How Long Will My Criminal Injury Claim Take? – Compensation Guide
By Daniel Pike. Last Updated 19th April 2023. 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?
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.
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About How Long Your Criminal Injury Claim Will Take
- What Are Criminal Injury Claims?
- What Time Limits Are There To Making A Criminal Injury Claim?
- Criminal Injury Compensation Authority Claims
- CICA Payouts – What Could I Receive In Compensation?
- How Long Does It Take For My Criminal Compensation To Come Through?
- How Could A CICA Payout Be Delayed?
- What Criminal Injuries Can You Get Compensation For?
- How Much Time Do I Have To Start My CICA Claim?
- I Suffered An Assault Or Criminal Injury, What Should I Do?
- Can I Claim For Criminal Injuries With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
- Contact Us For More Help
- Other Information
- FAQs People Ask About Criminal Injury Claims
If you are not able to claim directly against the perpetrator or a vicariously liable third party, you could claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government agency that allows those injured in a crime of violence in England, Scotland or Wales or another relevant place to seek compensation.
CICA claims do not have set timeframes for which they will be completed in, and there are several factors that can affect how long it will take for a decision to be made. This guide will focus on these factors to help you better understand how long your claim could take and explain why a decision can sometimes take longer to reach. Alongside this, it will act as a general introduction to how you could be able to claim compensation if you were injured by a criminal, and the compensation payouts that can be awarded in successful claims.
We will not only focus on compensation for physical injuries, we will explain how you could make a claim for mental suffering caused by an assault, and show how you a CICA PTSD payout or similar mental injury can be achieved.
We provide examples of CICA payouts below along with information on how long the typical claim can take, but if you want to speak to someone directly about your questions, our advisers are available to help you.
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.
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.
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.
If you make a claim via the CICA, you could be awarded compensation for your injuries. Consideration can be given to the psychological impact of your injuries, such as in cases when a CICA PTSD payout is being sought. Compensation for your injuries will be calculated according to the tariff of injuries found in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.
If you have two or more injuries, the multiple injury formula can apply. This means you can receive 100% of the full tariff value for the most serious injury; 30% of the full tariff value for the second most or equally serious injury; 15% of the full value for the third most or equally as serious injury.
However, whilst you cannot be awarded compensation for more than three injuries from this tariff, you could receive an additional payment. These can be awarded if you became pregnant, lost a foetus or contracted a sexually transmitted disease as a result of your injury or the assault.
Below, we have provided a table containing figures from the tariff.
Injury Severity Compensation
Brain Damage Very Serious £175,000
Brain Damage Moderately Severe £110,000
Brain Damage Moderate £27,000 to £82,000
Brain Damage Minor £6,200 to £22,000
Neck Injury Seriously Disabling And Permanent £11,000
Neck Injury Seriously Disabling But Not Permanent £3,500
Neck Injury Temporarily Disabling For More Than 13 Weeks £1,000
Elbow Fracture/Dislocation Both Elbows £6,200 to £11,000
Elbow Fracture/Dislocation One Elbow £1,500 to £6,200
Fractured Hand Both Hands £1,800 to £6,200
Fractured Hand One Hand £3,500
Torso Scarring Serious £3,500
Torso Scarring Significant £1,000
Hernia Multiple Hernias £3,500
Hernia Single 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
Criminal Compensation Payouts – Other Examples
The figures listed within the CICA tariff may not always represent the total amount of compensation that is awarded. Criminal compensation payouts awarded through the CICA scheme can also contain a payout for other harmful effects of an injury.
For example, you could receive compensation for a loss of earnings. Statutory Sick Pay can be paid for up to 28 weeks – after that an employer is no longer legally obligated to pay a sick or injured person unless it is laid out in your contract. If you were injured in a criminal assault that has left you unable to work beyond the statutory sick pay limit then you could claim for compensation for your lost earnings through the CICA. The amount you receive will not reflect your pre-injury earnings.
You could also be able to seek special expenses for certain other financial losses caused by the criminal injury. This could include:
- Treatment costs
- The cost of special equipment such as physical aids
- The cost of replacing or repairing physical aids you already relied on
- Home adaptations
There could potentially be other expenses you could claim for if you could prove they were reasonable and could not be found for free elsewhere.
If you would like to learn more about this, then please speak to one of our advisers. They can discuss several aspects of CICA claim and answer questions such as how long it may take for your criminal compensation to come through or the current CICA claim waiting time for 2022.
When you’re considering claiming criminal injuries compensation, “how long can it take?” may be on your mind. However, there is no set timescale for any claim. The time it takes before a payout is awarded is dependent on many factors.
Some more complex cases may take longer than others. One reason for this may be that evidence-gathering is taking more time than usual. So, there, unfortunately, is not a straight answer to, “how long does a CICA claim take?”.
However, once an amount has been offered and accepted, the CICA does aim to award the money to you within 20 working days. The payment will be sent directly to either your bank account or the account of your representative.
If you have any other questions on the subject of timings for CICA injury payouts, get in touch with our advisors today. We are here 24/7 to assist you with the claim in any way that we can.
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.
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:
- Assault (including GBH or injuries inflicted during a mugging or robbery)
- Domestic abuse
- Historical abuse
- Injuries caused by arson or fire-raising
- Sexual assault
- Sexual abuse by an ex partner, grandfather, or another family member
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.
If you’re wondering how to make a criminal injury claim, there are several steps you could take as part of the process. When claiming via the CICA, you will need to provide the necessary evidence, such as:
- Proof that you meet the residency requirements
- Medical evidence that highlights the injury you suffered can be compensated for
- Evidence that demonstrates any loss of earnings or special expenses
Another important step to take is reporting the crime to the police as soon as you reasonably can. It’s crucial that you obtain a crime reference number. Without this you would be ineligible to claim through the CICA.
Finally, it may be in your best interest to seek legal advice. A solicitor can guide you through the criminal injury claims process, using their experience and knowledge to ensure all bases of your claim are touched upon.
If you have any questions about criminal compensation payouts, our advisors are available 24/7 to help. Following a free consultation, you could also be connected with an expert lawyer from our panel to help you claim criminal injuries compensation.
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.
If you seek victim compensation in the UK, a criminal injury solicitor from our panel could help you gather evidence for your claim. They could also offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis, such as under a Conditional Fee Agreement. This means they typically won’t require an upfront fee to begin working on your claim.
Any ongoing costs during the claim are also generally covered as part of the agreement. Your solicitor deducts a success fee from your compensation if your claim is successful. However, this is limited as per the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013. If your claim is not successful, you don’t have to pay your solicitor for their services.
Our panel of solicitors are experienced in getting clients assault compensation payouts. If you wish to work with our team, you can get in touch at any time to find out more. Additionally, we can provide you with free advice regarding criminal compensation payouts.
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:
- Through our online live chat service
- You can submit a call back form
- You can make a request through our claim online form
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
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.
This UK charity provides emotional support and practical help to people who have been affected by crime.
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:
- What happens if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?
- Can you sue on behalf of someone else?
- Fractured and broken jaw compensation 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.
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.