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Can I Make a Criminal Injuries Claim for Domestic Violence? – Criminal Injuries Compensation Guide For Domestic Violence

Can I Make a Criminal Injuries Claim for Domestic Violence? – Criminal Injuries Compensation Guide For Domestic Violence

October 24, 2019 10:20 pm4 comments

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If you are the victim of domestic violence, you could be entitled to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. However, the CICA requires that you can prove you are the “blameless” victim of the violence that was committed against you and that should you receive compensation through their Scheme, that your assailant would not benefit from the money you are awarded whatsoever.

To find out whether you could be entitled to file a criminal injuries claim for domestic violence, whether you are eligible and what evidence you would need to provide, please read on.

What is the CICA Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?

The Scheme is government-funded and was set up as a “last resort” for victims of violence so they can receive compensation they may not otherwise be able to get. The 2012 Scheme lays out eligibility with cases of domestic violence being specifically detailed in the Scheme. This means that a person who has been subjected to domestic violence may be awarded anything between £2,000 and £8,200 depending on the circumstances surrounding an incident and the physical injuries/abuse they sustained.

The CICA calculates the amount that you could receive based on the “pattern of abuse” you were the victim of with the more severe injuries sustained being factored into an award rather than every individual injury suffered. With this said, the CICA would allow an exception to this which is detailed as follows:

  • If a single injury that was sustained in a pattern of abuse is classed in a higher tariff than it would be for the abuse. Should this be the case, the higher amount would be paid and not an award for the “pattern of abuse” sustained

Under the 2012 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, cases involving children are found in a separate section. For injuries suffered as a child, for those classed a “minor abuse”, the CICA would pay £1,000. For more serious abuse, the CICA would award £2,000 and for very severe abuse, the amount they would pay out would be between £5,500 and £13,500.

What is the Same Roof Rule and Would It Affect My Domestic Violence Claim?

In the past, anyone who was subjected to an assault, crime of violence which includes domestic violence between August 1964 and 30 September 1979 would not be eligible to claim compensation through the CICA scheme because the “same roof rule” prevented them from doing so. Today, the rule has been cancelled and no longer forms part of the CICA Scheme. As such, if you were the victim of domestic violence and your case fell under the “same roof rule” you may be entitled to apply for compensation to the CICA now. It is also worth noting that if your claim was previously turned down due to the “same roof rule”, you would now be entitled to reapply.

There is a time limit for this type of application to the CICA which the authority must receive an application within 2 years from 13th June 2019. The authority does have the right to extend this deadline should the case involve a child or if a victim could not meet the deadline due to exceptional circumstances. With this said, all other required criteria associated with CICA claims must be met when seeking compensation through the Scheme.

Nationality and Residency Criteria Required to File a Domestic Violence Claim to CICA

For your claim to be accepted through the CICA Scheme, you must be able to meet the required nationality and residency criteria which is as follows:

  • You must be a resident of the UK or have been ordinarily resident in the UK when the incident occurred
  • The incident occurred in England, Scotland or Wales, or in another “relevant place” (this would depend on the circumstance surrounding the incident)

To qualify for an award through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, you must meet at least one of the nationality, residency or other criteria as stipulated in the 2012 Scheme. In short, you must be able to prove that you have been “ordinarily” a resident of the UK on the date that the crime against you was committed.

What is the Time Limit to Making a Domestic Violence Claim Through the CICA?

There is a 2 year time limit to making a domestic violence claim to the CICA and the only exceptions to this are as follows:

  • Your case falls under the “same roof rule”
  • You were a minor when you were abused
  • You lacked the mental capacity to file a claim to the CICA within the time limit

If you are unsure about the time limit that relates to your case, you should discuss things with a legal expert who specialises in Criminal Injury Compensation claims. They would be able to provide essential information as to whether you are still entitled to file an application through the CICA scheme.

What Are the Qualifying Conditions for CICA Claims If I Am a Victim of Domestic Abuse?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority compensates victims of crime who suffered serious injury and those who were subjected to extremely distressing crimes. You would be entitled to file an application to the CICA providing the injury you sustained is listed in the 2012 tariff of injuries.

It is worth noting that should an existing injury which is in the tariff of injuries have been made worse because you were the innocent victim of an assault or violent crime, you could still be able to seek compensation through the CICA scheme.

However, the CICA would only consider making a payment in this instance to reflect how much an existing injury has been made worse. The authority would not pay any compensation for the existing injury itself. Should it be deemed that the value is less than the required £1,000, you would not be entitled to receive compensation through the CICA scheme.

If you suffered mental injuries as a result of sexual assault in a domestic environment, the CICA would consider paying compensation to you providing your case meets the necessary criteria.

Should your injuries be such that you needed surgery, the CICA would not pay compensation if as a result of the operation you underwent left you with any scarring.

Could I Include Loss of Earnings in a CICA Claim for Domestic Violence?

If you were the victim of violence in the home and you suffered injuries and as a consequence it meant you were unable to carry out your normal paid work, you may be entitled to claim loss of earnings in your CICA claim. However, the rules that apply are strict which is why it is best to seek the advice of a legal expert before you submit an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The reason being that the injuries you suffered must be deemed serious enough for you not to be able to undertake your normal paid work or that it meant that you have a “very limited” capacity to work. This refers to you only being able to work a few hours per week due to the extent of the injuries you sustained. Working with a solicitor, they would help you gather the required evidence proving the following:

  • That you were in paid work at the time of the incident that left you injured
  • That you have an established history of paid work or a very good reason for not having one
  • The losses you incurred were for longer than twenty eight full weeks, bearing in mind that the CICA would not compensate you for any loss of earnings you had to cope with in the first 28 weeks you were unable to carry out your normal paid work

If you require assistance on determining whether you would be entitled to include your loss of earnings in your domestic violence claim through the CICA scheme, you should contact a criminal injury solicitor who would offer you an initial, free consultation to determine whether you have a strong case and what may be included in your CICA claim.

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Would the CICA Award Me Special Expenses in My Claim?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has the right to consider special expenses that may be included in a claim. This refers to specific costs and expenses that you may have incurred as a direct result of having been the victim of domestic violence. Unlike loss of earnings and future earnings which are only paid on the 29th week of you not being able to carry out your normal paid work, special expenses are paid from the date you suffered your injuries under the CICA 2012 Scheme.

Again, it is far better to seek professional advice from a legal expert before submitting special expenses in your CICA claim because you must have adequate proof to support these expenses and that you were not able to get anything free of charge from some other source. Other criteria includes the following:

  • That the expense was a necessity
  • That the cost you incurred is deemed “reasonable”

A legal expert would be able to advise you on whether you may be able to include damages to property and/or equipment in your CICA claim. Examples being a walking stick, glasses or dentures. Other things that you may be entitled to include in your claim includes the following:

  • The cost of NHS treatments – proof would be required that you had to pay
  • Special equipment which could include specifically-adapted vehicles, walking aids, kitchen implements and wheelchair
  • Adaptations to a home – this includes both exterior and interior alterations
  • Care costs
  • The cost of appointing somebody who would administer your affairs should this be necessary
  • The cost of setting up a trust but not the cost of running it

As previously mentioned, this type of claim can be complex and understanding what can and cannot be included in your CICA claim can prove challenging. As such, a legal expert would ensure that you provide all the correct information relating not only to the incident or incidents in which you were injured, but also all the supporting evidence which includes all the costs and expenses you incurred as a direct result of the injuries you suffered.

Should I Seek Advice From a Legal Expert Before Filing a CICA Domestic Violence Claim?

CICA claims that involve domestic violence and/or abuse tend to be complex and as such, you should seek advice from a criminal injury lawyer before submitting your appliation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The reason being that the CICA looks closely at all the circumstances that surround this type of claim. The authority also looks closely at the incident and whether it was an isolated case of domestic violence or a series of incidents.

Other factors that would have a bearing on a domestic violence claim through the CICA would include the following:

  • Whether the incident or incidents were reported to the Police
  • Whether you fully cooperated with the Police and that you provided a written statement

A criminal injury lawyer would provide advice on whether your domestic violence claim to the CICA would be accepted and whether it would succeed. They would also let you know as soon as they can on what you may be entitled to include in your domestic violence claim.

Would a Criminal Injury Lawyer Offer Me No Win No Fee Terms on a CICA Claim?

The majority of solicitors would represent you when filing an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on a No Win No Fee basis, providing they strongly believe that your case would be successful and that you meet all the necessary criteria associated with CICA claims. There are strict rules that must be respected which a solicitor is aware of. As such, the first thing that would need to be established is that your are an innocent victim of violence and that your injuries are listed in the CICA 2012 tariff of injuries.

Once a solicitor is satisfied that your case meets the necessary criteria, they would offer to work on your case by offering you No Win No Fee terms. This means you can seek compensation for the distress you were subjected to in a crime of domestic violence without having to worry about costly legal fees. You would only pay for the legal representation that a criminal injury provides when you receive the compensation you seek and the amount hat is due to the solicitor would be deducted from the payment you are awarded in a successful domestic violence claim through the Criminal Injury Scheme.

Informative Links

To find support and advice if you were the victim of domestic violence, please follow the link below:

Support and advice for victims of domestic violence

If you were the victim of domestic violence and would like more information regarding the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, please follow the link that is provided below:

More information on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

To find out what injuries are included in the 2012 CICA tariff of injuries scheme, please click on the link below:

The 2012 CICA tariff of injuries

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