If you are able to prove that you are eligible to receive money under the Criminal Injuries Compensation programme, you will still need to work out exactly how much you are likely to be awarded. This can be done by downloading the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 from the Ministry of Justice website. Be sure that you have the most up to date version, as the recent sweeping changes to the scheme have changed the amounts awarded.
Tariff Of Injuries
The first part of the scheme to consult is the ‘tariff of injuries’, which lists a whole range of potential injuries to all parts of the body. You will need to ascertain which heading most closely resembles the damage you have suffered, and then choose the appropriate bracket of severity. For example, if the criminal assault which has been inflicted on you has resulted in a degree of loss to your sense of smell or taste, you simply need to consult that part of the tariff. The injuries listed there range from a partial loss of either smell or taste (which attracts around £3,500 in compensation) to a complete loss of both taste and smell (which attracts up to £16,500). Essentially, this exercise is similar to the one which lawyers undertake in personal injury cases to decide the ‘general damages’ due in negligence.
The scheme is specific about the procedure which will be undertaken when deciding compensation for multiple injuries. CICA will not compensate victims for more than three injuries, and apply a reducing scale when doing so. The first, most major injury will be granted 100% of the compensation dictated by the tariff of injuries. The second, however, will only be granted 30% of the usual compensation, whilst the third will only gain 15% of the normal damages.
If an injury only occurs because the criminal act worsened an existing condition, compensation may be granted as long as the damage caused is considered to be over £1,000. If the injury suffered simply does not appear on the tariff at all, it must be referred to the Secretary of State for Justice by the responsible CICA officer, and a decision will be made as to whether it will attract compensation or not.
As in tort, compensation for the injury itself is only part of the possible monetary award. CICA will also consider ‘special payments’ for some forms of damage, such as loss of earnings or the cost of medical treatment. These are subject to a number of specific conditions, however, and are not as easily obtained as in normal personal injury actions. Compensation due to loss of earnings, for example, can only be granted if the loss is a direct result of the injury suffered, if the victim was in work for three years before the injury or had a good reason for not being in work, and if the victim remains unable to work in anything but a very limited capacity.