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Arson is the act of causing criminal damage by intentionally and maliciously setting fire to property. It commonly involves cars or dwellings and can have life-changing effects on an individual.
Arson accounted for 50.5% of all fires attended in 2017/18 by Fire & Rescue Services in the whole of the United Kingdom – The services attended 213,782 fires, 108,024 of them were deliberately caused.
Since 2012, there has been a steadily increasing trend in the total deliberate fires caused in England. The number of arson-related incidents rose from 68,760 in 2012 to 83,221 in 2018, a huge increase of just over 20%.
Survivors of arson attacks are likely to be left with significant burns and scarring. The incident is also likely to leave a victim of arson with long-lasting psychological injuries. In such an event, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can provide remuneration.
Would I be eligible for a CICA claim?
There are several conditions that must be met when undergoing a CICA claim. If you have been a victim of arson or fire-raising, the first of these parameters have been met. Other conditions involve time limits, conduct during the incident, previous convictions and co-operation with the police. For further details on eligibility, it is advisable to read our comprehensive CICA guide here.
How much would my CICA claim be worth?
The CICA work from a scheme that includes a tariff of injuries which assigns specific injuries specific values. For a victim of arson, these will usually entail significant burns. CICA awards for burns can range from £2,400 to £33,000. Some examples of these awards are below:
As previously mentioned, the CICA can also compensate for psychological damages arising from an arson attack. When going through such a traumatic experience, psychological damages are likely. In the event that an applicant suffers such an injury and has this confirmed by a diagnosis/prognosis from a psychiatrist/clinical psychologist, the CICA can offer awards such as the below:
What will the CICA require from me?
It is assumed that an applicant must obtain and provide the CICA with the police report of the incident. However, the onus for this does not fall on the applicant, it falls on the police force who dealt with the incident. The CICA will chase this information directly from the police to determine the initial eligibility of the claim.
Following this, the CICA will then ask for a medical report and/or medical records dependant on the injuries an applicant has sustained. These are obtained via a form provided with the CICA that is taken to a medical professional to complete.
Any scarring images/images of burns required by the CICA must be provided directly by the applicant. It is of paramount importance that these photographs are of a high standard and we have put together this guide explaining how an applicant can take the most accurate images of their scarring for this purpose.
What if I was unaware that the fire was deliberate at the time?
The CICA state that they will not make an award unless the incident giving rise to the criminal injury was reported to the police as soon as reasonably practicable. When deciding on this, the CICA will take particular account of the age and capacity of the applicant and whether the effect of the incident on the applicant was such that it could not reasonably have been reported earlier.
They also state that an award will be withheld unless the applicant has cooperated as far as reasonably practicable in bringing the assailant to justice.
It is therefore easier to argue that an applicant has adhered to the CICA’s rules if they report the incident as soon as they have any suspicions that the fire was deliberately started.
Ms. P was sleeping in her home when she was the victim of a random arson attack. The assailant started a fire and posted this through her letterbox, causing considerable damage to her property. Once she woke up, Ms. P tried to escape from her home in a panic and suffered serious burns to her arms. Following the incident, she began counselling and was diagnosed with a long lasting and seriously disabling psychological injury.
Following our guidance and representation, the CICA awarded Ms. P with an offer totalling £16,800 in compensation.
Why Choose Oakwood Solicitors?
Here at Oakwood Solicitors, we agree to work on your CICA 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.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Get in touch today for a free initial consultation with our Criminal Injury experts. 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.