How Long Will My Criminal Injury Claim Take? – Compensation Guide

By Daniel Pike. Last updated 10th June 2022. Welcome to our guide that answers the question “how long will my criminal injury claim take?” In this guide, we explain how criminal injury claims work and the length of time they could take to process. If you have been hurt by some kind of criminal attack, you could be entitled to receive criminal injuries compensation. How long does it take is a valid question, and one we attempt to answer below.

Criminal Injuries Compensation – How Long Does It Take To Get Compensation?

Criminal injury claim criminal injuries compensation how long does it take

How to make a criminal injury claim

There are numerous kinds of criminal acts which could cause you physical and mental injuries. These can include assault, GBH, sexual assault and historical abuse. If you’ve been a victim of one of these acts (or a similar type of attack), you may be wondering how long it will take for your compensation claim to be completed. There are many factors that have to be considered during a criminal injury claim. Such cases can therefore prove complex to resolve.

Read on to learn more about the factors that influence the time needed to complete a criminal injury claim. We can also advise on how to get free specialist advice if you have any questions about getting criminal injury compensation.

Get In Touch With Our Team

Do you have questions about claiming compensation for a criminal injury? You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice about this type of claim. We can also advise on any questions you may have about other types of claims, such as accidents at work or even road traffic accidents.

You can contact us by using our online claim form. You can also reach us through our live chat function or call us by phone on 020 3870 4868

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About How Long Your Criminal Injury Claim Will Take
  2. What Are Criminal Injury Claims?
  3. What Time Limits Are There To Making A Criminal Injury Claim?
  4. Criminal Injury Compensation Authority Claims
  5. Calculating Compensation Settlements For Criminal Injuries
  6. How Long Does The CICA Take To Payout?
  7. How Could A CICA Payout Be Delayed?
  8. What Criminal Injuries Can You Get Compensation For?
  9. How Much Time Do I Have To Start My CICA Claim?
  10. I Suffered An Assault Or Criminal Injury, What Should I Do?
  11. Do You Handle Claims For Criminal Injuries On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  12. Contact Us For More Help
  13. Other Information
  14. FAQs People Ask About Criminal Injury Claims

Everything You Need To Know About How Long Your Criminal Injury Claim Will Take

You may be asking yourself, “how long do criminal injury claims take?” There are numerous factors that determine how long a claim takes. Sometimes, a case could take longer than the usual period if it’s particularly complex.

Read on to learn more about the factors which can influence the timescale of claims for criminal injury. We’ll also explain what you need to know about the process of making this type of claim. 

We also explain more about the organisation which usually provides compensation for this type of claim, which is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

What Are Criminal Injury Claims?

If you have been the victim of criminal activity, then you may have experienced an injury. In some cases, you may have even sustained multiple injuries. The damage may be physical such as a broken bone, but mental injuries can also be eligible for compensation. For example, you may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of being sexually assaulted or physically beaten.

Compensation is usually claimed through the CICA. This is because sometimes the person responsible for your injuries may not be in the position to compensate you. Alternatively, they may not be identified and caught. By having this scheme available, it means that victims of criminal injuries can have the opportunity to be compensated for their pain and suffering.

The settlement can be awarded to you directly from the defendant. However, this is a less common occurrence. Part of the reason for this is that whoever attacked you may not necessarily have the personal funds to cover the cost of your compensation. This is another reason why the CICA exists.

When attempting to claim compensation, many people wonder “how long will my criminal injury claim take?” There is no singular correct answer to this question. Every claim is different.

Some sources say that the CICA can process claims in 12-18 months. However, some claims can take longer than this.

Criminal Injury Statistics

The graph in this section shows the number of claims processed each year by the CICA. As you can see, the figure has been in the tens of thousands for the last few years. However, not all of these claims were successful, as you can see from the statistics on the government website.

Additionally, some of these claims were initially rejected, but then underwent appeals and reviews. This is another reason why it can be tricky to answer the question of “how long will my criminal injury claim take?”

Below, you’ll see the figures for 2016/17-2020/21. Whilst there is a notable dip in cases for 2020/21, it is unclear as to whether this was caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

How long will my criminal injury claim take statistics graph

How long will my criminal injury claim take statistics graph

What Time Limits Are There To Making A Criminal Injury Claim?

There is usually a time limit in place if you want to make a CICA compensation claim for criminal injuries. Generally, the specific time limit for starting a CICA claim is two years from the date of the incident which caused your injuries. If the injuries you suffered from a criminal act were not immediately obvious, then the two-year time limit starts from the date of knowledge of the injuries.

Injury claims made to the CICA can take a while to start properly, especially if it’s a complex case. Therefore, it’s always wise to start a CICA claim as soon as you can to make sure your case can start before the time limit runs out.

How the time limit could change

In certain circumstances, the time limit for starting a CICA claim can work differently. If ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevented you from starting your claim sooner than you normally would, then an extension to the time limit may be granted.

If a child suffers a criminal injury, then the two-year time limit for starting a CICA claim is frozen for them. A child cannot start a compensation claim on their own behalf until they reach the age of 18.

The two-year time limit for starting a CICA claim activates from the day they reach their 18th birthday. A claim could be started before a child reaches 18 by a chosen representative. The representative is known as a litigation friend, and it could be someone close to the child such as a parent or guardian. 

It’s also important to point out that you do not have to wait for a criminal trial to conclude before submitting a CICA claim. In some cases, the police and the crown prosecution service may say you should not make a CICA claim until the criminal trial has finished.

If this happens to you, you should ask to receive this instruction in writing if you don’t already have evidence of it. It may prove useful when you do eventually make a CICA claim, since you may need to explain why you submitted your claim later than normal.

Criminal Injury Compensation Authority Claims

The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-supported department that can provide compensation to those injured by criminal action. To be eligible to make a CICA claim, you need to be considered a blameless victim of violent crime. That means that you had no control over the situation which led to your injuries, and you did not aggravate the criminal in any way.

Another condition of making a CICA claim is that you should explore other avenues of gaining compensation first. These could include the criminal courts or the civil courts in the form of a personal injury claim.

The criminal who caused your injuries may be ordered to provide you with financial compensation, but they may not be able to afford this. If there are no other clear methods of acquiring compensation for your criminal injuries, then a CICA claim could be your best option.

How to be eligible for a CICA claim

As well as needing to be a blameless victim, other criteria must usually be met in order to be eligible for a CICA claim. This can include the following:

  • The crime needs to have occurred in England, Wales, Scotland (or anywhere that qualifies as a ‘relevant place’).
  • You should have reported the crime that injured you to the police as soon as you were reasonably able to.
  • If the criminal has not yet been identified, you could still make a CICA claim but you must have cooperated with police during their efforts to catch the criminal.
  • You’re more likely to have your CICA claim approved if you don’t have any unspent criminal convictions. If you do have any though, then your claim may be rejected. The chances of your claim being rejected depend on the severity of the crime you’ve been convicted for.

You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice if you have any questions about making a CICA claim, or if you’d like support making a claim. 

How long does it take for CICA to make a decision?

There are many things that the CICA have to consider when processing a criminal injury compensation claim.

This includes the injuries you’ve suffered and their severity. If you make a CICA claim of your own, then certain circumstances could mean it takes less or more time than this estimated period. 

Calculating Compensation Settlements For Criminal Injuries

A question people may have when claiming for criminal injuries is how much compensation they will receive. The amount of compensation you’ll receive if your claim succeeds depends on several factors. One of them is what type of injuries you’ve suffered and how severe they are.

The way you receive your compensation is a major influence too. The way CICA claims are paid out works differently compared to other types of personal injury claims. The CICA uses a particular compensation tariff to work out the payments for different injuries. It is based on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme’s Tariff of Injuries 2012.

Under this scheme, you’ll receive 100% of the compensation tariff for the first (most serious) injury. You’ll get 30% of the tariff for the second most serious injury. 15% of the tariff is paid out for the third most serious injury.

In the table below, we’ve included potential payouts you may receive from the CICA for certain injuries. The figures are based on the estimated tariffs used by the CICA. Keep in mind that these figures do not factor in any percentage reductions which could occur with your payout.

InjurySeverityCompensation
Brain DamageVery Serious£175,000
Brain DamageModerately Severe£110,000
Brain DamageModerate£27,000 to £82,000
Brain DamageMinor£6,200 to £22,000
Neck InjurySeriously Disabling And Permanent£11,000
Neck InjurySeriously Disabling But Not Permanent£3,500
Neck InjuryTemporarily Disabling For More Than 13 Weeks£1,000
Elbow Fracture/DislocationBoth Elbows£6,200 to £11,000
Elbow Fracture/DislocationOne Elbow£1,500 to £6,200
Fractured HandBoth Hands£1,800 to £6,200
Fractured HandOne Hand£3,500
Torso ScarringSerious£3,500
Torso ScarringSignificant£1,000
HerniaMultiple Hernias£3,500
HerniaSingle Hernia£1,800
Physical abuse, including domestic abuse (but not including sexual assualt)Severe Abuse£5,500 to £13,500
Physical abuse, including domestic abuse (but not including sexual assualt)Serious Abuse£2,000
Physical abuse, including domestic abuse (but not including sexual assualt)Minor Abuse£1,000

In addition to receiving compensation for injuries, your claim could also cover loss of earnings. These are usually covered under ‘special expenses’. While making your injury claim, you can ask for special expenses to be considered. To be eligible for this, it needs to be established that your injuries caused you to lose earnings for more than 28 weeks. You may also be able to claim for damage to property or equipment you own which you relied on for physical aid and it was damaged in the criminal act.

You can contact UK Law for a more specific estimate on the compensation you could receive for your criminal injuries.

How Long Does The CICA Take To Payout?

If your CICA claim is successful, then the organisation should notify you of their offer once the decision has been made. You will have to notify the CICA that you accept their offer. You’ll usually receive your compensation within four weeks of accepting the offer.

When compensation is being paid to a child, the CICA will hold their payout in an interest-bearing bank account until they reach their 18th birthday. The CICA may hold their payout in a trust for the applicant if they lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

How Could A CICA Payout Be Delayed?

There are certain circumstances that could cause a CICA claim or the payout in a successful claim to be delayed. While the claim is being processed, there are various stages where it could be slowed down:

  • The information which the CICA needs to gather for a claim could take a while. It depends on who the CICA needs to contact for the required information (the police and medical professionals may need to provide data, for example).
  • If the alleged perpetrator in a case has not been convicted, the CICA may request info and evidence from the police and other sources before making a decision.
  • If a claimant is undergoing treatment and their prognosis is unclear, then the CICA can’t make a decision on their case until their prognosis becomes clear.

Following a successful claim, the payout from the CICA is typically sent to you within four weeks of accepting their offer. However, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll receive your money within this time frame. 

With complex and high-value claims, it could take a while to finalise the compensation payout. You may, however, be entitled to an ‘interim payment’ in this kind of case. This is a payment given to the injured claimant before their compensation is finalised. The amount received in the interim payment is usually subtracted from your total compensation award.

What Criminal Injuries Can You Get Compensation For?

There are different types of criminal attacks which you could become a victim of and later claim compensation for. Depending on the exact circumstances of your case, you could claim for physical injuries, psychological injuries and financial losses directly caused by criminal injuries.

The types of attacks which can potentially lead to a criminal injury claim include the following:

How Much Time Do I Have To Start My CICA Claim?

If you are specifically aiming to make a claim to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA), it’s best to do this as soon as possible. The usual time limit you have for starting a CICA claim is within two years of the date of the incident you wish to claim for.

There may be an extension granted to this time limit if exceptional circumstances have prevented you from starting a CICA claim sooner. If a child is hurt by criminal injury, then the two-year limit for starting a CICA claim is frozen for them. It will not start until the day of the child’s 18 birthday. A CICA claim can be started by a litigation friend representing the child before they turn 18.

I Suffered An Assault Or Criminal Injury, What Should I Do?

If you’ve been assaulted or suffered another kind of criminal injury, you may be unsure of what actions to take to receive any compensation you’re eligible for. Your immediate priority following the incident should be to get appropriate medical care to treat your injuries. You should try and obtain medical evidence of treatments you receive for your criminal injuries.

You should also report the crime that caused your injury to the police as soon as you reasonably can (if someone else hasn’t already done so for you) and get a crime reference number (CRN).

If you intend to seek compensation for your injuries, you should next collect other evidence that can support your claim. Examples of evidence could include witness contact details, security camera footage or photos.

Speak to a professional

When you’ve finished gathering evidence, you may then want to contact a solicitor who can support your case. If you choose to hire one, we recommend that you get in contact with a solicitor with experience in dealing with criminal injury compensation claims. 

If a solicitor agrees to support your case and you are happy with what they offer, you can then sign an agreement with them. Your solicitor should guide you through all the steps that will follow in your criminal injury case. This is something we can help you with. Our panel of criminal injury lawyers are well-versed in handling CICA claims and can help you too.

The exact method you could potentially acquire compensation for your injuries will depend on certain circumstances. If whoever is responsible for your injuries is convicted in a criminal court, you may be awarded compensation as part of the court’s ruling. That will, however, depend on the finances of the criminal.

Alternatively, you could apply to receive compensation from the CICA. You should only go with this option if you can’t receive compensation from a criminal court and all other potential methods have been explored.

Do You Handle Claims For Criminal Injuries On A No Win No Fee Basis?

At UK Law, our panel of lawyers can handle criminal compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you can enjoy several benefits including the following:

  • You will not need to pay fees to your solicitor upfront.
  • No payments to your solicitor will be required during the claim.
  • If the claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay your solicitor’s legal fees.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you will only need to pay your solicitor’s success fees if your case is successful. To cover their payment, your solicitor will take a percentage of your compensation. The details of how payment works should be available to read in your Conditional Fee Agreement before you sign it.

Contact Us For More Help

If you have any questions about making an injury claim, you can contact UK Law now for free specialist advice. You can contact us through the following methods:

Other Information

Criminal injuries compensation – A guide

This Government online page provides an extensive guide to how compensation works under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA). It provides details on the types of payments you could receive and the circumstances which influence eligibility and payments.

Victim Support website

This UK charity provides emotional support and practical help to people who have been affected by crime.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012

This PDF is an official document for The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. It is the scheme that the CICA uses to calculate compensation payments for criminal injuries.

We’ve also included some more of our own guides which you may find helpful:

FAQs People Ask About Criminal Injury Claims

In this final section to our guide to making a criminal injury claim, we’ve added answers to some questions we’re often asked. 

How long can you make a claim after an accident?

If you want to make a claim for an injury caused specifically by an accident, the usual time limit for starting a claim is three years from the date of the incident. If you want to claim for an injury caused by a criminal act, then the usual time limit is two years from when the incident occurred.

How do I check my CICA claim?

If you would like to check on the progress of your CICA claim, you can call the CICA helpline. An advisor from the organisation will attempt to update you on the current status of your case.

How long do the CICA take to pay out once accepted?

The CICA claim waiting time for having your case addressed is around 12 months. Some cases may be more complex than others and because of this, the timescale may be affected.

However, once a claim has been accepted, a CICA payout can take around 20 days to be awarded to your or your representative. If you’re unsure as to whether this timescale will be affected by your circumstances, get in touch with our advisors today.

The more information we have regarding your claim, the more we can assist you. Each claim is unique, and because of this, the timescale may vary for a variety of reasons.

As we can see from the graph below, the CICA sets out targets for deciding on claims. You can see how they have fared with making a decision on claims below.

criminal injuries compensation how long does it take

I’m claiming criminal injury compensation, how long does it take if criminal investigations are ongoing?

In some cases, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may need to wait for court processes to be completed before they can decide on your claim. If this is the case, they will usually inform you of the delay.

If I’m claiming criminal injury compensation how long does it take before the CICA would consider my claim time barred?

This depends on what you are claiming for. If you are claiming for historic abuse, claims could be made outside of the usual time limit of two years. If you would like to speak to our team to see how long you could have to claim, please get in touch. We would be happy to look into your case to see whether you could be within the time frame to launch a claim.

I’m thinking of claiming criminal injury compensation, how long does it take to get help?

If you would like help from our team to see if you could claim, you can get in touch with us right away. We would usually be able to provide guidance over the phone and assess your case. If we believe you could have a favourable chance of success with your claim, we will tell you. We could also provide you with solicitor who could assist with your claim.

Thank you for reading our guide on the question of “how long will my criminal injury claim take?” If you’re claiming criminal injury compensation, how long does it take could be a pressing question. Hopefully, we’ve answered it here.