By Stephen Anderson. Last Updated 17th February 2023. Have you suffered a criminal injury that’s resulted in mental or physical harm? If you have, you may be entitled to compensation. This guide will look at how long you have to claim criminal injury compensation and how much you could be owed.
Before you read the article, you may have some questions such as:
- How long do I have to claim criminal injury compensation?
- How long does a criminal injury claim take?
We will answer these questions and more throughout this guide to offer you as much information as possible about pursuing a criminal injury claim. We will also look at how much compensation different injuries may be awarded.
Our brilliant team of advisers are available around the clock to offer a helping hand and answer any queries you might have. They can also offer free legal advice and discuss your next steps.
An adviser can then connect you to an experienced criminal injury lawyer from our panel if you have a legitimate claim. They can explore working with you on a No Win No Fee basis and calculate how much your claim could be worth.
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Select A Section
- How Long Do I Have To Claim Criminal Injury Compensation?
- When Could The Time Limit Be Extended?
- How Long Do I Have To Claim Criminal Injury Compensation If I Was Under 18?
- Do Sexual Abuse Claims Rely On Time Limits?
- Calculating Your Claim For Criminal Injury Compensation
- Contact A Criminal Injury Claim Specialist
There are certain time limits that apply to criminal injury claims. A claim for criminal injuries can potentially be made directly against the assailant or a claim may instead be started via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). For it to be possible to claim directly against the perpetrator, they need to be identified and have sufficient funds to compensate you. If you are able to make a claim directly against the perpetrator, then the time limit is usually three years from the day of the incident.
If you intend to make a criminal injury compensation claim through the CICA, then you will usually have 2 years to start this. This time limit begins from the day of the incident you’re claiming for. The rule for the time limit can be different for certain cases, such as those involving historical abuse. You are welcome to speak to our advisors if you are seeking clarification on the time limit for your criminal injuries compensation claim.
Take note that before you can claim for a criminal injury, it needs to have been reported to the police.
There are some exceptions to the time limits, such as those for children and mentally incapacitated claimants.
Claiming Through CICA
If you lack the mental capacity to make a claim, the time limit is frozen until you commence recovery. However, someone who has proof that they have the authority to act on your behalf could claim for you if you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself.
A parent or guardian could claim on a child’s behalf. However, once the child turns 18, they’d have 2 years to claim if nobody had already done so on their behalf.
Furthermore, if you have exceptional reasons for not reporting the crime to the police sooner, the CICA may make an exception. For instance, the time limit in which to begin a claim could go by the date you reported it to the police as an adult.
If the defendant is known and has the means to compensate you, you could claim against them. You’d have generally have 3 years to claim from the date of the incident.
If you were a child when that incident happened, you could have 3 years from the date of your 18th birthday. Alternatively, a litigation friend could claim on your behalf before this.
A litigation friend could also claim on your behalf if you lack the mental capacity to. Alternatively, if you recover mental capacity, you could have 3 years to claim from the date of recovery.
To learn more about these exceptions and discuss how long you could have to claim criminal compensation, you can get in touch with our team of advisers.
If you’re under 18, the time limits are different. There are generally two different time limits for claiming compensation before you turn 18 and when you turn 18 if the crime was reported to the police when you were a child.
You can’t make a criminal injury claim for yourself if you’re under 18. If you are a child, the time limit would begin on the date of your 18th birthday. For CICA claims, this is generally 2 years. However, your claim can be filed through the CICA sooner than this by a parent or guardian.
For claiming directly from the defendant, this time limit would generally be 3 years from your 18th birthday. However, an eligible adult could act as a litigation friend and claim on your behalf before this.
If the crime occurred when you were a child, but it wasn’t reported to the police, the 2-year time limit can start from the date you report it. However, it needs to have been reported as soon as possible, which would generally be once you’ve turned 18.
Time limits can differ when the claim involves historical abuse. Historical sexual abuse is sexual abuse that occurred in the past or childhood. In order to make a claim, the sexual abuse must have been reported to the police as soon as possible after the incident.
If you were an adult when the sexual abuse happened, you should pursue a claim as soon as you’re reasonably able. Preferably, this would be no longer than 2 years following the incident.
To discuss how long you may have to claim compensation in more detail, you can contact our expert team of advisers. They’d be happy to explore your situation and assess whether you may have a valid criminal injury claim. If you do, they could connect you to a criminal injury solicitor from our panel to talk through No Win No Fee agreements with you.
The Same Roof Rule
The same roof rule stated that if historical sexual abuse (or other violent crime) occurred between 1st August 1964 and 1st October 1979 and you lived in the same household as your attacker, you couldn’t claim. However, changes allowed such victims to apply for compensation before 13th June 2021.
Though the deadline has passed, you could still claim. You’d need to show that you were unable to apply before 13th June 2021 and you:
- were a child when the crime happened; or
- couldn’t apply earlier due to exceptional circumstances. (You’d need to evidence this.)
Our team of advisers would be happy to have a chat with you about how long you have to claim criminal injury compensation. If your claim is legitimate, you can then be connected to a criminal injury lawyer from our panel to potentially begin working on your criminal injury claim.
The compensation table below uses the CICA figures to demonstrate how much compensation some injuries can be awarded. This table is used as an example and the figures may vary.
|Major Paralysis (not due to brain damage)||Hemiplegia (half the body's sensory and motor function is impaired) - Severe||£110,000|
|Major Paralysis (not due to brain damage)||Hemiplegia (half the body's sensory and motor function is impaired) - Moderate||£55,000|
|Mental Injury||Permanent mental illness that is diagnosed and has a prognosis made by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist - Seriously disabling||£27,000|
|Mental Injury||Permanent mental illness that is diagnosed and has a prognosis made by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist - Moderately disabling||£19,000|
|Burns (Resulting in Disfigurement That’s More Than Mild)||Head - severe||£16,500|
|Burns (Resulting in Disfigurement That’s More Than Mild)||Head - moderate||£2,400|
|Burns (Resulting in Disfigurement That’s More Than Mild)||Face - Severe||£27,000|
|Burns (Resulting in Disfigurement That’s More Than Mild)||Face - Moderate||£2,400|
|Scarring||Face - Disfigured seriously||£11,000|
|Scarring||Face - Disfigured significantly||£2,400|
|Sexual assault||Causing permanent disabling mental harm|
diagnosed by psychiatric prognosis. The mental illness if severe.
|Sexual assault||Penile penetration that isn't consensual where the vagina, mouth or mouth is penetrated and there is 1 attacker.||£11,000|
The above figures don’t represent what you could claim for injuries if you seek compensation from the assailant directly.
You will have a choice whether to claim against the assailant directly or via the CICA. If you claim directly against the assailant, you may be awarded special and general damages. Special damages give compensation for the financial suffering you’ve experienced due to your injuries. For example, you might have experienced a loss of earnings if you took time off work.
General damages offer compensation for the mental and psychological issues you suffered due to your injuries. An example of this could be if you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after your injuries.
If your claim is made through the CICA, you could be compensated for your loss of earnings. However, your loss of earnings is only calculated from 29 weeks after the incident.
You could also claim special expenses for certain financial losses you’ve injured due to your injuries.
You can contact our team of advisers today to look at how long you have to claim criminal injury compensation. If your claim is promising, they can connect you to one of the criminal injury lawyers from our panel.
A No Win No Fee agreement (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement) is a contractual agreement signed by you and your criminal injury solicitor. This contract includes the guidelines that must be adhered to by your solicitor so they can receive payment.
If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay your lawyer’s fee. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will deduct a small compensation percentage that’s legally capped. This will have been discussed with your lawyer beforehand.
No Win No Fee agreements have many benefits financially, and there’s little to lose. The clock is ticking, so why wait? You can get in touch with our excellent team of advisers today to have a chat about your potential case.
If your claim is valid, you may be connected to a criminal injury lawyer. They can then begin working on your criminal injury claim and seek the highest amount of compensation you could be entitled to.
You can have a chat with one of our advisers by:
- Calling our number on 0800 408 7825 to discuss your claim.
- Filling in our contact form to request a callback at your convenience.
- Sending a message in our live chatbox for an instant reply.
Accident In A Public Place: What To Do? – Have you suffered a public injury? If so, you may be owed compensation.
Public Road Motorcycle Accident Claim – Our article looks at how No Win No Fee claims work when making a public roads motorcycle accident claim.
Treatment of Fractures – You can find guidance about how fractures are treated in this NHS guide.
Making A Claim – There is further information on this page about making criminal injury claims through the CICA.
Thank you for looking at our article about how long you have to claim criminal injury compensation.
Article by OA