Making a successful claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is no easy task. People entitled to compensation under the scheme can end up with their claims rejected due to simple errors or missing evidence.
The government established CICA in 1964 to grant innocent victims of violent crimes with compensation. They receive over 30,000 applications every year.
Eligible victims can get between £1000 to £500,000, depending on the severity of their injuries.
Check if you’re eligible for criminal injuries compensation
While this may seem obvious, countless claims are rejected each year because the applicant failed to ensure they were applying for the right type of compensation. Firstly, consult CICA’s tariffs — an extensive list of injuries, both psychological and physical, that qualify for a payout under the scheme.
After you became the victim of a violent crime, you must have reported the incident to the police without delay to receive compensation. When you make a claim to CICA you will need to have the crime reference number for your case, or they will likely not accept your application.
With regard to the incident itself, you need to be an innocent victim of a violent crime. If instead, you provoked your attacker either physically or verbally prior to the crime in question, then CICA is unlikely to grant you compensation.
Furthermore, if you have unspent criminal convictions you are likely not entitled to an award under the scheme. This is true regardless of whether the conviction is related to the incident or not.
Provide the police with your full co-operation
The CICA will gather evidence regarding your claim, including information from your police report. Therefore, it’s imperative that you completed a witness statement to the police, or again CICA will reject your claim.
While there are some criminal cases where pressing charges aren’t possible, if your circumstances let you pursue your case in court, then it may help your claim.
Collect appropriate evidence to support your claim
For a physical injury claim, you need written statements from your doctors and any other authority that provided you with care during your recovery. You must continue to visit your GP until you have fully recovered from your injuries. If you stop seeing your doctor, CICA will assume you are fully healed, regardless of reality.
For a psychological claim, you need a diagnosis and statements regarding your recovery from a consultant psychologist or psychiatrist. CICA will not accept evidence from a counsellor or GP regarding mental health issues.
Keep CICA updated on your circumstances
Depending on what type of injury you suffered, your time to transition back to normality will vary. Part of how CICA determines what you’re owed is by taking into consideration how long your day-to-day activities are impacted. The longer it takes for you to recover, the greater the payout. Therefore, regularly update CICA on how you are and what treatment you needed to return to your regular routine.
Occasionally, CICA will send you a request for further information or an update on your circumstances. To boost your chances of a successful claim and to speed up the process, ensure you respond in a timely manner.
Use a CICA solicitor
Don’t let CICA underpay you and save yourself time and effort by recruiting a solicitor to take the grief out of your application. It’s tough to know what evidence you need to include and how to fill in the forms correctly. By working with a criminal injuries expert, you can take the stress away from filing for compensation so you can concentrate on getting better.
CICA can leave you waiting for up to two years before they get back to you regarding your claim. A solicitor can chase updates on your behalf and move the process along quicker, so you can get your compensation sooner.
A solicitor knows exactly what you’re entitled to and can appeal any unsatisfactory awards.
We can help you with your criminal injuries claim
Our team of expert criminal injuries solicitors is eager to hear from you regarding your claim. We can help you to make a successful claim no matter how complicated your case is.
Head to our online enquiry form or give us a call on 0151 668 0829, and a member of our team will be in touch.