Criminal Injuries Compensation
Despite the fact that criminal injuries compensation has long been available for people who have suffered a criminal injury, many victims are missing out on the money they deserve. Failure to file a claim within the limitation period, or to provide adequate evidence are just two reasons why this happens. To learn more about how criminal injuries compensation works, continue reading below. Click on the headings to see more.
The claims process for criminal injuries compensation in the United Kingdom is overseen by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA was established in order to provide compensation for anyone who suffers an injury as a result of a crime of violence. That injury can be physical or psychological, and can be deliberate on the part of the criminal or accidental. The injury must be serious enough that it requires at least two doctor’s appointments, and a recovery period of six weeks or more. In most situations, the claim must be made within a limitation period of two years.
The compensation process is designed to be straightforward and, in simple cases, should not require legal advice. For this reason, and in order to encourage litigants to represent themselves, legal fees are not recoverable from CICA. In addition, submission of the CICA application form carries no application fee. However, if there are complicating factors to your claim, or you feel unable to navigate the process, expert advice will make a successful claim more likely.
Your claim will not be accepted by CICA unless you are able to provide all of the proof required. This includes evidence that you immediately reported the incident to the police, any insurance documentation you may have, and evidence from your doctor and other medical professionals about the extent of your injury and its cause. However, it is not necessary for the person who caused the injury to have been convicted in a court of law. This is because the burden of proof used by CICA is less stringent than that used in the criminal courts.
Applying for compensation involves filling in a standardised application form, which requires all of the proof mentioned above, along with testimony about the crime in question. Once this form has been received by CICA, they will make their own enquiries to establish the nature of your injuries and whether the incident qualifies for compensation. This may involve requests for further information, either from yourself or the medical professionals who treated you. If your claim is denied, you may be able to appeal that decision.
You may also be able to make a civil compensation claim at the same time as applying to CICA. You can do this, in certain circumstances, through the usual personal injury procedures and without having to prove any criminal intent on the part of the defendant. You will not lose anything by applying for compensation through both routes, although if you are successful in your civil claim, you will normally have to repay any CICA award you have gained.
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