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Helped me get what I deserved. Want to say thank you so much to Daryl Smith, who was patient and very helpful when I was asking a million questions. 5 stars.
- Satisfied CICA client
Great commitment and amazing communication.
I had the help of Daryl Smith. He was absolutely amazing handling my case and got the best outcome I could have hoped for. Anyone who is thinking about going with these solicitors I would highly recommend.
- Lisa Gerrie
Excellent service. Very quick, kept me up to date with everything. Consulted by Daryl Smith.
- Louis Osborne
Brilliant firm, highly recommend.
I’m extremely pleased with the outcome of my case. My caseworker Daryl was attentive, informative and I felt I was well looked after throughout the whole process. I’d highly recommend Oakwood Solicitors!
agreement available on CICA claims cases.
Fighting for compensation
that you are rightly entitled to receive.
claims handler to see your case through to the end.
Since 1964, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and its predecessor (Criminal Injuries Compensation Board), has paid over £3 billion in compensation. In 1996, a statutory scheme was introduced under the provisions of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995. Designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crimes including physical and sexual assaults, the CICA has been revised in 2001, 2008 and 2012, compensating for over 300 different injuries ranging in compensation between £1,000 - £250,000. Individuals may be eligible for an award if they sustain a criminal injury directly attributable to being a direct victim of a crime of violence committed in a relevant place.
What is a ‘Crime of Violence’?
The CICA defines a ‘Crime of Violence’ as a crime which, by intention or recklessness, involves any of the following:
What is a ‘Relevant Place’?
A relevant place means Great Britain. However, there are also some further niche areas that fall under the CICA’s definition. This includes a British-controlled aircraft, a British-controlled hovercraft, or a lighthouse off the coast of Great Britain.
Can my conduct or previous convictions affect my eligibility?
The CICA has the power to apply reductions or even outright reject an application if, before, during, or after the incident giving rise to a criminal injury, the applicant’s conduct makes it inappropriate to make an award or full award.
In some circumstances, it may reduce or even withhold a compensation award where an applicant has previous criminal convictions. This is largely dependent on whether a conviction is ‘spent’ or ‘unspent’. Simply put, each conviction has a period in which it remains relevant in law until it has elapsed. This time differs depending on the severity of the offence.
Some criminal offences, while unspent, will completely restrict the CICA’s ability to grant compensation to an individual. Some examples are as follows:
As a general rule, the crime must have taken place within the last two years to put in a criminal injury application to the CICA. There can be exceptions to this rule if, due to exceptional circumstances, the applicant could not have applied earlier.
If an applicant was a child under the age of 18 on the date of the criminal incident, they have until they turn 20 years old to submit a claim.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police have been known to tell an individual not to put in a claim to the CICA until after a criminal investigation has concluded however this can put you in severe danger of missing the pre-imposed deadlines that have been set.
Are there any other conditions I should be aware of?
The CICA tariff
The CICA calculates awards for criminal injury compensation using a tariff that contains provisions for both physical and psychological injuries.
It pays out on up to three injuries if each is so serious that they would qualify for individual awards, calculated as follows:
How does the CICA assess injuries based on the tariff?
As explained above, the CICA introduced a statutory scheme in 1996 that has undergone multiple amendments over the past two decades. The current Scheme (the 2012 edition), contains an injury tariff that provides for multiple common injuries ranging in severity and value.
Common awards include:
Loss of earnings
If your injury has caused you to miss a significant amount of work, then you may be able to claim for loss of earnings. If you have missed work for over a 28-week period, there is the option to add a claim for lost earnings to your CICA application.
You will be paid from the 29th week onwards that you have missed work and payments will be made via statutory sick pay rates. Supporting evidence must be provided from your doctor or employer to demonstrate that you were unfit for work for the length of time mentioned above.
Special expenses, such as medical expenses and alterations to your household, that have arisen as a result of your injury may also be claimed for. These expenses must be reasonable and will not be available if you received them for free, e.g. through the NHS.
Bereavement payments and fatal cases
In the unfortunate event that someone passes away due to a criminal injury, there are provisions available for a qualifying relative of the deceased to utilise. Some examples of a qualifying relative are a person, who at the time of the deceased’s death are:
There is a standard bereavement payment of £11,000 however if there is more than one person who satisfies these criteria, the bereavement payment is £5,500 each.
There is also the potential to add dependency payments, child payments, and a contribution to any funeral payments made to an applicant’s CICA claim.
How long does it take for a CICA claim to conclude?
The CICA advises that an application with them takes on average between 12 to 18 months to resolve. It is important to note that this is a guideline and not guaranteed. The time it takes to come to a decision on a claim depends on a number of factors including severity of injury, the complexity of a claim and the co-operation shown by an applicant.
Sexual violence Fast-Track option
We want to make applying for the compensation you deserve as easy as possible for you.
When applying for compensation for crimes of sexual violence, the CICA presents a service which allows them to settle your claim quickly and with the least intrusion as possible. By utilising the injuries tariff, they can use fixed payments based on the nature of the assault. This will not take any psychological damage or additional physical injuries into account.
If this service is chosen, the CICA will:
The CICA advises that they can complete all the steps in this process in around 8 weeks.
What if my claim is initially rejected by the CICA?
There is no need to panic. The CICA has a review process to allow you to challenge their decision. A legal representative can make this as easy as possible, guiding you on the reasons to apply for a review and the steps to take to further evidence your claim.
If you disagree with the review decision you are then able to take this one step further and appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal. The members of the First-Tier Tribunal are completely independent to the CICA and will consider the entire claim, noting both your side and that of the CICA.
Why would I need a solicitor?
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims can be deceptively complex. While it may seem fairly straightforward upon first glance, the requests can be confusing, and the information required can be difficult to obtain. Having an experienced representative available whenever you need to talk to them, guiding you through the process, can be a godsend. No matter is too trivial, and sometimes a simple chat about what you are going through can make a world of difference.
Having a legal representative has also been shown to improve the likelihood of success. The most recent government statistics illustrate that more people decide to undergo this type of claim on their own, than with a legal representative. Unfortunately for those without representation, they are more likely to end up with claims rejected when compared to those who seek legal help.
This could be attributed to numerous things such as lack of understanding of the claims process, the required criteria that need to be met, and failure to meet set deadlines, all of which can be assisted by having a legal representative.
Of those applicants who did not have any legal help with their claim and received compensation between 2017 and 2018, the average payout was £6,934. Those applicants who received compensation with the help of a solicitor received on average an additional £3,804, with a total average payout of £10,738.
A previous client of ours had been through a traumatic experience, she was entitled to compensation as a result. However, due to the strict guidelines that are enforced by the CICA, she looked set to miss out on this – the claim was ready to be rejected.
After one of our advisors spoke to the CICA, explained the situation and directed them as to the severe difficulties our client was having in obtaining the information that they had requested, they passed the claim through to their decision-making team and made an assessment based on the information they already possessed.
This resulted in our client receiving £16,500 in compensation when, if she had not had a legal representative, her application would have been rejected and she would have been left with nothing.
Why choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to make your CICA claim?
Oakwood Solicitors Ltd agrees to work on your CICA criminal injury claim on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be expected to pay us a penny. If you are successful in your claim, we take a percentage of the compensation meaning that the only time we will receive money is if we have brought your claim to a fruitful conclusion.
You will have a dedicated advisor who will see your claim through from start to finish, assisting you in the event of any queries or issues you may have. If it is preferable to you, we are able to assign you one of our female advisors to carry out your claim. Your case handler will also continue to provide regular updates until the conclusion of your claim, ensuring the process is as stress-free and effortless as possible.
Contact Oakwood Solicitors Ltd and provide us with some details about your criminal injury incident. We will then assess the viability of your claim, and there is absolutely no obligation to proceed. You can provide information or get in touch by:
Daryl Ross Smith joined Oakwood Solicitors as a Paralegal in October 2018. Daryl finished his degree in Forensic Science at Northumbria University, before completing the GDL and the LPC LLM at the University of Law in Leeds.
Since he began working at Oakwood, he has dealt with a vast array of criminal injury claims ranging from simple bone fractures to sexual assaults. Daryl prides himself on his keen attention to detail and willingness to help his clients with whatever issues they may have.