If so, you may be entitled to bring a claim against the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority. This scheme covers a wide range of crimes ranging from the victims of the London bombings to individuals mugged or assaulted in the street. It is essential that you notify the police as soon as possible of the assault upon you as the delay is a possible ground for refusal of your application. All criminal assault claim applications should be filed within two years from the date of the assault.
Generally, under personal injury law, the victim has three years within which to file Court proceedings. The CICA scheme is, therefore, different but it is only necessary to file the application with the CICA within the two-year period to come within the scheme. The CICA scheme is also limited in that it will not compensate a victim for the first six months loss of earnings. The level of compensation under the scheme is set out in a system of tariffs dependent upon the type of injury involved. The CICA also operates a penalty system where compensation will be reduced if the victim himself/herself has a significant criminal record.
From my own experience, I have found that it is often necessary to challenge the initial decision or the amount of the award in order to obtain fair compensation. Legal advice is therefore recommended. I also find that the CICA can sometimes fail to take account of the psychological trauma following an assault where there is post-traumatic stress for which victims are also entitled to be compensated.
Unfortunately, the CICA scheme does not pay legal costs to victims. These will, therefore, have to be deducted from your compensation. I usually agree on legal costs with my clients so that it is still worth their while bringing the claim.