Government proposals could see victims of violent crime missing out, reports industry expert, Accident Advice Helpline.
People who have been injured as a result of a criminal act could lose out on compensation payments and accident settlements under proposed changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which were approved in the House of Lords recently.
The exact repercussions of these changes are not fully understood yet, however solicitor Gary Mannion, speaking to the Scotsman newspaper, thought that somewhere in the region of 17,000 victims who suffer minor injuries such as broken ribs or dislocated jaws each year will no longer be able to claim injury compensation at all.
He stated that people with more serious injuries would still be able to claim, although the accident settlements payable to victims were going to be seriously reduced. All victims will be expected to act faster to start the claims process, which could lead to many people missing out altogether. Mannion suggested that the number of people no longer entitled to claim, either because of the time constraints or injuries no longer claimable, could comprise as many as 60% of all victims.
The proposed changes to accident settlements for victims of criminal injury also include reductions to the amount of money available to cover loss of earnings, with this figure being reduced to the level of statutory sick pay.
Leading UK personal injury claim company, Accident Advice Helpline, expressed concern that some people could lose out on what they are entitled to. A representative commented:
“Often when people become victims of violent crime, the last thing on their mind is to contact an accident claim company such as ours. These types of events are deeply disturbing to the victims, and therefore it can take time before they are recovered enough to try and make a claim for compensation.
“We always encourage people to contact us as soon as possible following an accident or injury, as this gives us the best chance of administering some appropriate accident compensation advice and therefore puts that victim in the best position possible to secure the maximum compensation available.
“Anyone who has been a victim of an injury that was not their fault, as a result of violent crime or otherwise, should get in touch with our advisors straight away to make sure they are not missing out.”
The draft scheme states that changes could come into force as early as the end of September.
Source: The Scotsman