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Home > Personal Injury > Public Liability > Criminal assault

Criminal assault

Criminal assaults give rise to several possible ways to claim compensation.

First, it is always possible to sue the assailant direct. However, this is rarely advisable because of the difficulty of enforcing any judgement

Secondly, if the assault happens at work, it is possible that an accident claim can be made against the employer. Such claims are sometimes possible, particularly if the employer has exposed you to an unnecessary and foreseeable risk of injury which reasonable care would have avoided. For example, a nurse who is left alone without proper training with a known violent psychiatric patient may have a reasonable claim to bring.

Thirdly, and most commonly, it is possible to make a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This is a statutory scheme designed to compensate the victims of crimes of violence.

It is important to note that:

  • There is a strict 2 year time limit for making claims
  • No legal costs are payable
  • Injuries valued at less than £1,000 are not compensated
  • Awards are made strictly within a tariff
  • Multiple injuries are compensated according to a formula, with 100% for the most serious injury, 30% for the next injury and 15% for the third

No award is made for loss of earnings until after 28 weeks incapacity and then any award is capped at one and a half gross industrial earnings. In other words, if you are a high earner you will not be awarded your full loss of earnings, and you get nothing for the first 28 weeks in any event. All benefit payments are deducted in full.

It is possible to make a claim under the scheme as well as a claim against the employer, where appropriate, but any accident compensation received from the claim against the employer is deducted in full from the scheme figure.

The scheme is a complex one and it is always important therefore to obtain prompt specialist advice.

Making a claim for criminal injury

If you feel that your employer is responsible for your injury, perhaps because they failed to protect you from a foreseeable risk of assault by taking sufficient measures, we may be able to assist you in pursuing a claim against your employer. Further details can be found on our page about attacks at work.

The CICA scheme is not set out to cover legal costs as it is possible to pursue a claim without instructing a solicitor. Therefore we would usually recommend that you deal with the claim yourself and contact the CICA directly.

In cases involving particularly serious or complex injuries however, our advice may be different, and our expertise can be beneficial in ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. Such injuries might include those involving; head and brain injuries, serious spinal injuries, serious burns, amputations, loss of sight, fatalities, paralysis or any injuries causing a long term or permanent physical or psychological disability. In these circumstances, we may be able to assist you with your claim.

Contact us on 0800 783 9019, or by completing one of our online compensation claim forms, for advice on whether we can assist you.

Strict time limits apply for making a personal injury compensation claim, so please seek expert legal advice as soon as you think you may have a valid claim for compensation.

Please visit our section on information and advice for more details on making a personal injury compensation claim, or our gathering information and evidence section for details on what to do if you are involved in an accident.

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