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Criminal Injury Compensation Claim Guide

Trusted Criminal Victim Injury

In England and Wales, victims of crime often suffer emotional injuries as well as physical injuries. Fortunately, there is a scheme known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) that provides compensation to people who have been injured because of a crime. This guide outlines the process of bringing a compensation claim through CICA, what can be claimed under the scheme, how to obtain medical evidence, and how compensation is calculated. We'll also explore who can claim and why consulting a specialist solicitor is essential.

Bringing a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claim


Bringing a compensation claim through CICA involves several key steps:

1. Report the Crime - Ensure that you report the crime to the police as soon as possible. A police report is essential for your claim as is the crime reference number.

2. Seek Medical Attention - Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries sustained during the crime. Timely medical documentation is crucial.

3. Gather Evidence - Collect evidence related to the incident, including police reports, witness statements, and any relevant medical records. The Police will appoint a liaison officer who will keep you updated on the police investigation and any prosecution being brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). 

5. Consult a Solicitor - While not mandatory, it's advisable to consult a specialist personal injury solicitor experienced in CICA claims. They can guide you through the process and help ensure you receive fair compensation. 

6. Contact the CICA – You can register your claim online via the CICA portal, you do not have to have legal representation, but it is advisable to ensure you secure the right amount of compensation.  

7. Bring your claim within 2 years from the date of the crime. There is a strict period which can prevent a claim from being pursued.

8. Review the reasons why your claim might not proceed or be rejected. The scheme sets out who can claim, eligibility and the rejection process. This includes those who apply to the scheme and have a criminal record, which will affect eligibility.

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Further details of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can be found on the Government website.

What Can be Claimed Under the Scheme?


Through the CICA scheme, you can claim compensation for various losses and damages, including:

  • Physical Injuries - Compensation for physical harm caused by the crime, including medical expenses and rehabilitation costs.

  • Mental and Emotional Trauma - Compensation for psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety.

  • Loss of Earnings - If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may claim compensation for lost income. However, there are specific rules for what can be claimed and the amount. 

  • Expenses – Costs incurred because of the injury can be claimed, although any claim is at the discretion of the CICA and the scheme itself. 

The CICA will secure medical evidence for you. This will involve obtaining medical records for the expert(s) to review.  

It is important, as with any claim, that the CICA has very clear information provided at the outset of the claim.

Who Can Claim for Criminal Injury?

Victims of crime, including innocent bystanders, can potentially claim compensation through CICA. To be eligible, you must meet certain CICA criteria, such as reporting the crime to the police, cooperating with law enforcement, and making your claim within a specific time frame.

Benefits of a Specialist Solicitor

While legal representation is not mandatory for CICA claims, consulting a specialist solicitor is highly recommended for several reasons:

  • Expertise - A solicitor with experience in CICA claims understands the intricacies of the scheme, ensuring that your claim is properly prepared and presented.

  • Maximised Compensation - They can accurately assess the value of your claim, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries, lost income, and other damages.

  • Legal Guidance - An expert solicitor provides expert legal guidance, helping you navigate the process and meet all necessary deadlines and requirements.

  • Peace of Mind - Having a specialist solicitor by your side can ease the stress of dealing with complex legal procedures and negotiations, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Understanding how to bring a compensation claim through CICA in England and Wales is essential for victims of crime who have suffered injuries. Seeking the assistance of a specialist personal injury solicitor ensures that you receive the support and expertise needed to pursue your claim successfully and obtain the compensation you deserve. Remember, that you have the right to seek redress if you've been injured because of a crime.

Criminal Injury Claim FAQs

What is a criminal injury compensation claim?

A criminal injury compensation claim is a legal process through which victims of crimes can seek compensation for the physical and psychological injuries they have suffered as a result of the crime.

What types of crimes are covered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) covers a wide range of violent crimes, including assault, sexual assault, domestic violence, robbery, and homicide, among others.

The crime may also, for example, involve being injured at a nightclub and sustaining an injury which can be claimed for. In this example, it may well be that you were hurt by a member of staff, and so you can bring a claim for this action.

How do I know if I'm eligible to make a criminal injury compensation claim?

You may be eligible to make a criminal injury compensation claim if you were a victim of a violent crime in England or Wales and you suffered physical or psychological injuries as a result of the crime. There are specific eligibility criteria set by the CICA, and consulting with a solicitor can help determine your eligibility.

What evidence do I need to support my criminal injury claim?

Evidence to support your criminal injury claim may include police reports, medical records documenting your injuries, witness statements, and any other documentation related to the crime and its impact on you.  You are required to secure a crime number so as to show the crime has been reported and you are a victim of a crime. 

Do I need a solicitor to file a criminal injury compensation claim?

While you are not required to have a solicitor file a claim with the CICA, having legal representation can be beneficial in assessing and advocating for you.

What compensation can I expect from a criminal injury claim?

The compensation awarded in a criminal injury claim is determined by the matrix of injury awards which the CICA apply. This is different from personal injury claims, which are guided by the Judicial College Guidelines.

How long does it take to process a criminal injury compensation claim?

The processing time for a criminal injury compensation claim can vary.  The claim can take longer due to dealing with the CICA direct and they handle a vast number of claims every year.

Can I claim compensation for psychological trauma resulting from a criminal injury?

Yes, you can claim compensation for psychological trauma resulting from a criminal injury. The CICA recognises the impact of psychological injuries and provides compensation for mental as well as physical injuries suffered as a result of a violent crime.

What if I've already received compensation, such as insurance or a civil claim?

If you have already received compensation from other sources, such as insurance or through a civil claim, this may affect your eligibility or the amount of compensation you can receive from the CICA. It's essential to disclose any previous compensation received when making a claim to the CICA.

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