What Is The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?

by allan46 on February 23, 2011

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a fund which has been set up by the government to provide compensation to those who have suffered personal injury as a result of an assault or other violent offence that has been committed against them. Getting compensation from the scheme does not depend on someone being convicted of a criminal offence. It means that people who are attacked may still be entitled to compensation even if their attacker is never caught and charged or if they are charged but are found not-guilty.

The fund is controlled by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, a government organisation that is responsible for processing claims for compensation and deciding how much compensation should be awarded in each case.

What happens once a claim is made?
Once a claim is made, the Criminal Injuries Compensation authority takes charge of the case. Initially they will contact the police and obtain copies of police reports to check that the incident was properly recorded. Once it has seen the police reports they will make a decision on whether or not they believe that the applicant is eligible for compensation.

Reasons for deciding that the applicant is not eligible can include the fact that the applicant was to blame for the incident or for the injuries they sustained or that the applicant failed to co-operate with the police. If the applicant didn’t report the incident at the time and there is no police record, they will be unlikely to be eligible for compensation. Once the authority has decided to investigate a case further it will look into witness statements and hospital records.

It can take the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority a long time to investigate claims and most cases will take around a year to complete. In some very complex cases it could take even longer for a final decision to be reached.

What compensation is awarded?
The amount of compensation which will be awarded depends on the types of injuries sustained and any financial loss which you have suffered as a result of those injuries. Financial loss can include; lost earnings due to time being off work, medical bills and expenses and the cost of providing special equipment to help rehabilitate you after your injury.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation authority has a minimum award of £1000 and if the injury and financial loss are worth less than this, the applicant will not receive any compensation. The maximum award which the tribunal can make is £500,000.

What happens if I disagree with a decision about compensation?
It is possible to appeal against a decision not to award compensation or to limit the amount of compensation awarded. When a decision is appealed, the authority will first arrange for a review. This means that someone who was not connected with the original decision will consider the evidence and the paperwork and will determine whether the original decision was correct in the circumstances. If the review results in the same outcome as the original decision, it is possible to take the case to an independent tribunal called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel.

 

I am a legal writer covering advice on topics of law, for further text and similar works visit personal injury or contact a solicitor today.For more legal advice and information, and for free legal resources I suggest you visit lawontheweb.co.uk.
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