Can I claim compensation for domestic violence?
You may be able to claim compensation for injuries caused by domestic violence, but the criminal injuries compensation authority (CICA) do not make it straightforward, as the scheme requires the victim to prove they are both blameless and that your attacker cannot benefit from any compensation award.
The domestic violence CICA scheme
The 2012 criminal injuries compensation scheme sets out how to determine eligibility for compensation. Domestic violence is specifically referred to in the scheme, where compensation tariffs of between £2,000 and £8,200 are payable depending on the level of physical abuse suffered. There is also a separate section for abuse suffered by children.
Do I need help bringing a domestic violence claim?
Whilst the CICA make applying for compensation fairly easy, with domestic violence and abuse claims, they look very carefully at the circumstances surrounding the incident, and look at whether the incident was isolated or part of a series of incidents. They also consider when the incident is reported and how the victim has co operated. In other words, instead of being wholly sympathetic to the victim, they are looking at whether they are able to decline a claim.
Should I contact a CICA solicitor?
Although the application process to the CICA may appear fairly straight forward, it is often difficult for individuals to understand the reasoning behind the information the CICA require. An experienced CICA solicitor will ensure that you application is submitted in a way that maximises your chances of success. Our experts will be able to advise you from the outset whether your claim is likely to be successful.
Will I be offered a 'no win no fee' agreement?
Most CICA solicitors will offer a 'no win no fee' agreement if they believe your case will succeed. At Winston Solicitors, we offer this on domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse cases where legal costs of 25% of compensation are only paid on successful claims. This means you have no risk of legal costs unless you win, when the costs are paid out of compensation.
When asked by the police if you wish to press charges against your assailant, you must agree to do so to be able to claim compensation for your injuries. The CICA expect all applicants to act as far as reasonably practicable in bringing their assailant to justice, and therefore any reluctance to assist the police in securing a prosecution, may see your claim rejected by the CICA.
Absolutely not. We do not share your information with anyone else without your prior consent. As your compensation is paid by government funds, there is no reason why the assailant would be aware of your claim for compensation.
You may be able to. The burden of proof required by police and the Crown Prosecution Service is that they must show “beyond all reasonable doubt” that the assailant is guilty – sometimes this will lead the CPS being unable to charge if there are some discrepancies or a lack of evidence. The burden of proof the CICA require is much less and it is accepted “on balance of probability” that the crime took place, then you should be able to claim compensation.
Yes. So long as you have required medical treatment for the same. The CICA would require you to have a diagnosis from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist; if you don't have this yet but are receiving counselling or therapy, please call our specialist Criminal Injury Lawyers on 0113 320 5000 who will be able to advise you further. You can also use our Criminal Injuries Compensation Calculator to see how much your claim may be worth.