If you have been the victim of a violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales then it is possible for you to seek redress through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which is a Government scheme set up to provide compensation to blameless victims.
There is generally a strict time limit of 2 years from the date of the assault, or if the assault happened in childhood, by your 20th birthday.
However, in cases of sexual violence, the CICA can use its discretion to disapply the time limit in circumstances where it has not been possible to come forward before.
The compensation awarded by the CICA is on a tariff basis, depending on the amount of physical and psychological injury, and is generally less than you would expect from a civil claim.
However, in cases where it is not possible to trace the perpetrator or if the perpetrator has no assets to meet a claim, it is a way that you can be compensated. If you go on to sue the perpetrator any award made by the CICA would be deducted from ay later award in damages.
If we satisfy the criteria for an award of compensation from the CICA, there is a set tariff of awards that are available depending on the type of injuries you have sustained.
Below are some examples of some awards available under the Scheme:
Unfortunately there are no specific timescales that apply to a CICA claim. However, they aim to make a decision on most claim applications within 12-18 months. For cases that are more complex that involve large settlements, it can take much longer.
The usual process is that a final decision cannot be made on a claim until treatment is completed, whether that is for a physical or psychological injury. For claims that involve ongoing or long-term treatment it is possible to request that the CICA make an interim payment.
The CICA aims to process applications involving sexual assault with within 8 weeks, if the applicant is happy for the application to be considered using the police evidence only.
This option is more appropriate for applicants who have not suffered psychologically as a result of the sexual assault, as this is not fully documented in police evidence.
For sexual assault claims with a psychological injury, which has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, the application process remains the same for other injuries; this allows the CICA to obtain the medical evidence required in support of this.
As of 13 June 2019, Ministers have formally abolished the archaic “same roof” rule which, until now, prevented victims of non-recent abuse suffered at the hands of someone living under the same roof as the victim claiming for compensation if they lived with their attacker pre – 1979.
If you were subject to abuse prior to 1979 (but after 1964) and shared the same home at the time with your abuser, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation for your suffering.
Claims can be made in relation to mental or physical injury and/or sexual or physical abuse providing eligibility requirements are satisfied.
Our team of experienced abuse lawyers have extensive experience in submitting CICA claims, which we can submit online in order to expedite the process.
If you have been the victim of a violent crime, including crimes of sexual violence and would like to discuss making a claim through the CICA, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you on your rights and whether you may be able to make a claim.
We pride ourselves on our understanding and sensitivity with our clients but also our tenacity with opponents when pursuing cases. Our aim is to seek redress for people who have suffered abuse, be that financial compensation, or organising treatment or therapy in order to help people seek closure.
In cases made through the CICA we are happy to discuss with you the most appropriate way of helping you make your claim.