Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Claims in Devon and Somerset
Victims of criminal injury in Devon and Somerset are entitled to claim compensation from the Government under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995. Claims are dealt with by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which was set up to compensate blameless victims of violent crime. The Scheme is for people injured in England, Scotland and Wales. Payments are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries and in certain circumstances additional payments for losses such as earnings, care, prescriptions, aids and equipment, can be made.
We deal with CICA claims for people throughout the West Country, including Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Dorset and Avon. We operate a free legal helpline and will be able to quickly tell you if you have a claim that can be pursued.
We encourage people to deal with CICA claims themselves where the case is straightforward and specialist legal advice is not required; this way people avoid incurring legal costs where they aren’t necessary and our CICA lawyers can concentrate on the more complex cases where specialist knowledge is needed. A quick call to our free legal helpline is all that’s required and we can tell you if it’s a claim we can assist you with or something that you can handle yourself should you wish to do so.
To be eligible to apply for compensation under the CICA scheme you must:-
- have been injured seriously enough to qualify for the minimum award of £1,000;
- be a blameless victim of a crime of violence - though it is not necessary for the offender to have been convicted or charged with the crime;
- have reported the incident to the police and fully co-operated with their investigation;
- have made your application for CICA compensation within two years of the incident occurring. In the case of a child, the claim must be made before they turn 20. In exceptional circumstances the Authority may waive the 2 year time limit.
You may receive a CICA Compensation payment if you:-
- sustained an injury while taking an exceptional and justified risk, trying to remedy or prevent a crime;
- sustained a mental injury as a result of witnessing or being involved in the immediate aftermath of an incident in which a loved one was injured;
- are a qualifying relative of a victim who has died from injuries caused by a crime of violence.
An award of compensation from the CICA can be refused or reduced on grounds of:-
- your conduct before, during or after the incident in which you were injured;
- any criminal record that you might have;
- failure to co-operate with the police;
- delay in informing the police.
Whilst you do not have to use a solicitor to make a CICA claim, we can provide expert legal advice and ensure you receive the maximum award possible for your injuries. This is particularly important in sexual abuse cases (an area in which we have particular experience) as the applicant could be entitled to substantially more than the basic award by ensuring a proper application of the tariff.
If psychological injuries are suffered, a victim should particularly seek specialist legal advice with their claim. We have gained the maximum award (£500,000) for a victim of sexual abuse and can therefore ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries.
There are many occasions where professional legal representation from a West Country based personal injury solicitor is desirable and in these situations we can deal with cases on a no win – no fee basis. This means that our fees are paid from your compensation on a percentage basis. The percentage deduction that we charge is capped at 25% including VAT. We make no charge at all if the claim is unsuccessful.
We normally encourage our clients to deal with claims themselves where the injury is relatively minor and the circumstances straightforward. If you go to the CICA’s site at www.cica.gov.uk then you can make a claim online.
To find out more about using our local services in Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Dorset and Avon for a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) claim contact us now for a chat without charge or obligation.