How Long Does a CICA Claim Take to Complete?

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When someone is the blameless victim of violent crime the impact can be devastating, both physically and psychologically. In these cases, you may feel like you have little support and while it may not undo the damage, compensation can go a long way to helping your recovery.

For many victims, one of the best sources of compensation is the government-run Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). However, as with any government authority, the gears can move slowly and you may have concerns about how long a CICA claim takes to complete – particularly if you are keen to move past the event as quickly as possible.

To understand how long a CICA claim takes to complete, you first have to appreciate what goes into one and what you can expect to come out of it. We looked at just this, so whether you are considering making a claim or midway through one, we can help.

How to Make a CICA Claim?

If you have only recently been the victim of a violent crime, whether that be an assault or abuse, you have likely had a lot of information thrown at you. Part of that information may be that you can make a claim for compensation from the government via CICA.

One of the great advantages of CICA is that you do not need to have your case proven in a criminal court of law, meaning you can still seek compensation even if the alleged perpetrator was never identified, caught or convicted. For many victims, this allows at least some sense of legal remedy.

Eligibility

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Of course, there are some requirements for making a claim. Most notably, you will need to have reported the incident to the police. You will also need to make sure you meet other eligibility criteria, meaning one or more of the following apply:

  • You were the direct victim of a violent crime
  • You were injured while taking an exceptional and justified risk (such as attempting to apprehend an offender)
  • You witnessed or was present at the immediate aftermath of an incident that occurred to someone else
  • You suffered bereavement as a result of a crime of violence
  • The incident occurred in England, Wales, Scotland, or another ‘relevant place

There are additional criteria for who can make a CICA claim, so ensure you consult a solicitor to determine your eligibility as soon as possible.

These cover a range of scenarios, such as claiming on behalf of a child or claiming following the death of someone you were financially dependent on. If you are unsure whether you can apply, you should seek advice from a solicitor.

Evidence

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When it comes to making a CICA claim, you will also need to provide a range of evidence. What is important to note is that the responsibility for providing this evidence falls to you, meaning CICA will not try to substantiate your claim for you.

The evidence you will be asked for will vary from the simple to the more complex, depending on the details of your case. You will likely be asked to provide:

  • Proof of your residency and that it meets eligibility requirements
  • Medical evidence that the injury you sustained can be compensated under the scheme
  • Evidence to support any claim of loss of earnings, whether in the short or long-term

While the CICA will not compile evidence themselves, they will independently check some elements, namely:

  • That the incident was reported to police
  • Confirmation from the police and/or witnesses that your behaviour did not contribute to the incident and therefore your injuries
  • That you cooperated with police

While the application for a CICA claim is relatively straightforward and can be done online, the difficulty many victims face is providing the required evidence. If you are unsure whether you have enough evidence for your claim and do not know how to gather more, you should speak to a solicitor for advice.

How Long Does a CICA Claim Take to Complete?

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Making a CICA claim can provide vital compensation at a time of need, but you have to be prepared to be patient. CICA claims typically up to 12 months to complete, but for complex cases, it could be longer.

It is impossible to give a clear indication of how long your claim will take to resolve without knowing the details of your case but there are some telltale signs that it may take an extended period of time, such as:

  • You need ongoing treatment
  • You do not have an anticipated recover date
  • You do not have a definitive prognosis of how the injury will impact you in the future.

In these cases, it can be difficult to determine how much compensation you are owed but that does not mean you have to go without.

Once you have had a settlement offer from CICA and accepted it, you should expect the money to reach your bank account within four weeks.

If compensation is made for a minor, then CICA will hold it in a bank account where it can gather interest until they turn 18. Likewise, a claim on behalf of someone lacking mental capacity may be held in a trust on their behalf.

How Long Do You Have to Claim?

If you are considering a CICA claim, it is important that you move quickly, as you only have two years from the date of the incident to submit your claim.

If the alleged perpetrator of the violent crime is currently standing trial you do not have to wait for the outcome of the trial to make a CICA claim. Likewise, if you are unsure of the extent of your injury, you can still start your claim.

How Much Compensation Could You Receive?

CICA settlements can range anywhere from £1,000 – £500,000, depending on the severity of your injury. If you have more than one injury, each of which would qualify as a claim, it is possible you can claim for more than one.

CICA Claim Support

If you want the expert help of a solicitor to make the claim, your first step should be to speak to an experienced solicitor who can help you identify whether you have a claim and lead the evidence gathering process for you.

Get in touch with Nayyars for more information about how we can help make your CICA claim.

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