When should I claim compensation for my criminal injury?

Surprisingly this decision is very tactical, so should be discussed with a Solicitor as soon as you become aware of the criminal injury compensation scheme.

Should I wait for the outcome of the Court hearing before claiming compensation?

I often speak to victims of crime who wait until the court case is finished before claiming compensation. Whilst that may feel the right thing to do, you actually prejudice yourself by waiting. Firstly because the CICA do not deal with claims quicker simply because the person harming you has been convicted. Secondly because I speak to many people who having waited end up close to or even over the 2 year time limit for claiming. The CICA do not accept delay whilst waiting for the Court hearing as an acceptable reason and may reject your claim.

Are there reasons for delaying my claim for compensation?

Many victims do not realise previous criminal convictions affect their entitlement to claim. It is important to speak to a Criminal Injuries Solicitor to work out when best to make a claim. For example if you were fined 9 months ago (providing you have paid the fine), your conviction will not prevent you from claiming, once it is Spent. Fines usually are spent after 12 months, so after checking with a Solicitor, apply after the conviction is spent, otherwise not only is your claim rejected, you cannot at a later date reapply. It’s really unfair, but that’s how the current CICA scheme is drafted.

What happens if I have a life limiting illness and wish to make a claim for compensation?

Please speak to us, as I have been able to expedite such claims so that compensation is paid before the victim dies. Firstly this means the victim sees that compensation has been paid, and secondly it means the claim is not stopped, as the CICA do not need to pay compensation when the victim dies.

Do I need to co-operate with the police?

Yes, and that’s not simply giving an initial statement, it’s communicating with them throughout the case. I see cases rejected by the CICA because the police say the victim was uncooperative. Sometimes the reason for not cooperating is very understandable, you don’t manage to speak to the police or you simply forget to call them back. Or you may even be scared of cooperating as it might have repercussions for you or your family. Whilst all those reasons are genuine, the CICA will simply reject your claim for non-cooperation.

Are there other reasons that affect my entitlement to compensation?

Sometimes victims of crime commit crimes themselves after submitting their claim. If that happens the CICA are likely to reject their claim. Examples include bringing a claim for injuries suffered in a robbery, but having their claim rejected due to a subsequent drink drive offence. Quite rightly you say but the two are not related, so why should the CICA reject the genuine claim, unfortunately they can and always do as it saves the compensation fund money.

Please call us on 0113 320 5000 so that I can advise you on your eligibility to claim compensation and if you would like me to act for you, so that I devise the best way to do this, e.g. submitting a claim immediately, or where criminal convictions are relevant working out the appropriate date to submit a claim.

If you prefer to communicate by email, please email me on cica@winstonsolicitors.co.uk

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