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How to apply for compensation following a criminal injury in the UK

Learn all about the alternative ways of claiming compensation for criminal injury in the UK, how easy it is to make an application to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority even for non-English speakers and the time limits you have to start your claim.

How do you apply for compensation for criminal injury from the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority?

Starting a compensation claim for a criminal injury is quite simple - a Criminal Injury Compensation Application form is completed sent to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority.

There are two main types of application:

1. "Claim for compensation after personal injury"

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This application is made if: you are claiming compensation for a criminal injury you have suffered, you are making a criminal injury claim for your child who is under the age of 18 years or you are applying for UK criminal compensation for an injured person who is not mentally capable of handling his own affairs.

2. "Claim for compensation after fatal injury"

This application is made if you wish to claim UK criminal injury compensation for the death of your parent, child, husband, wife or partner.

Are the application forms available in other languages?

You will be pleased to know that the answer is "Yes."

Application forms and guidance forms are available in many different languages including:

Arabic, Punjabi, Bengali, Somali, Chinese, Turkish, Gujerati, Urdu, Greek, Vietnamese, Hindi and Welsh.

How long do you have to make a compensation claim for criminal injury?

The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority must receive your application for compensation within two years of the date of your injury for it to be considered.

The CICA can exercise its discretion to permit your application to proceed even if it is outside the two year period so long as it believes it is in the interests of justice to do so.

There are two dates which the CICA has no flexibility over:

1. 1st August 1964

Your claim will not be considered if your injury occurred before 1st August 1964, because the first criminal injuries scheme came into effect on this date.

2. 1st October 1979

Your application will not be considered if you and the person who injured you were living together at the time as members of the same family or household and your injury occurred before 1st October 1979 which was the date the UK criminal injury scheme was changed to allow such claims. Prior to this date such claims were not allowed as it was believed that there was a real risk that a criminal offender could benefit from compensation payments if living in the same household as the victim.

Are there any other ways to make a claim for criminal injuries in the UK other than using the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?

"Yes" - if the identity of the person who caused your criminal injury is known there are two other ways to claim UK criminal compensation:

1. Trespass to the person

Someone who intentionally makes an unlawful invasion to your physical person, for example by assaulting you, has committed a "trespass to your person" for which you can claim compensation via the courts.

2. A compensation order

During the criminal prosecution of the offender who caused your injury you can request a "compensation order" be made requiring the offender to pay you a sum of money in compensation for your injuries.

In reality both of the above options are rarely used - for either to be successful the offender must not have the funds to pay your claim out of his own pocket. An insurance policy he may have for injury to other persons will only cover compensation claims for accidental injury and not deliberate criminal acts.

No matter how you are considering claiming compensation for your criminal injury - I would recommend you always send an application to the CICA within two years of your injury.

This page has explained how to apply for compensation for criminal injury in the UK, the time limits to watch out for so you can make a claim from the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority and the many languages the CICA can provide assistance in.

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Click criminal injury compensation to see the process the CICA will follow once you have commenced your compensation claim for criminal injury.