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The steps you should take before making a claim for compensation from the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority

Find out what the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority is, why you must report your criminal injury to the police as quickly as possible and the practical steps you should take to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation.

What is the "Criminal Injury Compensation Authority"?

The "Criminal Injury Compensation Authority" is the organisation responsible for providing compensation to "innocent victims" injured by a "crime of violence".

An "innocent victim" is a person who has suffered criminal injury through no fault of his own - such as a person walking down the street who is attacked. Other victims may not be so innocent - imagine a person injured who started a drunken fight.

image of criminal injury - man being punchedUnder the 2001 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme an innocent victim of violent crime can claim compensation for personal injury and some types of financial loss - such as lost earnings.

The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority is better known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or "CICA" and was previously called the Criminal Injury Compensation Board or "CICB".

What should you do immediately following a criminal injury to ensure you can make a claim from the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority?

As soon as you are aware that you have been a victim of a crime of violence you should:

1. Inform the police of the criminal incident.

You should inform the police in person at the earliest opportunity. This will help show that your injuries were in fact caused by a crime of violence and will give the police the best opportunity of investigating the criminal act.

2. Assist the police to prosecute the offender.

Once you have reported the matter to the police you should do everything possible to assist them in their investigations and to help ensure the offender is prosecuted. This may include attending a criminal trial to give evidence or making further statements.

3. Informing other persons in authority of your criminal injury

In most situations the police should be informed of the criminal act which caused your injury, but sometimes this is not practical so often it will be sufficient to inform a person in authority - again at the earliest opportunity.

For example - a prison inmate who is attacked should report the attack to a prison officer so it can be investigated properly.

If you do not report the matter to the police or other person in authority your claim for compensation will be rejected by the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority.

What other practical steps should you take immediately following a UK criminal injury which will assist your compensation claim?

Some other practical steps you can take which will ensure your injuries are properly treated and you have as much information to support your compensation claim include:

1. Call an ambulance.

2. Take the names and contact details of any witnesses.

3. Attend at hospital or your G.P. to have your injuries treated. A record will be made of any injuries you complain of even if no treatment is necessary, so it is important you tell the doctor all of your injuries no matter how small.

4. Some of your injuries may go unnoticed initially due to shock, but as soon as any symptoms present themselves - however small - see your G.P.

5. Keep a diary of all you physical symptoms - what they are and on what dates. Remember any psychological symptoms including shock, sleepless nights or panic attacks should also be recorded.

6. Keep a record, as well as any receipts, for all the expenses you have as a result of the incident, including: loss of earnings and medical expenses.

On this page you have discovered why you must report a criminal offence to the police before you can make a claim from the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority and the practical steps you should take to maximise your claim for compensation.

Next I recommend you:

Click compensation for criminal injury to learn how to make a CICA claim or click faq criminal injuries to find answers to previously asked questions.