Thousands of unsuspecting victims fall prey to assaults each year in the UK. The CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) has been established to ensure that victims are compensated for the injuries suffered. Assault cases are viewed as criminal acts that are carried out with the intention of causing bodily harm. They fall under a variety of categories, from bar fights, domestic violent and sexual assault to police brutality altercations at sports events and fights between students in schools. If you have suffered criminal injuries resulting from assault or battery, it is best to seek the help of personal injury specialist.
What are your options as the victim of a criminal assault?
Inform the police
You must try to report the assault to the police within twenty four hours of its occurrence. However, to seek assault compensation, it is not necessary that the offender needs to be identified, nabbed or convicted. Regardless of whether the offender is caught, you must be prepared to cooperate with the police. Also, if the police manage to identify the offender, you should be ready to prosecute him/her, if required. It is also important that you state the nature of all your injuries, despite how minor they may appear.
Fatal criminal injury claims
If the victim in question lost his/her life as a result of the assault, you can qualify for compensation. To qualify, you will need to be:
- The deceased victim’s legal spouse, and living with the victim immediately prior to his/her death
- The deceased victim’s former spouse if you have been receiving financial support from him/her immediately prior to the death. Reduced compensation amounts are typically awarded to former spouses.
- The deceased victim’s partner (holds for same-sex partners) if you have been living with him/her immediately prior to his/her death and for a minimum period of two years.
- The child or parent of the deceased victim, by bloodline or if accepted as a child/parent by the deceased without being directly related to him/her
Timescale for claiming compensation
There is a time limit of two years from the date of the assault within which you need to file your criminal injury claim. This allows you to seek redressal; but if you fail to report your case, you may not be able to seek compensation. However, the 2-year time scale may be waived in certain cases involving elderly or child abuse. To understand when you can and cannot file a case, and the compensation amount you are entitled to, talk to a solicitor as quickly as you possibly can.
Making your claim
There are three routes you can opt for when making your criminal injury claim. One is to file an assault claim directly against the assailant. Workplace injury claims allow you to make an assault claim against your employer. This will be applicable if the attack occurred at your workplace, and you feel that your employer exposed you to foreseeable and unnecessary risks that could have been avoided. Another option you have is to seek criminal injury compensation through the CICA, which handles such cases taking place in the UK.
Penny Cooper is an expert associated with CK Claims, No Win No Fee solicitors in Manchester assisting people with different types of accident and sport injury claims.