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Criminal Injuries

Unfortunately it is becoming more and more common to hear about victims of violent crime.  Your willingness to assist or the fact that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, can lead to life changing physical or mental injuries.   You may have been the victim of an unprovoked assault by a stranger or even someone you know.

Whilst in the ordinary course of events, if you sustained such injuries in an accident at work or in a road traffic accident, you would be entitled to recover compensation from the insurers on behalf of the wrong doer.  However, what can you do if you have been the victim of a criminal injury?  What is the point of pursuing a claim against the perpetrator, when they will not have insurance for such claims and they do not have any means of paying you compensation?

Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the Government.  A criminal injury is defined as one or more personal injuries sustained in Great Britain as a result of and directly caused by : –

  • A crime of violence including unprovoked assault, rape, attempted rape, arson, fire-raising or poisoning;
  • An offence of trespass to the train or train tracks you are travelling on;
  • The apprehension or attempted apprehension of an offender or suspected offender or helping police engaged in such activity.

You must submit your application under the scheme, within two years of the incident unless there are exceptional circumstances for not doing so.

The award is not guaranteed and is based on a tariff system, such that you are unlikely to receive the same amount of compensation you could have received, if there had been an insurance policy against which you could claim.  There is a set amount of money paid for each injury claimed and you will be entitled to claim additional compensation, on a reduced basis, for the second and subsequent injuries.

An award can be refused or reduced if there is evidence to suggest that you did not assist the police in apprehending the assailant or if you have a criminal conviction.

Legal costs are not recoverable from the Government under the scheme.  We can act for you under the terms of a Damaged Based Agreement.  This means if your claim is unsuccessful, we will not be paid.  If your claim is successful, we ask you to pay our legal fees by deducting a sum equal to 25% (including VAT) of the award made to you.

If you have been injured in the circumstances referred to above you should immediately report the matter to the police and co-operate with them as much as possible.  You should contact within two years of the incident but the sooner the better and you should seek medical help to ensure your injuries are recorded.

Andrew Eagle
Steven Mather
Sheila Valand
Peter Millward
Vickki Ridgway
Brett Koenig
Joe Matharu
Trainee Solicitor
Ed Liddell
Trainee Solicitor
Market Harborough