Prior to 2008, acid attacks were practically unheard of. This was until the horrific incident involving former model Katie Piper in 2008, where an ex-boyfriend and an accomplice threw acid in her face.
This resulted in Miss Piper suffering from extremely severe facial injuries and the loss of sight in one of her eyes. Shockingly, The Independent found that the UK now has one of the highest number of recorded acid attacks per person of any country in the world, with figures expected to rise.
Acid attacks are considered to be one of the most hideous and callous pre-meditated crimes there are. Suspects target their victims, planning and preparing, in order to inflict the most painful and life-changing injuries they possibly can. Victims will usually be left with facial scarring that will require multiple surgical procedures. There is also likely to be a degree of psychological injury caused as a result of sustaining these injuries.
In 2017, Wes Streeting MP asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate was made of the number of attacks or assaults on people involving acid in each of the five years preceding. Sarah Newton MP explained that the Home Office does not hold that information, nor does it specifically collect data from police forces on acid/corrosive attacks. These types of attacks resulting in injury are included within ‘assault with injury offences’ and ‘assault with intent to cause serious harm offences’, but unfortunately cannot be disaggregated.
However, Newton explained that the National Police Chiefs’ Council undertook a voluntary data collection, involving 39 police forces, between November 2016 and April 2017. It was found that, within just these 6 months, there had been 408 cases of attacks.*
“I’ve been the victim of an acid attack – can I claim compensation?”
If you have been a victim of an acid attack, you may be entitled claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA assesses an applicant’s claim through their tariff of common injuries – each injury has a set value, although it must be emphasised that the act of an acid attack itself is not listed under the tariff.
“How much would I get for an acid attack claim?”
While the CICA does not compensate for the act of an acid attack, they do compensate for the inevitable scarring that is left as a result. The scarring can range in severity and with it, the value of a claim can rise significantly. The compensation that the CICA will award can also depend on the location of the scarring.
With their significant experience in dealing with CICA claims, our team can review photographs of your scarring and make an assessment of what they believe it to be worth.
The CICA is also able to compensate for other incidental injuries as a result of an acid attack. After such a traumatic experience, it is common for a victim to be left suffering with significant psychological injuries. The CICA’s tariff of injuries includes psychological injuries and compensation can be awarded for these – any psychological injury must have been confirmed by a diagnosis/prognosis from a psychiatrist/clinical psychologist.
“What evidence is required from me during my CICA claim?”
It is a common misconception that the CICA requires an applicant to provide a police report. This is completely untrue – the CICA will directly contact the police force involved in the investigation of an applicant’s incident to obtain this.
The CICA does require an applicant to obtain medical evidence to substantiate their claim. The evidence required includes a medical report, medical records or scarring photographs.
To help an applicant obtain a medical report/records, the CICA provides a form that should be taken directly to the medical professional that the evidence is required from. Scarring photographs can be provided directly by the applicant. The photographs provided should not be from immediately after an incident, as this will not demonstrate the severity of any long-lasting scarring.
As the photographs can form the basis of how much compensation an applicant will receive from the CICA, it is of the utmost importance that the photographs provided are of a high standard. Please see this guide for further details in how an applicant should take any scarring photographs for the CICA.
Mr. D was the victim of an unprovoked attack using acid while on a night out. He was approached by two masked assailants on a scooter, who threw the corrosive liquid directly at him before they rapidly drove off.
Despite the quick thinking of a member of the public to douse him in water, Mr. D was unfortunately left with serious facial and neck scarring. After running a CICA claim with Oakwood Solicitors, he was awarded a total of £17,550 for his injuries.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
For any advice or questions about CICA applications, get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.
*It is important to note that these are not official statistics and have therefore not been subject to the usual assurance processes.