An outline of whats involved and timescales
After speaking to you to make sure your claim fits the criminal injury criteria, we send you a bespoke compensation form along with an agreement for us to act on your behalf on a 'No Win, No Fee Basis'.
Please complete them as soon as possible. You can email, post or fax them to us. If you are not sure about something, call us we are here to help.
We check your form, contact you if we have any questions, and then submit your criminal injury compensation claim on your behalf.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) will review your application and issue a Consent Form for you to complete and return to us in order to register your claim. Depending on their staffing levels (it varies), we will hear back from them in approximately 2 months. As we diarise your case, if we have no heard from them in 2 months we start chasing, and do so regularly until we know exactly what's happening with your claim.
As the CICA is government funded and subject to the funding of any government department, they need to check very carefully that you are entitled to compensation. So they contact the Police to make sure you reported the incident (usually on the same day), unless it was a historic abuse case, or you were genuinely incapable due to injury or other incapacity of reporting it.
The CICA will also seek proof of your injuries, by contacting your GP and or Hospital. They want to make sure that the injuries you are claiming for were caused by the assault, and not by something else. They may sometimes request a report from a specialist consultant which they will source and arrange an appointment.
Police, Hospital and GP enquiries can take many months and during this time, we are in regular contact with the CICA and keep you updated usually once a month.
Once a CICA case worker has completed their enquiries and is satisfied there is a genuine claim, your file is passed to a CICA decision worker to calculate how much compensation you are entitled to. Due to cut backs, there are fewer decision makers for the number of claims than there used to be, which means this part of the process may take a number of months before an offer is received.
We receive your offer and check it carefully to ensure that all injuries are being correctly compensated for. If you have incurred out of pocket expenses such as loss of earnings this can also be included within your claim. The CICA decision worker may for instance say you have not fulfilled all the criteria for full compensation, and we consider the reasons they give. We often request a copy of the Police report, or even obtain a copy of your medical notes. We want to ensure that you really do receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
If we are satisfied that the offer of compensation is correct we will advise you to accept the offer, and then communicate with the CICA to ensure that your compensation is sent as quickly as possible. We do this by opening up a bank account in your name, which is called a Client Bank Account (as we are solicitors we are used to holding money on behalf of a client, like when used for buying and selling houses), this means we can see when your compensation is received, tell you and of course pay to your own account by same day bank transfer. We will also deduct your legal costs at this stage.
If your claim is rejected we will review the reasons for rejection and advise you accordingly. From our experience we are able to advise if there are additional pieces of information that may be used to assist you with the review process.