How To Sue For A Criminal Injury

By Stephen Chambers. Last Updated 30th May 2024. In this guide, we’ll look at how you can sue for a criminal injury. If you were a victim of a crime that resulted in you being harmed, you could be eligible to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). 

You may already know that there are some injuries that you can claim for, including ones sustained in road traffic accidents or where your employer’s negligence has led to you being injured. However, you may not realise that you can claim.

Handcuffs and a gavel on a desk

You can be injured as a result of a criminal attack in a number of different ways. For instance, a criminal attack could cause broken bones, head injuries and damage to teeth. Some injuries, like a broken cheekbone, could cause scarring and disfigurement that could impact your quality of life for years to come.

Alternatively, you might be psychologically injured as a result of an attack. For example, you might suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of an attack.

How To Sue For A Criminal Injury

Although we’ve tried to cover lots of information, we understand if you have questions after reading. If so, our advisors are available 24/7 to provide you with free legal advice on the claims process. 

For more information, call our team on 0800 408 7827 or using our website. Alternatively, continue reading for further details on making a criminal injury claim. 

About Suing For A Criminal Injury

  1. A Guide On How to Sue For A Criminal Injury
  2. What Is A Lawsuit For A Criminal Injury?
  3. What Criminal Injuries Could I Claim Compensation For?
  4. How Do You Claim Through The CICA?
  5. What Evidence Do I Need To Sue For A Criminal Injury?
  6. Do I Need A Medical Assessment Of My Criminal Injuries?
  7. Work Out How Much You Could Sue For After A Criminal Injury
  8. How Will The CICA Determine Your Settlement And Make An Offer?
  9. Do I Need A Solicitor To Claim Via The CICA?
  10. How To Sue For A Criminal Injury With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  11. Resources

A Guide On How to Sue For A Criminal Injury

Have you been the victim of a physical or mental injury as a result of a criminal attack? If so, you may have grounds to claim. Our guide will be taking a detailed look into how to do this. 

We’ll be looking at what qualifies as a crime of violence, as well as specific examples of crimes and injuries you may be looking to claim for. Furthermore, without using a criminal injuries compensation calculator, we’ll provide an idea of how much compensation you can claim for specific injuries. 

Additionally, we’ll explore how you can make a claim. For example, the different avenues you can proceed with and whether your case qualifies as a direct personal injury claim or a criminal injury claim. Generally, criminal injuries are made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), but can be made against the person who committed the crime directly.   

What Is The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?

The CICA is a government-sponsored executive organisation. They deal with claims from people who have been injured because as a result of a violent crime. This injury can be physical or mental. The CICA handle claims from people who reside in England, Scotland, and Wales.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 sets out guidelines on compensating victims for their injuries. It includes a tariff of injuries that outlines compensation amounts for different injuries. 

What Is A Lawsuit For A Criminal Injury?

A criminal injury is one that comes about as a result of a crime of violence. A crime of violence is outlined in Annex B of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Scheme

Below, we’ve included some examples of incidents that could result in criminal injuries:

Additionally, you could claim even if you weren’t physically affected by the incident. For example, if a crime of violence occurred that caused psychological injury but that didn’t leave you physically injured, you may be able to claim. 

If you’ve experienced any of these incidents or some other similar unprovoked attack, we want to help you claim compensation for the criminal injury you’ve endured. For further information on the injuries you could claim, see below. 

What Criminal Injuries Could I Claim Compensation For?

As we’ve established, there are a few acts that could be classed as violent crimes. These could cause physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, breaks, burns or disabilities, e.g. paralysis or brain damage. They could also lead to psychological injuries such as depression, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder or panic attacks. 

The compensation you can claim is based on figures from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, which includes a tariff of injuries. This covers the pain and suffering for the injuries, physical and psychological. 

However, you may be able to claim special expenses as well. This might include:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Cost of care
  • Home adaptations such as ramps and stairlifts 
  • Physical aids such as wheelchairs or walking sticks
  • Counselling 

However, the CICA scheme will only pay special expenses if you cannot access these things elsewhere for free, e.g. if you could get counselling through the NHS. In order to claim special expenses, you need to show that you were unable to work for 28 weeks after the accident. Your special expenses will be backdated to the date of the accident. 

Furthermore, for loss of earnings you need to have a total inability to undertake paid work or very limited capacity to work, e.g. not capable of working more than a few hours a week. This needs to have lasted for 28 weeks after the accident, and you won’t be compensated for the first 28 weeks. 

Can you claim for more than one criminal injury?

You can claim for multiple physical injuries only if they are each so serious they qualify for compensation individually. You would get the tariff amount for the highest valued injury, 30% of the tariff amount for the second-highest valued injury and 15% of the tariff amount for the lowest valued injury.

The CICA won’t pay compensation for more than 3 injuries. However, you may be able to claim on a separate tariff for things like becoming pregnant or losing a foetus as a result of the attack. For more free legal advice on claiming for multiple injuries, contact our team. 

How Do You Claim Through The CICA?

You can follow a few different avenues if you want to claim for a criminal injury, depending on a number of different factors. The first of these is making a claim directly against the person who attacked you. 

In order to do this, you’d need to know who the person is who attacked you. They would also need to have the funds to pay you your compensation directly.

The CICA is in place for when you can’t claim against the person responsible. It allows you to still be compensated for the criminal injury you’ve suffered.  

It’s important to note that applications to the CICA should be used as a last resort. This is because the compensation you receive in a claim through the CICA will often be less than what you could receive in a claim made against the person who injured you directly. 

However, you can claim against the CICA if you do not know who the perpetrator was who injured you. In order for you to do so, they won’t need to have been convicted, arrested or even identified. However, it’s essential that the incident was reported to the police. This should have been done as soon as possible after the incident occurred.

Time Limit For Criminal Injury Claims

There is generally a two-year time limit for starting a criminal injury claim through the CICA. This usually starts from the date the incident took place. However, exceptions to this two-year time frame could be made if you can prove that exceptional circumstances prevented you from starting your claim within this time.

If you were under 18 when the incident that injured you happened, and the incident was reported to the police, but no claim was made at the time, then you will usually have two years to claim from the day of your 18th birthday. This time limit for claiming criminal injury compensation can change if exceptional circumstances apply.

If an incident that happened before you were 18 was not reported until after you reached that age, then you may have two years to claim from the date it was reported to the police. However, you will need to prove that exceptional circumstances prevented you from making this report sooner.

For more advice on how to sue for a criminal injury and whether you’re eligible to start a CICA claim, contact our advisors for free today.

What Evidence Do I Need To Sue For A Criminal Injury?

In order to make a CICA claim, you’ll need various types of evidence to help support your claim. For example, confirmation from the police that:

  • You reported the incident within a reasonable time after it happened
  • Your behaviour didn’t contribute to the incident
  • You cooperated with them

Additionally, they may ask for the following evidence:

  • CCTV footage
  • Witness statements
  • Pictures of the accident
  • Records of the accident in an accident book if it happened in a public place or workplace

If you’re claiming for any lost earnings or special expenses, you’ll need to provide further evidence of these. This might include receipts and invoices for the cost of care, physical aids, and home adaptations for special expenses. You’ll also need to demonstrate that these aren’t available elsewhere for free. 

For lost earnings, this might include payslips, a P60 and proof that you were in employment at the time of the incident. In addition to this, you need to show you have an established work history (or a good reason for not working, like being a carer or in full-time education) covering the past three years. 

Do I Need A Medical Assessment Of My Criminal Injuries?

The CICA does require medical evidence that shows you suffered an injury and the details of the injury you suffered. This is so they can determine how much compensation to pay you and that your injuries are consistent with the incident in question. 

For this reason, a medical assessment will usually be arranged as part of your claim. Here, an independent expert will assess your injuries and compile a report about how the incident has affected you. This report will be used to value your claim. 

It’s also a good idea to seek medical attention after you’re injured in a violent crime. This is important because you might not realise that you’ve been injured; for instance, you could be suffering a head injury that you’re not immediately aware of. Furthermore, these medical records could support your claim if you decide to sue for a criminal injury.

Work Out How Much You Could Sue For After A Criminal Injury

Some websites choose to include a criminal injury compensation calculator to illustrate the potential value of your claim. However, we have chosen to include a compensation table to provide an idea of what you could be awarded if you were physically or mentally injured as the result of a violent crime. 

We have taken figures from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, which includes a tariff of injuries. It outlines a figure of compensation for specific injuries of varying severities. 

The table doesn’t include figures for special expenses as these will vary on a case to case basis. 

InjuryDescriptionAward
Multiple Severe Injuries and Special Expenses Compensation for suffering multiple severe injuries and their special expenses. Up to £550,000
BurnsBurns to various areas of body covering over 25% of total skin£33,000
Mental injuryThat lasts for 6 weeks or more up to 28 weeks£1,000
Mental injuryThat lasts for 28 weeks or more up to 2 years£2,400
Mental injuryThat lasts for 2 years or more up to 5 years£6,200
Mental injuryThat lasts 5 years or more but not permanently £13,500
ScarringWhere the head is significantly disfigured £1,500
ScarringWhere the face is significantly disfigured £2,400
ScarringWhere the neck is significantly disfigured £1,500
FaceWhere your jaw has dislocated, leading to significant disability. £3,500

For more information on what your claim could be worth, contact our team. An advisor will be happy to provide further details. 

How Will The CICA Determine Your Settlement And Make An Offer?

The CICA will decide how much compensation they’ll award you by sending an offer for you to either accept or dispute. If you are happy with the offer and want to accept it, you need to complete and return the acceptance form within 56 days of receiving it. If you fail to do this, no award will be made. 

However, if you’re not willing to accept the offer, you can put a request in writing for the CICA to review their decision. You have 56 days from the date of the original decision to do so and need to include evidence supporting your claim for a higher award. 

If you request a review, it’s important to note that the decision can change the compensation amount for the better, but you could also be offered a lower amount or be paid nothing at all. Alternatively, it could remain the same. 

While not a legal requirement, it may be helpful to have a solicitor representing you so they can advise you on anything you’re unsure of.

For more information on using a solicitor to sue for a criminal injury, see below. You can also get in touch with an advisor on our team for free, no-obligation legal advice. 

Do I Need A Solicitor To Claim Via The CICA?

Although you don’t need a solicitor to make any kind of claim you may find that their guidance and support could be useful when claiming through the CICA. The application to make a claim can be complex, and there are several requirements to meet.

Having a personal injury solicitor could help make the claims process easier. They can use their previous experience handling criminal injury cases to help make the claims process go more smoothly. 

A solicitor can also ensure you have the correct evidence to support your claim and advise on accepting an offer of compensation. They’ll also be able to tell you what to do if you want to dispute the offer. 

Additionally, a solicitor can ensure you get the maximum compensation payout relevant to your injuries. 

How To Sue For A Criminal Injury With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

We understand you may be apprehensive about having a solicitor work on your claim because of how much this can cost. However, our advisors can connect you with a solicitor to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. 

This means that if your solicitor doesn’t win, you won’t pay their fees. You also won’t be expected to make any upfront payments or to pay them as the claim progresses. 

If they do win, you’ll pay a success fee. However, this is legally capped and will be agreed upon with your solicitor from the start. 

For more information on how a No Win No Fee solicitor could help you claim, why not get in touch with our team today? If your claim has a good chance of success, you could be connected with a lawyer from our panel to work on this basis.

Please get in touch on the contact details below:

  •     Telephone number – 0800 408 7827
  •     Live chat at the bottom of the page
  •     Send us an enquiry, and we’ll get back to you

Criminal injury solicitor and client at a desk shake hands

Resources

Thank you for reading our guide on how to sue for a criminal injury. We hope you found it useful.