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Don’t Add Insult to Injury

May 21, 2019

Statistics show that the number of violent crimes have fallen over the years. However, latest surveys still show that there were in excess of 1 million incidents of violent crime in 2013/2014.

Most people will be familiar with the expression “victim of crime”, however fewer people will be aware that there is a government funded scheme designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain. It is society`s way of recognising that you have been a victim.

There have been a number of schemes over the years and the latest scheme came into force in November 2012. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) administer the scheme and decide all claims.

Personal injury can have a devastating effect on the person who has suffered injury through no fault of their own. This is highlighted by the many blameless victims of crimes of violence who suffer in silence, particularly victims of sexual abuse who often repress their experiences, sometimes for many years.

Although the amount of compensation varies under the scheme to reflect the seriousness of the injury, it is becoming increasingly difficult for victims to recover compensation from the Scheme which was designed to compensate them in the first place.

Although you do not need a solicitor to apply for compensation, given the strict eligibility criteria to qualify for an award, and the amount of award itself, it is now more important than ever to get the proper legal advice. A claim which I have just settled is a good example.

My client had been the victim of a nasty unprovoked assault. He had suffered a number of injuries, including a skull fracture and facial scarring. Following an application to the CICA my client was awarded £2400 for the scarring and additional damages for his other injuries.

In order to decide upon the level of compensation payable, the CICA try and match the type of injury that a person has suffered with the injury described in the tariff of injuries set out in the CICA scheme. Under the current scheme, scarring to the face resulting in minor disfigurement has been removed, but significant and serious scarring can still qualify for an award.

In the above example, my client had received an award, based on significant facial scarring. Given the degree of that scarring, a decision was made to review the decision of the CICA. Happily, following a review, the CICA agreed that my client`s injury represented a serious disfigurement and awarded him the amount of £11,000, which was a substantial increase from the previous award.

At Lamb Legal, we can assess whether you would qualify for a CICA award. If your claim is unsuccessful, for whatever reason, we will not charge you for any work that we have carried out on your behalf.

To find out if you have a criminal assault claim or would like any further advice about making a personal injury claim, please get in touch.