CICA Claims (Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims)
The criminal injuries compensation authority (CICA) is a Government run fund of public money that has been made available to compensate innocent victims of crimes of violence.
Any application to the CICA will have to satisfy various conditions before the claim is even accepted.
It has to be shown that the applicant is the victim of a crime of violence.
That the applicant reported the incident to the police as soon as possible.
That the applicant has co-operated fully with any further police enquiries or investigations.
The initial application process can be straightforward but if the application is accepted as it satisfies the CICA criteria for compensation then the applicant must co-operate fully with the CICA whilst it investigates and there are cases were claims are refused on the basis that the claimant has failed to co-operate with the CICA (and this can be something as simple as not replying to a letter quickly enough). It is recommended that any applicant use the services of a specialist Solicitor such as those on SAM’s panel .They can identify the extent of quantum for the claim and advise if the claim will succeed.
They can also “case manage” the claim to make sure it does not fall foul of the strict rules that apply on CICA claims.
Once the CICA has concluded their investigations they may make a written offer in accordance with the CICA tariff system that is used to value injuries
The minimum award that can be made is £1,000 and the maximum is £500,000.
The maximum award was introduced in April 2001.
An application must be submitted within two years of the crime of violence taking place.
There can be a waiver of the time limits but only in exceptional circumstances.
Where there are several injuries that the CICA will make a compensation award it will do so on a sliding scale approach in accordance with the severity of the separate injuries.
- 100% of the tariff amount will be awarded for the most severe injury,
- 30% for the second most severe
- 15% for the third.
This of course has led to arguments over which injury is the most severe.
Example if you lose the sight in one eye but also the use of your dominant hand, which is the most severe injury?
The CICA will accept applications for psychological injury only (without physical injury) and for fatal incident claims.
NOTE: That the awards for fatal incidents are always fixed awards under the tariff scheme.
Once an award has been made you can seek review of the award. The CICA will pass the application to a senior case worker who will consider the claim afresh. If the review decision is still not acceptable to the claimant, a request can be made for an appeal hearing before the CICA Appeals Panel.