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Published On: June 12, 2012 | Blog | 0 comments

Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims

It has been reported that at least four victims of the July 7 London bombings are still awaiting payment of compensation for their injuries from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).  The London bombings occurred on 7 July 2005.  The compensation payments are due to them following claims for personal injuries, loss and damage suffered as a consequence.

Essentially, the CICA scheme is a scheme available to those who are victims of a criminal offence.  The CICA application can be completed by downloading a copy of the application form online.  It is available for individuals to complete with or without the assistance of a legal advisor. The website is

It is a Government scheme which is tariff based and compensation will only be awarded if the CICA believe that an injured person is a victim of crime.  The CICA decide to make compensation awards by following a set of rules known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The scheme sets out the conditions which must be met before a victim of crime will be considered eligible for compensation.

The CICA scheme is independent of any criminal and civil litigation.  However, any evidence obtained during the course of a criminal trial, Inquest or civil proceedings will assist with the CICA application process.  Moreover, if compensation from a civil claim is paid to a victim of crime who has already been compensated by the CICA, then they must repay their CICA award.

Dozens of victims and families of the London bombings have complained to the CICA over the lengthy delays in regard to their compensation payouts.  They have suggested that there should be urgent reforms to the system saying that delays add to the trauma already suffered by those who survived.

One of these victims is the train driver who was driving the Piccadilly Line tube train when the bomb went off at Russell Square.  He ran to the aid of many who died or were injured.  He suffered psychological trauma which left him unable to work for almost a year.  He complained that he had to appeal twice to the CICA before he received just over £4,000 for his psychological injuries.  It has been suggested by him that “these people who are still waiting for a settlement will feel like what they went through isn’t being recognised”.

The CICA has confirmed that it has paid out £11.5 million in compensation altogether to 648 victims of the bombings.  It has also confirmed that all those awaiting their compensation payments have received interim payments.

So how does the Scheme work?  In essence, people who have been physically or mentally injured by violent crime can apply to the CICA for compensation payments ranging from £1,000 to £500,000.

The CICA decide to make compensation awards by following a set of rules known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The scheme sets out the conditions which must be met before a victim of crime will be considered eligible for compensation. You could be eligible to claim if:

  • The incident was reported to the police without any delay. Any delay could result in rejection of a claim by the CICA;
  • Your injuries meet the minimum award of £1,000;
  • The incident happened within the last two years. (There are special circumstances where you may still be able to claim if the incident happened more than two years ago); and
  • The incident occurred within England, Wales or Scotland.

If a person is considered eligible to receive compensation for their injuries, there is then a set tariff of awards that are available depending on the type of injuries sustained. Examples of some of the awards available include:

  • £5,000 Fractured Jaw
  • £25,000 Loss of an Eye
  • £1,500 Loss of a Tooth
  • £3,000 Fractured Tibia
  • £2,000 Broken Nose

The main criticism of the CICA process is that it is slow and it can take a very long time for applications to the CICA to be investigated and considered.  Unfortunately, those victims who have submitted applications are often victims with severe psychological and physical injuries or have suffered family bereavement and the delays can lead to further psychological trauma.

On a positive note, the CICA scheme may be the means of compensation available to those victims who do not have any redress through other avenues (for example a child abuse victim where the perpetrator is an individual with no financial assets or income). In that instance, the CICA is an alternative option that is available to that victim if all the requirements of the scheme are met.  However, under the guidance of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2008, the CICA is currently able to reject or reduce claims if, amongst other things:

  • the offence took place before 1964;
  • the applicant has a criminal record; or
  • a full award is not appropriate because of the applicant’s behaviour before, during or after the incident”.

The CICA has discretion. If any previous convictions took place a considerable amount of time ago or the crime was not too serious then the CICA may process the victim’s application and award compensation.

The Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has put forward proposals to reform the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. He wants to prevent those who have previously been convicted of crimes from claiming for injuries and psychological damage as a result of a criminal act committed against them.  The suggestion is that it is not morally justified to allow a person who has committed a crime themselves to later benefit from the CICA system. The proposed reform will look to only granting compensation to those with criminal records in “exceptional circumstances”.

In a further attempt to save money, Mr Clarke also wants to try and cut down on the number of claims being brought for minor injuries.  He also wants to reduce public funding of the scheme by requiring all convicted criminals to pay set amounts into the scheme (the amount depending on the severity of the crime) and not just those criminals that have been fined as part of their punishment, which is currently the case.

The Scheme appears to be under-funded and the burden on the CICA to expedite applications and compensation payments is a tall order for an organisation overwhelmed with applications ranging from minor injuries to injuries of the utmost severity.

*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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