The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) has been a victim of the recent Government cuts. The CICA's budget has been reduced by £10M this year, a cut of around 5%.
Frances Gillett, a personal injury lawyer at Trethowans Solicitors says "As a consequence of the budget cuts the CICA will be looking to keep awards to a minimum. It is important for Applicants to seek legal advice to ensure that the correct evidence is submitted to the CICA in order to maximise the Applicant's potential award".
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a Government funded body that exists to compensate the innocent victims of violent crime. All Applicants must show themselves to be eligible to make a claim. You may be eligible if:
- You were injured in an act violence in England, Scotland or Wales.
- You have submitted an Application within 2 years of the incident that caused your injury. (However, the CICA may accept Applications outside this limit if they deem in that an individual's particular case it was not reasonable for an Application to have been submitted within 2 years of the incident).
- The incident must have been reported to the Police soon after the incident.
- You have been injured seriously enough to qualify for the CICA's minimal award (£1,000).
An initial Application is made to the CICA. Upon receiving the Application the CICA will investigate the claim by obtaining both evidence from the police and medical evidence. CICA then make a decision as to whether or not an award will be offered.
Assessment of Compensation
CICA awards are made up of two parts; firstly an award for the pain and suffering caused by the injury; and secondly an award for associated losses and expenses.
The award for the pain and suffering as a result of the injury is based on a tariff scheme. The Applicant is compensated for the three most significant injuries that he or she has suffered. The tariffs range from £1,000 to £250,000. The Applicant can recover 100% of the full tariff value for the most serious injury, 30% of the value of the next most serious injury and 15% of the value of the third most serious injury. The scheme does not allow compensation for more than three injuries. The maximum amount recoverable regardless of the number of injuries under the tariff scheme is £250,000.
An Applicant can claim for other losses for example loss of earnings, cost of medical treatment and care. This potential award is also capped at £250,000.
Many solicitors will offer a contingency fee scheme when assisting clients with CICA Applications. In general the solicitor will not charge if the CICA Application is rejected. However, if the Application is successful and a financial award is made the solicitor will charge a percentage of the award. It is not possible to recover legal costs from the CICA.