I've been stabbed can I claim compensation?
You may be able to claim compensation for a stabbing injury, but the criminal injuries compensation authority (CICA) do not make it straightforward, as the stab wound itself is often not claimable, it's the injury it causes.
What injuries caused by a knife stabbing do the CICA pay compensation for?
Stab wounds usually leave scars. So a good solicitor should ask to see photos of your scars to see if you would be eligible. The scarring needs to be significant which means it is visible at conversation distance. We usually anticipate a scar of at least 2cm to the face will receive compensation.
Can I receive compensation for a stab wound to my body?
These are more difficult, as the CICA will not pay for puncture wounds only significant knife wounds. If the wound is to your body it normally needs to be 4cm or more.
What other injuries can you receive compensation for a knife stabbing?
Stabbings often cause tendon damage to arms and legs. Both of these injuries are eligible for compensation if they cause continuing significant difficulty. The CICA also pay compensation for a punctured lung and an organ that needs to be removed such as spleen or pancreas. Compensation is also payable when one or more organs are damaged and need repairing.
Is there anything I need to know about stabbing cases?
The CICA will only pay compensation to blameless victims of crime. They do not consider a victim to be blameless if they chase after someone and that person then turns on them with a knife. Nor do the CICA pay compensation to victims who have previous unspent criminal convictions. A good solicitor will check with you to make sure if you do have previous convictions they are spent when you apply for compensation. This may mean waiting a few weeks to lodge your claim to make sure it is spent.
How long do stabbing cases take?
The main delay with a stabbing case is the CPS deciding whether to prosecute. If they do, then the police report is not normally released until after the trial. This can delay your compensation by a number of months. However do not wait until the trial before making a claim, as you could end up being out of time, as you only have 2 years to bring your claim. Also by lodging your claim now, as soon as the police report is released your claim moves on to the next stage, which is obtaining medical evidence. After the medical evidence is obtained an offer of compensation is usually made.
The CICA offer awards between £1000 and £250,000 for injuries sustained as a result of a crime of violence. There is also an opportunity to claim up to an additional £250,000 in Loss of Earnings and Special Expenses, funeral expenses and Child Dependency payments. Use our Criminal Injuries Compensation Calculator to see how much your claim may be worth.
The CICA require evidence to show that on “balance of probability” you have been the innocent victim of a crime of violence; therefore so long as the police were satisfied that you were the innocent victim of a crime of violence, this should be sufficient for the CICA to consider your application.
This will depend on the circumstances of your injury; however, as a general rule; you have 2 years from the date of the incident to submit an application*. If you are under the age of 18 (or were under the age of 18) when the matter was reported to the police, then you have 2 years from the date of your 18th Birthday. If the criminal injury occurred whilst you were under the age of 18, but the matter was reported to the police as an adult, you have two years from the date the matter was reported to the police.
*There are exceptional circumstances where these time limits can be waived.