Justice for Victims of Crimes of Violence?
Published: 24th May 2012
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has recently announced possible changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme run by the CICA.
This is a Government scheme designed to compensate innocent victims of crimes of violence.
At present claims for all injuries worth £1,000 or more can be made. If implemented, the planned changes mean that only claims worth more than £11,000 would qualify for compensation.
This would mean that many people would not be compensated for injuries which any reasonable person would consider as serious, for example, a fractured cheekbone, a punctured lung and facial scarring.
These are all injuries which could be sustained following an unprovoked assault. There are many other injuries which, although perhaps not as serious, would be very painful and distressing to the injured person but would not qualify for compensation under the MOJ plans.
The CICA scheme already contains a number of safeguards to ensure that only those who deserve compensation qualify. For example, the incident has to be reported to the police as soon as possible and cooperation with the police in their enquiries is also necessary.
However, a claim can still be made even if the attacker is not convicted or even identified by the police.
In addition, the injured person cannot have provoked the incident and cannot have a significant criminal record, for example, involving violence or imprisonment.
The changes proposed by the MOJ, if implemented, will mean that a large number of innocent victims of violence will not be able to claim.
The CICA already have restrictive rules on payment of loss of earnings and do not pay legal costs.
However, MKB Solicitors are able to act in these cases on a "no-win-no-fee" basis.
Under the present scheme claims must be made within two years of an incident occurring. This deadline may be extended in cases of sexual abuse, particularly involving children.
If you believe you may qualify for compensation under the CICA scheme, please contact David Wilson for a free meeting.