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The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a Government funded scheme that allows blameless victims of violent crime to recover a financial award of compensation for injury and financial loss.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority ("CICA") considers claims for compensation for personal injury, loss of earnings and special expenses. Generally speaking, an application has to be made within two years of sustaining injury.
It is still possible to get an award even if the person who injured you is not prosecuted. Although there is no legal definition of the term "a crime of violence", it usually involves a physical attack.
The scheme is intended to compensate blameless victims of crime. Before making an award, the CICA checks that the applicant's behaviour did not contribute to the incident giving rise to the injuries.
The CICA also takes into account the applicant's criminal record, if he or she has one. This may mean that they can refuse a claim, or offer a reduced amount of compensation.
The CICA takes into account the applicant's behaviour before, during or after an incident where he or she was injured. They are likely to reduce or refuse a claim if the applicant willingly took part in a fight, was acting in an aggressive or threatening way and provoked the incident in which he or she was injured, or where there was a history of assaults or fighting between the assailant and the victim.
Under the scheme, each type of injury is given a value. The awards are generally recognised as inadequate. They can never fully compensate for all the injuries suffered, but they are recognition of public sympathy for a blameless victim.
Where a victim of a crime of violence suffers both a physical and a mental injury, and the tariff amount for the physical injury is higher than that for the mental injury, the applicant will be entitled only to the tariff amount for the physical injury. When a person suffers both a physical and a mental injury, and the tariff amount for the mental injury is the same as or higher than that for the physical injury, the applicant will be entitled to awards for the separate injuries. The general rule where there are two separate injuries is that the applicant will recover the tariff amount for the highest-rated description of injury, plus 30% of the tariff amount for the second highest-rated description of injury.
If you would like assistance in pursing a claim, we can represent you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.