Criminal Injury Compensation Claims Top Mistakes
Ever since the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and its predecessors were set up, interested parties have been making the same major mistakes when attempting to make a claim. Make sure you are able to access criminal injury compensation by avoiding these most common pitfalls:
1. Not Reporting The Crime
The initial mistake made by many people is not to report the criminal act in the first place. It may sound obvious, but if you don’t report what happened, it is very unlikely that you will be able to claim later on. CICA would be open to fraud if they were not strict about requiring proof in the form of police reports, and it is usually not a defence to argue that you thought the offence to be too minor to bother with. If you suffer an act of criminal violence, report it!
2. Not Cooperating With The Police
Once you have reported the crime, make sure that you cooperate with the police in any way that is required. If they ask you for further details, or for participation in an event such as an identification parade, make sure that you get involved. CICA is unlikely to be impressed with any evidence that you did not make every effort to assist the police as they searched for the perpetrator of the crime for which you are seeking compensation.
3. Not Declaring Involvement With The Crime
Criminal injury compensation is not usually available to those people who have contributed to the damage they have suffered. In other words, if you were somehow involved with the crime of which you are complaining, you will not be eligible. This can include circumstances in which you were assaulted having started a confrontation, or in which you suffered criminal violence whilst performing a criminal act yourself. Many people don’t mention these kind of situations when making an application, which can lead to serious consequences.
4. Missing Time Limits
Since CICA claims are often made following the success or failure of ordinary negligence claims, many people find themselves missing the statutory time limits imposed on criminal injury compensation. If you are approaching the main two year limit, then consider making an application even if other proceedings are still going on. Similarly, don’t forget that in order to apply for a review of any CICA decision, you need to be within the strict ninety day limit for doing so.
5. Not Cooperating With CICA
A surprising number of claimants simply do not cooperate with CICA’s procedures. You may be required to undergo an independent medical examination, or to fill in more paperwork in order to provide additional details of the crime and your injury. Suffice to say that if you ignore these extra steps, you will not be getting any money for the injury you suffered. Make sure that you do everything necessary, and don’t become one of the many people each year who find themselves making some or all of these easily avoidable mistakes.
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