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Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority: All You Should Know

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The CICA administers a compensation scheme throughout mainland UK and is responsible for awarding damages to the innocent victims of violent crime by paying compensation for mental trauma or physical injury and also certain resultant financial losses. If the application is refused or the award is considered to be inadequate, then an appeal may be lodged. The CICA Appeals Panel which is independent reviews CICA decisions and its findings are binding on the CICA.

Victims of violent crime can apply for compensation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Damages can be awarded to cover mental anguish, physical trauma, and certain resulting financial losses. If you are the innocent victim of a violent attack and suffered an injury. As a result, even if your attacker is not convicted or is not caught, you can still make a compensation claim. Over £200,000,000 is paid out every year by the CICA which has offices in London and Glasgow. Northern Ireland has a similar scheme which is administered from Belfast offices.

Most solicitors deal with CICA claims using the risk-free no win no fee scheme. This arrangement guarantees that if your application is refused, you will not have to pay one penny. Most solicitors claims are risk-free, and if you decide not to proceed after an initial consultation, you will usually walk away and incur no expense. The criminal injury board does not pay legal costs, and if the claim is successful, legal fees are deducted from the final award.

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Tariff Scheme

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority decides the value of damages to be paid using a ‘tariff scheme’. Individual values are pre-calculated for all potential injuries, ranging between £1,000 and £250,000. The three most serious injuries are used to determine the value of the award. Percentage discounts are applied to the two lesser injuries before adding all three values together to calculate the final award. The maximum amount payable for personal injury is £250,000. Resultant financial losses can be awarded up to £250,000. The total maximum award is £500,000.

Internal Re-consideration

During the course of consideration of an application for compensation, there are many decisions taken by CICA officials and these decisions do not always satisfy the applicant. In almost all cases when a decision is notified, the applicant has the right to ask for internal reconsideration of the decision. In most cases, the original decision is upheld which leaves the applicant with little another alternative than to accept or take the disputed matter to appeal.

No Win No Fee

Specialist solicitors should deal with your no win no fee claim on a risk-free basis. Any legal work carried out by no win no fee solicitors is only chargeable should the claim be successful. A successful claim is one in which the applicant is awarded compensation by CICA or by the CICA Appeals Panel. If the application or the appeal is rejected, you will not be charged legal fees. As a CICA applicant or a CICA Appeals Panel applicant you are not usually expected to fund your application to the CICA in any way.

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Rejected Applications

Applications for compensation can be rejected for a number of reasons in a criminal injury claim:

  • failure to report the incident as soon as is reasonably possible
  • previous unspent convictions – Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • the behavior of the applicant, before, after and during the violent incident
  • the injury is not severe (6 weeks symptoms & two doctors appointments)
  • a no win no fee criminal injury claim will fail if the applicant has not given adequate co-operation to the police

CICA Appeal Panel

The CICA administers a compensation scheme throughout mainland UK and is responsible for awarding damages to the innocent victims of violent crime by paying compensation for mental trauma or physical injury and also certain resultant financial losses. If the application is refused or the award is considered to be inadequate, then an appeal may be lodged. The CICA Appeals Panel which is independent reviews CICA decisions and its findings are binding on the CICA.

Claims may be rejected, in which case you can launch the appeal process. You may also appeal if you deem that the final award is inadequate. An independent Appeals Panel administers appeals. The result of the appeal may result in the Appeals Panel agreeing with the original decision, or they may offer an alternative award. The decision of the Appeal Panel is binding on all parties.

An applicant can usually ask for decisions to be re-considered by the CICA. Following an unsuccessful re-consideration, an appeal can be made to the CICA Appeals Panel which must be received within 90 days of the date of the review decision by the CICA. The 90 days may in exceptional circumstances be extended by the Appeals Panel if it would be in the interests of justice to allow a late appeal. Written notification of the outcome of the appeal, will be sent to both the appellant and to the CICA who must abide by the Appeal Panel’s ruling.

 



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