Criminal injuries claims

Being a victim of crime is a frightening experience and even worse if it results in an injury. Statistics show that the chances of you becoming a victim of crime are low but this is of little consolation if you are one of those statistics.

This is one of the most distressing experiences you can have and the consequences can be long lasting even permanent. A violent assault or attack causes physical and psychological trauma which impacts upon the lives of you and your family.

It is not uncommon for victims of a physical assault to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of this. This is a particular feature of victims of rape or sexual assault.

What is classed as ‘criminal injury?’

A criminal injury is defined as a physical or mental injury sustained as a result of a violent crime. A violent crime can refer to a stabbing, robbery, sexual assault such as rape, attempted murder and assault.

The effects of a criminal injury

If you suffer an injury as a result of a violent crime then this has a dramatic impact upon your health, mental wellbeing and day to day living.

It can result in you taking time off work which then leads to a loss of earnings. This drop in income means a reduction in your family’s income which can cause financial hardship.

If the attack is serious enough to force you to give up work then you and your family may be put in a position where you are unable to meet your financial obligations. This causes additional hardship and stress.

A sexual assault such as rape causes severe physical and mental distress which has life changing consequences. Many women report that they are unable to lead the same lives as they did previously and have become severely traumatised as a result of the assault.

If you have become injured due to a violent assault or attack then you may be entitled to compensation.

Making a claim for compensation for a criminal injury

Choose a personal injury lawyer, solicitor or claims management firm who have expertise in dealing with these types of claims.

But be aware that a personal injury claim as a result of violent crime is treated differently to any other compensation claim. It is not seen as a ‘no win no fee’case in the same way that many other claims are.

Trying to enforce a claim through the ‘no win no fee’process is almost impossible to do. The main reason for this is that the perpetrator of the violent act is unlikely to have the financial means to pay compensation.

One exception to this is if you have been a victim of assault at work. If a colleague has physically attacked you then you may have a claim if you can demonstrate that your employer failed to protect from this assault.

As you can imagine this is very difficult to prove which means that a ‘no win no fee’solicitor or lawyer will be reluctant to take this case on. A better route is to apply for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government organisation which was set up to provide compensation to victims of crime. It has a 2 year deadline for compensation claims and a sliding scale of costs that they will pay as compensation.

CICA and the claims process are discussed in more detail in our making a claim for compensation section.

A personal injury law firm will work in conjunction with you and CICA to ensure that you receive compensation appropriate to the type of injury you have suffered. They can provide help and advice on employment issues, social security benefits and the possibility of a civil lawsuit.

Personal Injury Guide

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