Preparing for a criminal injury claim
If you are the victim of a criminal injury then there are certain steps that you should take before you even consider a claim for compensation:
- Inform the police – any claim for compensation will begin with a request for the crime reference number, so if one cannot be provided it may be difficult to prove that an offence was actually committed. Your compensation may also be reduced if you delay in reporting the incident to the police.
- Assist in the criminal prosecution of the offender – if you wish to make a claim for compensation it is likely that you will also want to see justice done and see the criminal get their punishment, as well as receive compensation for the injury you suffered. Your compensation may also be reduced if you do not cooperate with the police.
- Inform those in authority if it is not practical to tell the police – for example, a prison inmate who is assaulted by a fellow prisoner should inform the prison authorities, it is obviously not possible for a prisoner to either ring or visit a police station whilst serving their time. Your compensation may also be reduced if you delay telling someone in authority.
To aid the prosecution of the criminal and your case for compensation there are several advisable things for you to do.
- Take the contact details of any witnesses to the crime.
- Go to the hospital or your G.P. and let a medical professional treat your injury. Even if no qualified medical treatment is necessary, the doctor you see will record your injuries; this could be helpful to a compensation claim.
- If symptoms that weren’t evident originally begin to make themselves shown in the aftermath, seek medical assistance. Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, shock can hide symptoms and psychological injury can take time to manifest.
- Keep a dated record of your physical and psychological symptoms.
- Request and retain receipts for any medical expenses that you may have to spend. You might be able to claim these back if your compensation claim is successful.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a non-departmental public body, and is part of the Ministry of Justice. It is the institution that deals with criminal injury claims, and to claim compensation for a criminal injury you generally have to go through this body.
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