If you make a claim for personal injury after a road traffic accident or because you have been injured at work, you know that you will receive your money if your claim is successful because motorists and employers have insurance. However, this is not the case with criminals. If you are injured following an assault, mugging or other criminal activity, or you have been left with psychological trauma after witnessing a crime, how do you get damages?
Criminal injury compensation through the courts
Criminal injury is classified as any injury that occurred due to the illegal acts of another person. It can be physical, such as that which occurs as the result of an assault, or psychological, such as the trauma caused by being the victim of a crime. In addition, witnesses can also suffer psychological harm because of a crime. If you have suffered an injury because of someone else’s criminal activity, it is only right that you receive compensation.
In many cases, when a criminal is caught and prosecuted, they are given a compensation order, which means they have to pay compensation to the victim of the crime.
However, sometimes criminals do not have the means to pay damages. Furthermore, not all perpetrators of crime are caught or prosecuted, so how do you get your compensation?
What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
If you are injured following a criminal act, you don’t have to make a claim for damages against the person who committed the crime. This means that even if the perpetrator of the crime hasn’t been caught or doesn’t have any money, you still get your compensation. Damages for criminal injury are paid by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (or CICA), which is a government funded body that pays damages to victims of crime and witnesses regardless of who committed the criminal act and whether or not they were ever caught or prosecuted.
How much will I receive in damages?
The CICA pays damages up to £500,000. To qualify, the crime has to have been recorded by the police and you must have sustained either a physical or a psychological injury that has been treated by a physician or other medical professional. All claims are calculated depending on the severity of the injury and the impact it has on a claimant’s life. However, to ensure you get everything you are entitled to, it is best to speak to a personal injury solicitor who can help you get the compensation you deserve.