One of the most commonly asked questions we hear at the Accident Advice Helpline is: “how do I claim for criminal injury?” Criminal injury comes in many forms and can affect victims and bystanders alike. However, thanks to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority the claims process is actually quite simple. Covering single incidents and long-term abuse, criminal injury can be suffered by the victims of crime, witnesses and immediate family. Fortunately, no matter what caused the injury, the Accident Advice Helpline can advise you on how best to proceed with your claim.
The results of crime include physical injuries caused by violent attacks involving guns and knives or damaging falls. Equally, the description extends to witnesses who are subjected to emotional trauma, which leads to on-going medical treatment or loss of earnings. Whether you are the direct victim of a crime or have been injured when intervening in an incident, the Accident Advice Helpline is here to help you make a claim for the injuries you have sustained.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
Established in 1964, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority exists solely to provide compensation to the victims of criminal injuries. It was formed because it is often impossible to find, let alone make a claim against, the person responsible for inflicting such injuries. The first step in processing your claim for criminal injury with the Accident Advice Helpline involves one of our specialist solicitors applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on your behalf, allowing you to avoid the stress of having to deal personally with sometimes complex legal forms.
Working on a tariff system, the Criminal Injuries Compensation authority offers 25 levels of compensation, ranging from £1,000 to £500,000, depending on the severity of your case. This system ensures you are guaranteed a fair level of compensation for your injuries. On the downside, it unfortunately also means that minor injuries, those worth less than £1,000, cannot be claimed for.
The claims process is quite straightforward and rarely requires you to make any court appearances; however, there are several factors that can adversely affect the outcome of your claim. Firstly, your co-operation with the police and behaviour during and after the crime will be taken in to consideration. If you were aggressive or provocative it may reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to. In addition, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may review any previous criminal convictions when processing your claim.
What do I need to make a claim for criminal injury?
In order for the Accident Advice Helpline to fully answer the question, ‘how do I claim for criminal injury’, you should be aware that there are three conditions to be met. Firstly, your injury must have been sustained in England, Scotland or Wales, in the past two years; crimes occurring outside of this window are not eligible. Additionally, the crime must have been reported to the police. Even in cases where no conviction was made you may still be eligible to claim for criminal injury.
Finally, the level of compensation you are claiming must be at least £1,000. This means that lesser injuries, such as minor falls or other injuries that do not require medical treatment are not eligible for compensation. However, more serious injuries or emotional trauma can be claimed. If you are still unsure whether you qualify, the Accident Advice Helpline’s 30-second test is designed to evaluate your chances of success in one short phone call. Call today and we will help you begin the process of submitting your criminal injury claim.
Date Published: October 13, 2013
Author: David Brown