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Assault compensation

Unfortunately, innocent people are often the victims of mindless violence, usually because they are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you have been the victim of a crime then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Each assault claim is different and will be judged on its own merits and the amount of compensation that a victim can claim will depend upon how violent the crime was.

An assault compensation claim can be made against any of the following:

  • The Assailant
  • Your Employer (if the attack took place during the course of employment)
  • The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

The Assailant

To make a claim against the assailant you have to show that there has been a violent act by the assailant and that the assailant caused you actual harm or that you feared the assailant would cause you harm.

CICA

Most claims are made against the CICA because whilst the assailant may not have the means to pay compensation, the CICA do. A lot of claims are also made against the CICA because in many cases the assailant is unidentified.

The CICA is a government organisation that was set up specifically to compensate victims of violent crime, regardless of whether they have suffered mental or physical injuries. A claim against the CICA can result in a compensation award of up to £500,000. You can also bring a claim through the CICA if you are a UK resident and have been assaulted in another European Union (EU) country.

You can make a claim both against the CICA and your employer or the assailant, but the amount you receive from your employer will be deducted from the amount you are awarded by the CICA.

Making claims against the CICA is different to the usual personal injury claims, namely because:

  • You must make your claim within two years of the incident (unlike the usual three years with personal injury cases)
  • CICA claims are only for injuries that are valued at £1,000 or more
  • You cannot claim loss of income for the first 28 days
  • The amount you can claim for loss of income is capped, so higher rate earners may not be able to recover all their lost income
  • Your background and conduct will be taken into account including any criminal records you may have and how you co-operate with the police

In addition to the above, legal costs are not paid for by the CICA and therefore you would have to pay any solicitor you instruct privately. It is recommended that unless your claim is particularly complicated you either bring your claim privately or discuss your solicitor’s fees with them in advance.

It is difficult to calculate the amount of compensation that the CICA will award, however as a rough guide you could get £1,000 – 2,000 for a broken nose, £1,000 – over £10,000 for facial scarring, £3,000 – £8,000 for jaw or dental damage, £3,000 – £6,000 for a broken leg and anything from £1,000 to over £20,000 for sexual assault.

Claims Against Your Employer

We expect to be kept safe at work and rightly so. If however, you suffer from an assault whilst at work then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. This is because employers have a legal duty of care towards their employee’s health and safety. An employer will broadly be responsible for any assault at work in the following circumstances:

  • Working Alone e.g. security guards
  • Ignoring / failing to take action against previous violent behaviour by either a member of staff, client or patient
  • Lack of training e.g. for carers dealing with patients with challenging behaviour
  • Lack of personal protective equipment
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