Although claims for criminal injury compensation differ in some respects to those dealing with negligence, they do have some things in common. Although you’ll be making your claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, rather than negligent body or individual, the onus will still be on you to prove that you are eligible for compensation by presenting the evidence of your circumstances.
The length of time which it then takes CICA to decide if you are in fact eligible for compensation, and how much that compensation should be, will vary depending upon the complexity of your case. The first step will be to ensure that you meet the basic criteria for an award, i.e. that you have suffered an injury following a criminal act in which you played no part. To ensure this you’ll have to present evidence such as medical records for any treatment required and an incident number given to you by the police. If you haven’t reported the incident to the police, then the claim will go no further.
If you are eligible for compensation then CICA will calculate the amount based on the type and severity of your injury and on any expenses incurred now or in the future. In the more complex cases compensation for future loss of earnings may have to be calculated, and this may cause a delay until a full picture of your medical and physical state has been pulled together.
Bearing this in mind, working with an experienced injury solicitor will enable you to paint the fullest possible picture of your circumstances, and ensure that you get every penny of the compensation which you deserve. If it becomes apparent that you are eligible for compensation, but that calculating the exact amount may take some time, then CICA might choose to make an upfront payment known as an interim payment which will then be deducted from the final award.