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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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Who can we help make a personal injury claim?

If I make a claim for compensation, will I need to go to court?

How long do personal injury compensation claims take?

What compensation can I claim for serious injury?

What is an interim payment?

How do I get started with making a claim?

How are personal injury claims funded?

What injuries can lead to a personal injury compensation claim?

What is a personal injury claim?

What are the time limits for making a personal injury claim?

Criminal injury cases

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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

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Thanks for everything"

“Thanks for everything. It’s been very nice to be able to put it all behind us and try to move forward.  I cannot thank you and Boyes Turner for all you have done for me. It goes without saying I would always recommend Boyes Turner. I couldn’t have done it without your support.”

Boyes Turner Client

"You got us the best outcome and I can’t thank you enough"

 Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of myself and my family. You were recommended to us by a close friend back in 2017 and I will certainly recommend you again. You’ve been amazing and very reassuring considering how complicated I made things at times. It’s been one of the hardest times of my life but I was glad I had you on the end of the phone. It’s a surreal feeling now it’s all over but very relieved you got us the best outcome and I can’t thank you enough.

Boyes Turner Client

"Extremely grateful for her professionalism and attention to detail. "

Through my dealings with Claire as my representative in a personal injury claim, I have been extremely grateful for her professionalism and attention to detail. 

I believe going above and beyond to help accommodate my needs and explain everything in a way that I could understand. Working around timing for video calls and zoom meetings with myself and my mum, often on weekends and evenings. We always knew she was just a phone call away to answer any questions we had and if she didn’t have the answer then it would be found out for us. Once the claim was settled, she has still offered her support and provided contacts to do with my injury fund and further surgery I need. 

Boyes Turner client

"Great support throughout a very emotional and difficult period"

Claire was very much the lynchpin in achieving settlement of a complex case. From the outset Claire ensured steps were taken to manage both rehabilitation and legal/case requirements in the correct sequence; this included the early appointment of a case manager.

In addition Claire has been a great support throughout a very emotional and difficult period in our lives.

Boyes Turner client

"I cannot recommend them highly enough"

After being involved in a Road Accident I enlisted the services of Boyes Turner to help settle our compensation claim for damages and ongoing injuries that I incurred as a result. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their ongoing support throughout an extremely stressful ordeal was second to none. I suffered multiple injuries and they organised all my ongoing medical needs both physically and mentally, to help aid my recovery and rehabilitation. They managed my case with the utmost professionalism, concluding it satisfactorily so that I can move forward with my life and recovery. Thank you to Claire and her team for their amazing ongoing support and work with handling my case, in a time of great stress and uncertainty. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and my family.

 

Boyes Turner client