’ fees up front. That is why we operate on a ‘no win – no fee*’ basis. As soon as you call our 24-hour helpline, we will be able to tell you if your claim is valid and how much compensation you might win. This will help you to decide whether or not to go ahead – and if you choose to do so, we can put you in touch with a specialist solicitor who has a good record of helping people in similar situations.
How criminal injury compensation works
There are three main ways to claim compensation for a criminal injury:
- From the criminal
This is usually the most straightforward, but it means that if your assailant does not have much money, it may take a long time for you to get what you’re entitled to.
- From your employer
This is often the best way to proceed if you were attacked at work because your employer failed to provide adequate safeguards.
- From the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
This is the most secure way to ensure a pay-out, but it means you will have to pay legal fees if you win.
Which of these options is best depends on the specifics of each individual case. Your solicitor will talk through these with you and help you to work out which option you want to pursue.
Rates of compensation
Unlike other areas of compensation law, in which awards are quite flexible, when you claim compensation for a criminal injury you will be placed into one of 25 compensation bands. Your band will depend on the severity of your injuries and how they have affected you. The lowest band is just about covering your costs and making you feel better, and it may not be worth your while. The highest band is intended to provide for people who will have serious problems for the rest of their lives. Your solicitor will be able to tell you roughly which band you are likely to fall into before you begin any legal proceedings.
The claims process
Claiming compensation after an assault is a lot less stressful than going to trial. You will be able to deal with most aspects of the claim over the phone, you will not have to face your assailant and you may not even have to go to court. We have done all we can to simplify the process, because we know that what matters most to you is being able to get on with your life.