By Lewis Houston. Last Updated 29th November 2022. This guide will explain how you could claim murder victim compensation. You may believe that there is no channel through which those affected by violent crime can claim compensation. However, this is not the case.
It is possible to sue the perpetrator directly for the harm caused. In order to do this, you would need to know who they are and they would need to have the funds available to compensate you.
However, you can also claim compensation through the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government agency that pays out compensation to victims of a violent crime. Unlike direct claims, claims made through the CICA don’t require that the person who committed the crime is identified.
Public Interest Lawyers can provide you with a skilled lawyer to handle criminal personal injury claims. To begin your claim, please get in touch by:
- Calling 0800 408 7825
- Using our live chat feature at the bottom of this screen
- Getting in touch via the contact us page
Alternatively, continue reading this guide to learn more about how to claim.
Select A Section
- What Is A Manslaughter Or Murder Victim Compensation Claim?
- Key Homicide In England And Wales Statistics
- Who Could Claim Murder Victim Compensation?
- Is There A Time Limit On CICA And Murder Victim Claims?
- What Documentation Do You Need To Make A CICA Claim?
- Manslaughter And Murder Victim Compensation Payouts
- Start Your No Win No Fee CICA Claim
- Related Criminal Injury Claims
Murder and manslaughter are both crimes that cause someone to lose their life. Because of this, the victim of manslaughter or murder will not be able to launch their own compensation claim. However, a claim can still be made by certain third parties who qualify for a payment.
Below, we have explained how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) define murder and manslaughter. These two offences constitute homicide.
How Does The CPS Define Murder?
Murder is where:
- Someone of sound mind;
- Unlawfully (i.e. not in self-defence or justified in any other way) kills;
- Another human being;
- Under the Queen’s Peace (not in wartime);
- With intent to kill that person or cause them Grevious Bodily Harm (GBH).
In order to show that the defendant had this intent, it would need to be shown that they felt sure that death or serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty of their actions.
How Does The CPS Define Manslaughter?
Manslaughter is split into two different offences according to the CPS:
- Involuntary manslaughter. This is where someone kills someone else unlawfully but did not intend to kill or cause someone grievous bodily harm.
- Unlawful act manslaughter. This applies where the defendant has intentionally acted in an unlawful and dangerous manner causing inadvertent death.
In the year ending March 2020, 695 people died of homicide in England and Wales. This is based on statistics from the Office for National Statistics.
The majority of homicide victims in this period were male. Almost three-quarters of homicide victims in this period were men (73%) compared to 27% of victims that were female.
The most common method of killing for both male and female victims was by a sharp instrument. This includes knives. They made up 40% of homicide offences in this time period.
The second most common method of killing in this time period was killing someone by “kicking or hitting”. The majority of the victims killed in this kind of incident (83%) were male.
16% of female victims, which is 31 victims, were killed as a result of being strangled or asphyxiated. This is the second most common method of killing related to women victims.
The CICA enables people who have suffered as the result of a crime of violence to claim compensation. In many cases, this would be the person who was injured as a result of the crime.
However, in the cases of murder and manslaughter, a claim could be made by a third party. This bereavement award is made for the loss of their loved one and can cover the psychological damage caused by the passing of their loved one.
Below, we’ve looked at some of the qualifying relatives who could make a CICA claim on behalf of a deceased person.
Claiming As A Parent Or A Close Relative
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme defines a qualifying relative as:
- A spouse or civil partner who lived with the deceased.
- A partner of the deceased who lived with them for at least 2 years before their death.
- A spouse, civil partner or partner who did not live with the deceased because of ill-health or infirmity, but otherwise would have satisfied one of the first two conditions.
- A spouse or civil partner (current or former) who was financially dependant on the deceased.
- A parent of the deceased; or
- A child of the deceased.
It’s important to note that “child” in this context is not limited to someone under the age of 18. Adult children of the deceased are also classed as qualifying relatives.
Claiming As A Dependant
You may be able to make a dependency payment if you can show that you were dependant on the deceased person at the time of their death. This can be:
- Financial dependency. This is where the qualifying relative was dependant on the deceased party financially and receives compensation to accommodate this loss of earnings. There are some stipulations to this; for example, the deceased must have either been in paid work at the time they passed away, or have a good reason for not being.
- Physical dependency. You could also receive compensation if the deceased was your main carer and you’re a qualifying relative. “Main carer” means someone who met the majority of your care needs. Your care needs could include personal hygiene, food preparation and eating, and keeping you safe from harm.
Other Criteria For Making A Murder Victim Claim
When making a murder victim claim through the CICA, you must meet certain criteria in order for you to be eligible for criminal injury compensation. For example, the murder or manslaughter must have occurred in England, Scotland or Wales. You must also meet the CICA residency criteria.
Additionally, you must ensure that you adhere to the relevant time limits. Generally, when you claim through the CICA, there is a two-year limit. This can begin from the date of the incident or from when you report it to the police, which you are expected to do as soon as you can unless you have evidence that exceptional circumstances prevented you from doing so.
For more information on criminal injury claims, get in touch with us at any time. Our advisors are available to answer your questions 24/7 and at no additional cost to you. Additionally, they could connect you with criminal injury solicitors from our panel.
There is a time limit for making a murder victim compensation claim. This time limit is generally two years. However, if you can show that exceptional circumstances stopped you from being able to start a claim within this time limit, this can be extended.
Furthermore, it’s a requirement that an incident is reported to the police in order for you to claim through the CICA. This should be done as soon as possible; however, exceptions can be made if extenuating circumstances delayed you in reporting it to the police.
For more information on the time limits that apply when claiming murder victim compensation through the CICA, please consult Public Interest Lawyers. One of our advisors could offer you free legal advice about claiming.
To claim manslaughter or murder victim compensation, the CICA may require:
- Proof that you meet the residency requirements for claiming
- Confirmation from the police or witnesses of the incident that the deceased’s behaviour didn’t contribute to the incident
- Proof of any loss or future loss of earnings
- Confirmation from the police that they received a report about the incident
- Confirmation of your co-operation with the police.
A solicitor may be able to help you collect the evidence you need to make a claim. If you’d like to know more about being connected with a solicitor from our panel to represent you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The CICA have a tariff of injuries that they use to calculate payouts to be awarded in different circumstances. We have used some of these figures to create the table below.
|Type Of Damages||Estimated CICA||Notes On This Injury|
|Bereavement payment||£5,500 per applicant||Where several qualifying relatives are seeking compensation|
|Bereavement payment||£11,000||Where one qualifying relative is seeking compensation|
|Fatal criminal injury||Maximum £500,000||This is the maximum award which may be made under this Scheme in relation to fatal criminal injury.|
|Child's payment||£2,000 each year||This payment can be made to a qualifying relative under the age of 18 who was dependent on the deceased for parental services.|
For more information on how much compensation you could receive, please get in touch with one of our advisors today. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor; please read on to find out more about what this means.
A No WIn No Fee agreement is a way of funding legal representation. It means that, instead of paying an upfront solicitors fee, you will be charged a success fee on the ground that your solicitor wins your claim. The success fee is deducted from your compensation payout.
In the event that your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be charged by your solicitor. Furthermore, you won’t be asked to make a payment upfront or while your claim is ongoing.
You can read our online guide to learn more about how a No Win No Fee agreement could benefit you.
Contact Public Interest Lawyers Today
To begin your claim for manslaughter and murder victim compensation, please contact Public Interest Lawyers today.
To get in touch, you can:
Thank you for reading our guide to claiming compensation for homicide. You may wish to read these guides to learn more about making a compensation claim.
An NHS guide to coping with bereavement
The CPS provide information on mandatory life sentences in murder cases.
And a guide from Child Bereavement UK about what grief is.
Thank you for reading our guide to claiming murder victim compensation.
Article by AH