There are few more frightening and upsetting experiences than being the victim of an assault or abuse. A person’s life can be changed in an instant and the consequences be permanent. And while justice may be served on the attacker via criminal charges and conviction, sentencing can be lenient and a victim might feel rather let down by the system. This blog post looks at how victims who have suffered criminal injuries can repair some of the damage.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The CICA was established to ensure that victims of crime are compensated for their injuries, both physical and psychological. Money cannot stop a victim from remembering the event, but it can be an effective way of helping a victim feel supported: that the focus is not just on rehabilitating an offender, but also on ensuring the victim gets back on their feet.
Amazingly, many victims of crime do not even know the CICA exists. It does not advertise itself as a compensation scheme for victims, meaning some claims are never made because the victim did not know it was available.
How Does it Work?
The process of claiming is fairly simple:
The incident must have been reported to the police in the last two years, unless there is a special circumstance which prevented the victim from bringing the claim within that time. (This often happens in historic abuse claims.)
A claim form is completed and sent to the CICA, where a file will be opened and an investigation started.
If the claim is accepted, they will instruct an independent medical expert to consider the case, carry out an assessment and produce a report on the injuries sustained.
If they are satisfied that the injuries are serious enough to be eligible for compensation, the CICA will make an award of damages to the victim.
How can we help?
It is important to us that victims receive the support they need at an already traumatic time. By raising awareness of the CICA scheme, we hope more people will come forward and ask for help. We will assess the prospects of your claim succeeding before we proceed. We will then manage the claim process for you, taking away the stress and ensuring you receive the appropriate level of compensation.
If you have been the victim of a crime and wish to discuss a possible claim in the strictest confidence, we would be pleased to assist you.