Just as you can claim compensation if you have had an accident at work or on the road that wasn’t your fault, you can put in a claim if you have fallen victim to a crime and suffered an injury. However, while employers and motorists have insurance policies to pay for damages, criminals have no such cover. This is why the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was set up; it ensures that those injured due to somebody else’s criminal activity are able to claim compensation.
What is CICA?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, also known as the CICA, is a body that is funded by the government and is aimed at paying damages to both witnesses and victims of criminal acts. Whether you have been left with a physical injury after a robbery or an assault or you have been left suffering from trauma after witnessing a criminal act then you have the right to claim compensation. You are even entitled to damages regardless of whether the criminal has been found, arrested or prosecuted for the offence.
How to claim criminal injury compensation
Because the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority pays for claims for criminal injuries, it doesn’t matter who caried out the crime or whether they are able to pay. The perpetrator doesn’t even have to have been arrested. To qualify, you only have to have been a victim (or witness) of a criminal act and have suffered some type of injury or psychological trauma as a result.
To claim, you will need to have a police reference number for the criminal offence and the details of a medical professional or a doctor or who has treated you for the injury, and you can make a claim directly by contacting the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or by hiring a solicitor who specialises in personal injuries for advice.
How are damages awarded?
All claims are dealt with on their own merits and awards are made depending on the how severe the trauma or injury is. Long-term effects and any financial hardship incurred due to the offence are taken into account. Compensation for criminal injuries range from a thousand pounds to five hundred thousand pounds.
While claiming for compensation for criminal injury is free, it does take some time and requires lots of paperwork and filling in of forms. However, if you employ an expert injury solicitor, they will do all the hard work for you and help you receive the compensation you deserve.