People who have decided to file criminal injury witness claims against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) should be aware that Accident Advice Helpline are here to help. To make the entire process flow as smoothly as possible, our professionals have gathered important information about how to make a compensation claim against CICA.
Know your obligations
Although you may be entitled to compensation, there are several requirements with which you must comply before and after filing your claim against the local authority. The first thing you need to do is fill out a standard form, which requires you to provide specific personal data. After submitting the form, you have to comply with the conditions imposed by the claims officer who will be dealing with your case. For example, they may require you to provide expert evidence in addition to the police and medical reports already submitted.
In addition, you have an obligation to inform the claims officer of any other claim you intend to make in relation to the injuries you have suffered as a result of witnessing a particular violent episode, be they physical or psychological. The claims officer may require you to keep them informed of the progress of the legal proceedings you have previously commenced. You also have an obligation to inform CICA about any change relating to your case as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so.
The experts working at CICA will analyse the police report, together with the evidence you gave to the police, check the criminal records of all those involved in the incident, verify the medical evidence supporting your claim and examine any additional evidence. If they find that you have deliberately submitted false information, they can refuse your claim.
How do CICA deal with witness claims?
Once you submit all the documents required by the claims officer, they will issue a personal reference number, which will help to identify your claim. One of CICA’s casework teams will then handle your case.
Since witnessing an act of violence can lead to serious psychological trauma, you may need medical treatment. If this is the case, our personal injury advocates will work to help ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to as soon as possible. However, the length of time required to assess your claim and settle a compensation award depends on how complicated your case is. Furthermore, CICA usually do not finalise a claim until the sufferer confirms that they have partially or totally recovered. This means that we may be unable to do too much to speed up the process that will bring you the compensation you deserve for the trauma you have suffered.
After the casework team analyses your case, they will pass your claim to another claims officer, who will take a final decision based on the “balance of probabilities,” which expresses their personal point of view about what has happened. The claims officer will communicate the final decision to you or to your solicitor, together with information about what you can do if you do not agree with it.
Call us today on 0800 689 0500 from a landline or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile for more information on making a personal injury compensation claim.
Date Published: October 12, 2013
Author: David Brown