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Are You Eligible for Compensation?

By: Robin Mizell - Updated: 22 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Compensation Crime Victim Violent Crime

There are several means of obtaining compensation for injuries or losses suffered in an accident or a violent crime. However injured parties are barred from receiving duplicate or redundant compensation from public funds for the same set of circumstances.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) administers monetary compensation to victims of violent crime. If you have been paid for damages resulting from an injury incurred because of a violent crime, the amount you received will be deducted from any compensation for which you might be eligible through CICA.

To qualify, the injury must be the direct result of a violent crime that occurred in Great Britain, and the crime must have been reported to the police.

A qualifying injury can be physical or mental. A death resulting from a violent crime is also covered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

CICA does not define the applicable crimes of violence. The agency evaluates each claim application on its individual merits. Coverage for victims may extend to circumstances and crimes not normally thought of as violent. Contact CICA or your Citizens’ Advice Bureau for guidance.

The person who committed the violent crime need not be caught or convicted, but the crime must have been reported to the police. If the injured party or the person applying for compensation participated in the crime, failed to cooperate during the police investigation or criminal prosecution, or was convicted of a related crime, the person may be determined ineligible or only partially eligible for compensation.

To apply for compensation, you must submit a completed CICA claim form, which requires the crime reference number and the name of the police officer to whom the crime was reported. A solicitor can help with the paperwork, if necessary. With few exceptions, the CICA claim form and supporting documents must be submitted within two years of the qualifying injury.

Immediate family members or life partners of crime victims can also submit claim applications. Compensation awards are capped at a fixed amount, and they include the costs of medical care, wages lost after more than 28 weeks off the job, pain, and suffering. In the case of a death, if more than one claimant is awarded compensation, the amounts of the awards are reduced. Claims submitted to CICA can take as long as a year to process.

Compensation funds for victims of violent intentional crimes that occur in Ireland are administered by the Compensation Agency of the Minister of State for Northern Ireland in Belfast.

Court-Awarded Compensation in Criminal Cases

If an offender is convicted of a crime, the court may order the guilty party to pay the crime victim or the victim’s dependents compensation for a death, injury, losses, or damages resulting from the incident. To obtain this type of compensation, you must provide the police with the necessary details on the proper form along with relevant supporting documentation, such as medical records and receipts. The police will forward the documents through the Crown Prosecution Service to the court.

If the court orders the offender to pay compensation, the amount will be paid directly to the court, either in full or in installments. The court will record the payment and then forward the amount to you.

Civil Damages

A criminal case is irrelevant to a suit for damages filed in a civil court. The two types of cases can be filed simultaneously. Your Citizens Advice Bureau or your solicitor can provide more information about filing a civil claim.

Motor Insurers’ Bureau Compensation

If you incur an injury, losses, or property damage as the result of a motor vehicle accident, an insurance company will usually issue compensation. If the driver at fault in the accident is uninsured, you may be able to obtain compensation from the Motor Insurers' Bureau. For more information, contact the Road Safety Division of the Department of the Environment, Transport, and the Regions.

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