05 January 2023

If you have been the victim of a violent crime or abuse, then you may be able to claim compensation through a government funded scheme, managed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, commonly referred to as the “CICA”.

We have successfully assisted many people with CICA claims, including those who have been assaulted, sexually abused, psychologically injured due to a terrorist attack, abused in their own home or have had to suffer a loved one being murdered.

In many cases, the injured person will not pay anything to Battens until their claim has been resolved, at which point an agreed percentage of their compensation award will be retained in settlement of their legal fees for pursuing their claim. If their claim is unsuccessful and no award is made, then the injured person will pay nothing.

How a CICA claim can be made.

  • The claimant must have been directly injured due to a crime of violence committed in Great Britain. Other “relevant places” defined in the CICA scheme may also qualify for a claim to be made.
  • The injured person must usually have been resident in the UK on the date of the incident.
  • The incident must have been reported to the police as soon as reasonably practicable after it occurred. The injured person must then have co-operated in bringing the person who injured them to justice (although they do not necessarily have to identify them).
  • The claim must have been made as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so, or within 2 years of the date on which the incident was committed. A claim does not need to await the outcome of any criminal proceedings and a conviction is not a prerequisite for compensation to be paid. This time limit will only be extended in exceptional circumstances. If the injured person was a child at the time of the incident, then special provisions may also apply.

If the injured person has any criminal convictions, then this may result in a reduced award, or the compensation being withheld, even if they meet the relevant criteria for a claim.

Loss of earnings and “special expenses” (including costs of treatment, care, special equipment etc) may also be considered. To be eligible, the claimant must be unfit for paid work for a period exceeding 28 weeks. Claims for these payments are not always successful, despite losses incurred.

If the claim is made on behalf of someone who has lost a close relative because of a violent crime, then the award will be for bereavement and dependency payments which have different eligibility criteria.

Unfortunately awards made by the CICA are not as much as compensation payments made by insurers in other types of personal injury case.

It is of course possible to make both a CICA claim, and a civil personal injury claim if it is thought that the person who injured them may have the means or assets to compensate them personally. However, if a CICA claim is successfully pursued, then that award will have to be repaid to the CICA if a civil claim is successful and compensation is received that way, to ensure that the injured person is not compensated twice. We are greatly experienced in pursuing and advising clients on running CICA and civil claims in tandem with each other to ensure that they can access the maximum amount of compensation possible for what they have been through.

For assistance with personal injury claims, please contact Kate Golding, Head of Battens Personal Injury Team. Tel 01935 846072 or email