Our 5 tips for criminal injuries compensation claims will help you to see if you are eligible, make a successful application and maximise compensation for the criminal injuries you have suffered.
Don’t claim criminal injuries compensation if you are not eligible
It might seem obvious, but many people apply because they feel they deserve compensation, when they have not considered the rules the CICA apply. If you apply without checking first, you may end up waiting a year to only receive a rejection.
Here are some of the most common reasons the CICA reject a claim:
- You did not report the assault to the police within a reasonable timescale.
- You are not considered a blameless victim because you were arguing with your attacker before the assault happened.
- Your injuries are not sufficiently serious to be eligible for a criminal injuries award.
- You take more than 2 years to commence your CICA claim.
How to submit a claim for criminal injuries compensation
Once you have checked you are eligible, make sure you carefully prepare your CICA application. As the CICA will always obtain the police report, you only need to put the briefest details of the assault in the application form. What you should focus on instead are your eligible criminal injuries and how they affect you. In fact because the CICA have limited resources they do not investigate your injuries unless you explicitly state them on your application form.
How to maximise criminal injuries compensation
The CICA want to pay you as little compensation as possible. One way they do this, is they say your injuries cannot have been so bad because you stopped seeing your doctor. Don’t suffer in silence, keep going to your doctor until your injuries are fully healed, that way it is harder for the CICA to say you have recovered, until you really have. See our CICA calculator for a guide to what you could expect.
How to speed up your criminal injuries claim
Criminal injuries compensation claims are often delayed because the CICA are not aware of how you are recovering. Keep them updated, so that they are aware of your injuries and what if any treatment you may be receiving. Otherwise at a point in time, when they guess your injuries have settled, they will ask to see your medical notes. This could be six months after your injuries have settled, so you are waiting unnecessarily.
Do I need to use a solicitor to claim criminal injuries compensation?
The way to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to is to be pro active with your claim. Most people will thankfully only suffer a criminal attack once, so they will not have the experience to get the most out of the CICA. A good solicitor should be handling criminal injury cases on a daily basis, and be in regular contact with the CICA. They will be able to tell you when it’s right to try and finalise your claim, and of course how much compensation you should receive. The CICA would prefer you to be unrepresented as they can control the timescale and how much they are willing to pay you.