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If a violent attack or someone else’s unlawful behaviour causes death or disability from severe physical or psychological injury, the injured person may be able to claim compensation.

Our specialist personal injury solicitors are experts in securing rehabilitation and compensation for clients with lifelong disability from brain injury, spinal cord injury (SCI), and multiple injury or major trauma and for the families of those who have died as a result of fatal injury.

We understand the immense suffering that our clients have been through and the challenges they face every day. We handle each claim sensitively and skilfully, providing support and representation. We know that it can feel daunting to talk through what has happened, or to ask for legal advice, but all it takes is a quick call, free and confidentially, to find out how we can help.

Each case is different and our experienced solicitors will advise you on the best way to make your claim to ensure you receive the highest level of compensation. Depending on how and where the injury happened, substantial compensation for serious injury suffered by victims of criminal or unlawful behaviour may be claimed from an insured individual or organisation, such as an employer, a local authority, a healthcare or social care organisation, the MOD, a school or college, a sports club, a driver or the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). In cases of violent crime, we can help the injured person obtain their full entitlement to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Previous cases

Examples of claims in which we have secured compensation for clients who were seriously injured as a result of criminal or  unlawful behaviour include: 

What is the CICA?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority or CICA is a government agency which provides compensation to seriously injured victims of violent crime. CICA handles more than 30,000 claims and pays out more than £130 million in compensation each year to people who have been injured by violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales. 

CICA claims are different from personal injury compensation claims which are made against the person or organisation responsible for causing the injury and are usually defended or settled by the wrongdoer’s insurers.

CICA claims are made directly to the CICA, rather than against the person who caused the injury. CICA deals with the claim which it either rejects or accepts and pays the victim’s compensation. For the claim to be accepted, the crime must have been reported to the police, but the victim’s attacker or abuser does not have to be identified or convicted and is not made aware of the victim’s claim, which is handled confidentially by the CICA. 

CICA claims have their own time limits, strict eligibility criteria, and application, review and appeals processes. As a government agency, CICA awards compensation in accordance with a pre-set tariff system, usually resulting in lower compensation than someone with equivalent injuries would receive in an out-of-court settlement or a court would award in a personal injury claim.  Victims who fulfil CICA’s criteria can make their own application directly to the CICA, but where their injuries are complex or severe their compensation may be significantly increased if their claim is handled by an experienced solicitor. 

Who can make a claim from the CICA?

CICA has strict eligibility criteria for who can make a claim. Compensation for injuries can be claimed from the CICA by: 

  • a victim of violent crime who was injured;
  • the close relative of someone who died as a result of violent crime;
  • someone who witnessed a violent crime (or its immediate aftermath) in which their close relative was injured;
  • someone who paid for the funeral of someone who died as a victim of violent crime;
  • someone who was injured whilst taking a ‘justified and exceptional’ risk to try to stop a crime. 

In addition:

  • the person making the claim must satisfy the CICA’s nationality criteria; 
  • the crime must have happened in England, Scotland or Wales;
  • the crime must have been reported to the police without delay;
  • the victim must have cooperated with the police in bringing the person who committed the crime to justice. 

CICA also considers the victim’s own behaviour before, during or after the crime. The claim may be refused or the compensation reduced if the injured victim provoked or willingly took part in a fight, or had previous criminal convictions. 

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What are the time limits for CICA claims?

The time limits to make a CICA claim are shorter than the limitation deadlines for personal injury claims.  The general rule for CICA claims is that the application must be made within two years of the date of the crime which caused the injury. 

Exceptions to the two year time limit include: 

  • if the injured victim is a child who was under the age of 18 when the injury occurred, they must apply before their 20th birthday;
  • child abuse claims may be made up to two years from the date the abuse was reported to the police as an adult;
  • CICA may allow claims in exceptional circumstances where there is a good reason for the delay, such as if the injured victim lacks mental capacity.

In all cases, the crime must be reported to the police before applying the CICA.

Failure to claim within the CICA’s time limit usually results in the injured victim’s claim being rejected. You should not delay making an application until the criminal court case has concluded. If the police advise you to delay making your CICA claim, you should seek advice from a specialist solicitor. 

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Compensation for criminal injury

The amount of compensation that can be claimed for a serious injury depends on the circumstances of the injury, its severity and its impact on the injured person’s life.

In claims for injuries which were caused by someone’s criminal or unlawful behaviour, the amount of compensation that can be claimed also depends on whether the claim is made against the CICA or an insured organisation or individual defendant. 

Unlike personal injury negligence claims, in which the wrongdoer’s insurer pays compensation to the injured person for a wide variety of injuries and financial losses, CICA compensation is fixed by a tariff that is set by the government funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. It is paid by the government via the scheme. The attacker or abuser is not informed and is not involved in any way in the victim’s CICA claim, which is handled confidentially between the injured victim or their family, their solicitor (if they have one) and medical experts, and the CICA. The CICA may request access to the victim’s medical records or a police report relating to the incident to help in their assessment of the claim.

CICA compensation is currently limited to a maximum of £500,000 in any successful claim. This level of CICA compensation is only awarded for the most severe injuries.

An individual’s claim may include compensation for up to three injuries that were caused by the crime. In such cases, the most severe injury is fully compensated according to the tariff and the second and third most serious injuries receive a smaller proportion of the set compensation for that injury.

CICA do not award compensation in any case where the total award would be less than £1,000. 

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What kind of unlawful behaviour or criminal injuries can lead to compensation claims?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) only compensates for injuries caused by crimes of violence.  Examples of crimes of violence causing injuries which might be eligible for CICA compensation include: 

  • a physical attack or assault;
  • manslaughter or murder;
  • shaken baby (brain injury);
  • sexual or physical abuse;  
  • acts of terrorism;
  • arson. 

Where the injury was caused by the negligence, criminal or unlawful behaviour of an individual or organisation with a duty of care (responsibility), such as an employer or local authority,  the injured person may be able to recover a higher amount of compensation by making a personal injury claim against the wrongdoer and/or their insurers.  

You can talk to one of our experienced personal injury solicitors, free and confidentially, for advice on the best way to obtain compensation for your injury by contacting us here.

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Can I obtain compensation for my injury as a victim of criminal or unlawful behaviour?

Our personal injury lawyers specialise in obtaining rehabilitation and compensation for people with severe and life changing injury. In personal injury claims against an insured defendant, we can help our clients recover compensation for one or more of the following types of injury:

  • fatal injury/death;
  • head injury, brain injury or neurological injury;
  • spinal cord injury;
  • major trauma or multiple injury;
  • severe fractures or facial injury;
  • amputation;
  • severe burns;
  • blindness;
  • nerve injury;
  • CRPS or chronic pain;
  • severe scarring or disfigurement; 
  • PTSD or severe psychological injury.

Claims for compensation from the CICA can only be made for specific types of severe injuries. These include severe physical injuries, sexual or physical abuse, the death of a close relative or disabling psychological injuries which have been diagnosed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.

CICA also strictly limits the type of expenses and financial losses that can be claimed by injured victims. These include loss of earnings suffered for longer than 28 weeks, modest home adaptations and reasonable NHS treatment costs and mobility aids.

The CICA may reject or reduce the amount of compensation paid if the victim’s own conduct provoked or contributed to the criminal injury,  or they have unspent criminal convictions, or they delayed reporting the crime to the police or failed to cooperate with the police investigation.

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Are any funding options available for victims claiming compensation for criminal injuries?

Boyes Turner’s personal injury lawyers act for our clients on a no win no fee basis, meaning there is nothing to pay if your claim is unsuccessful. In personal injury claims, if your claim succeeds, most of the legal costs will be paid by the defendant’s insurers. 

In CICA claims, the CICA does not pay any of the injured victim’s legal costs, so these must be paid from the injured person’s compensation. For this reason, it is possible for injured victims of crime to make their own application to the CICA, without instructing a solicitor. However, where the injuries are severe, we recommend that the injured person is advised and represented by a specialist solicitor as this can significantly increase the amount of compensation.

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Meet your specialist team

Our specialist CICA & compensation claims for serious injury for victims of crime team are considered leaders in the field and have a significant amount of expertise.
Kim Milan

Kim Milan

Senior Partner

Claire Roantree headshots

Claire Roantree


Martin Anderson

Martin Anderson

Associate Solicitor

Beth Hatton headshoot

Beth Hatton


Roshni Patel photo

Roshni Patel


Kim Milan
Claire Roantree headshots
Martin Anderson
Beth Hatton headshoot
Roshni Patel photo

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Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

              Brake | The Road Safety Charity

"Personal Injury Claim"

Claire is exceptionally knowledgeable in the personal injury legal domain, especially in the specific area of my injury. From our very first conversation, she was clear in explaining the potential different routes that the process could take and provided me with expectations of what I could expect along the journey.

She ensured that all bases were covered, organising meetings, discussions and necessary specialist appointments, in order to bring together the case and take it forward. Claire was then able to use her extensive pool of contacts, to appoint an "area leading" barrister, to represent me.

Overall, I was very pleased with appointing Claire and Boyes Turner to act as my solicitor for the legal claim that I pursued. Thank you for all of your support.

Boyes Turner Client

"Boyes turner workplace injury claim"

I approached Claire Roantree of Boyes Turner in regards to making a claim about a workplace burns injury. It was something that had scarred me physically and mentally and taken a huge toll on the lives of me and my family. Claire wasted no time in finding out what happened and made sure I was treated by known experts and quickly finding an answer to my burns scarring and how I could be treated to help manage my pain. Claire also helped me by appointing a psychiatrist to understand my situation and help me cope with post traumatic stress disorder. As well as taking as much stress of the claim away, she was thorough in every situation, making sure I had the best possible claim, and handled it all expertly, I am so very grateful to her and her team. They have helped guide my life back into a positive direction and I can't thank her enough!

Boyes Turner Client

"Personal Injury claim"

Excellent service from Claire and her team at all times. We were kept up to date at each stage of our claim. The outcome was much better than we expected and we would not hesitate to recommend Boyes Turner to family and friends.

Boyes Turner Client

"Lifechanging Law Firm"

Kim handled my personal injury claim after a car accident with immeasurable expertise and compassion. Boyes Turner arranged every part of my private rehabilitation, which greatly improved the speed and quality of my recovery.

Each stage of the litigation process was dealt with efficiently and succinctly. This was then always explained without using unclear legal jargon.

On both health and financial levels, I would be in a far worse position without Kim’s invaluable input. I cannot recommend this firm enough.


"Helping me start to get my life back together"

The last 6 years since my incident have been so my mental health and general life. When I chose Boyes Turner, I was expecting just a solicitor to take my case forward. What in fact I actually got is a solicitor who genuinely cared about what had happened to me and wanted to help me get justice. Without their support I would have probably given in and excepted what happened. I am so glad that I didn’t, now it’s over I am now feeling empowered knowing it wasn’t my fault. They have given me hope for the future. It is more than a job for Claire, she is caring and kind, are wants the best for clients. Thank you.

Rated Excellent 4.8/5