Who can you call to get help with your CICA claim?
The CICA do have a helpline which is 0300 003 3601. However it’s not very helpful, as there is usually a 15 to 20 minute wait to talk to anyone. If you do get to speak to someone, they are good at confirming whether an injury is eligible for compensation. They are not great at letting you know what is happening with your case. Very often the CICA helpline will say they are waiting for a piece of information, or waiting for your case to be allocated. They will not say how long they anticipate your case will take, or what compensation you are likely to receive. CICA complaints can be made but are often difficult due to their strict guidelines.
Can a solicitor help with a CICA claim?
Solicitors, who specialise in Criminal Injuries Compensation Advice, will be able to help you, and usually much quicker than the CICA will. You should be able to speak to a solicitor without having to wait 15 to 20 minutes on the phone, and their advice is built up over years of experience dealing with the CICA. They should be able to tell you straight away if a claim is worth pursuing and will often give an indication of the amount of compensation you could receive. An experienced solicitor will also provide a decent estimate of how long the case will take, and reasons why your particular claim will be a quicker claim, or a longer one.
Will there be a charge for initial help?
Solicitors do not usually make any charge for initially assessing a claim. At Winston Solicitors, there is no charge for an initial enquiry, and if we take a case on at the start of the CICA process, we will do so on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. That means there will be no legal costs unless you are successful, when legal costs will be 25% of the compensation awarded, with you receiving 75%.
Will a Solicitor help with an existing CICA Claim?
Some solicitors will, some won’t and it often depends on the circumstances of the claim. What most should do is provide an initial indication of whether it’s a case they believe is suitable for their involvement. At Winston Solicitors, we have been helping CICA clients since 1995, so have a wealth of knowledge that enables us to quickly assess a claim at any stage of the process.
Do Winston Solicitors make a charge for assessing existing CICA claims?
There is never a charge for initial advice by telephone. Where we can provide helpful advice in that conversation there is no charge. If we need to read over a file which may consist of 100 or more pages, especially where medical notes are involved, there may be a charge. This is discussed on an individual basis. Once we have seen the papers and provided an initial assessment, we will confirm if the case is suitable for a ‘no win no fee agreement’.