FAQs: Criminal injuries compensation

 

Can those convicted of violent crimes be ordered to compensate the victims?

People found guilty of crime can be ordered by the court to compensate the victim for things like loss of earnings, medical expenses, and suffering. However, this is at the court’s discretion and often no order is made where the culprit does not have the resources to pay or has been sentenced to prison.
 

What are the alternative options to get compensation for criminal injuries?

One option is to make a claim against the person responsible for a civil wrong like battery. This requires a lower standard of proof than a criminal trial. The other option is to request compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (“CICA”). It’s not necessary to know the identity of the other person to do this.
 

Is it possible to make a civil claim against the culprit and an application to the CICA?

Yes, but the CICA rules state that that the value of a court order for damages or of the settlement of a civil claim will be deducted from the award. The CICA may ask for details of any pending civil actions and put the application on hold until they are resolved.
 

Is the same amount of compensation awarded for a civil claim and a CICA application?

The purpose of the two options and the means by which compensation is calculated are different. With civil claims, the compensation is to redress the harm done to the victim. They are normally compensated for damages arising as a foreseeable and direct result of the act in question.
 
On the other hand, the purpose of the CICA is to express public sympathy for the innocent victim of a crime. Compensation is based on a sliding scale depending on the kind of injury inflicted with further payments available for loss of earnings. The compensation can be reduced based on the victim’s conduct and character, like whether they cooperated with police; provoked the crime; or were under the influence of illegal drugs at the time.
 

Who can apply to the CICA?

With some exceptions, it is necessary to have been physically or mentally injured as a result of a violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales in the previous two years; or to be the close relative of someone who died as the result of a violent crime. Compensation may be refused if there are concerns about the victim’s conduct or character.
 
If you would like to obtain legal advice on criminal injuries compensation, Caven can put you in touch with a local solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.
 
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