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Intentional animal attacks are fairly rare but, in the event that they do occur, they can leave a victim with horrific, life-changing injuries.
Often these attacks will involve dogs however it is extremely important to differentiate between those attacks that have been instigated deliberately by the owner of the animal and other attacks that have been caused recklessly and directly by the actions of the animal alone.
Often for the latter, a policy of insurance will be in place to compensate the victim of an animal attack. For those instances where the attack on someone was deliberate, the victim is likely to be left with both scarring and psychological injuries, both of which are compensated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
I have been the victim of an intentional animal attack – would I be eligible for a CICA claim?
There are a number of conditions that need to be satisfied to undergo a CICA claim. In this instance, the first issue would be regarding whether or not the attack was deliberate. The CICA state they will not compensate a victim that has sustained an injury from an animal attack unless the animal was used with intent to cause injury to a person. As the CICA determine this eligibility from the police report, the intention of the attack will need to be documented when a victim is speaking to the police.
Other CICA conditions include time limits, an applicant’s conduct before, during or after an incident, previous convictions and cooperation with the police. For further details on eligibility, please see our comprehensive CICA guide here or submit an enquiry to us and we will answer any questions you may have.
What injuries do the CICA compensate for?
The CICA offers compensation for injuries that have been sustained as a result of a crime of violence. They operate from a tariff of common injuries including broken bones, scarring and psychological damages. The injuries all have set amounts that can be offered, depending on the recovery that they have made.
Usually, animal attacks can leave severe scarring. The CICA compensate scarring with different values depending on the location and severity of the scarring.
The scars caused by an animal attack may not only be superficial, but a victim may also suffer from long-lasting psychological damage as a result. The CICA can also compensate for this.
Any award for psychological injury relies on a victim seeking psychiatric help. The CICA will only award compensation for a mental injury when they are given a diagnosis/prognosis from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
How long does a CICA claim for compensation take?
The CICA advise that a claim can take, on average, between 12-18 months to reach an initial decision. It is important to note that the CICA offer this as a guideline; claims can take significantly longer or shorter than this. The length of time is dependant on the complexity of the claim, the severity of a claimant’s injuries and the cooperation shown by an applicant when the CICA makes any requests for further information to advance a claim.
Why Choose Oakwood Solicitors to handle my claim?
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
For more information about your rights regarding Intentional Animal Attacks, 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.