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Criminal Injuries Claim: A Case Study

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 4 Jul 2010 |
Criminal Injuries Compensation Attack

Graham was out with a group of friends on a Saturday night. There had been a football match in the town earlier in the day, a derby in which the town had lost to their bitter rivals. Graham and his friends finished their drinks and stopped off to get a kebab on the way home. A fight broke out in a nearby pub and spilled on to the street. While this was happening, a man approached Graham and punched him several times in the face, causing him to fall to the ground, unconscious.

The Police Investigation

The police and ambulance service were called and Graham was taken to hospital. A number of people were arrested and witness statements were taken from several people, including the kebab shop owner, who saw Graham being attacked and was able to confirm that he had not instigated any of the violence.

The Injuries

Graham had a broken nose, a fractured jaw and a large cut on his chin that required eight stitches. His nose required corrective surgery later on to re-set it. A number of people were arrested and charged with various offences that night including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray, although police never caught the man who attacked Graham. Graham was in hospital for two days, was off work for two weeks and did not fully recover for nearly four months. He was left traumatised by the incident: he became reclusive and lost confidence, especially since he had a large red scar across his chin, of which he was very self-conscious.

Claiming from CICA

However, Graham found out that he might be eligible to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and downloaded an application form. He was well within the two year time limit, and was certain that he would be eligible for their minimum payment, which is £1000. When Graham sent the form off the CICA acknowledged receipt of his claim and began to make their own enquiries as to the incident, with the police, the hospital where Graham was admitted initially, doctor’s reports and details of the further operation required to re-set his broken nose.

CICA's Response

The CICA decided under the circumstances that they did not require Graham to be examined by any more doctors. They had already determined that the incident happened and that his injuries were as a result of the attack. Graham was not entitled to lost earnings compensation because he was not off work for over 28 weeks. Similarly, he did not require medical attention beyond that which he received on the NHS, and did not need to pay for any extra care.

The Settlement

Just over a year after Graham sent in his application form, the CICA made a decision on the level of compensation they considered applicable to his case and offered him £2300. Although Graham felt that no amount of money was ever going to properly compensate him for the pain and trauma he suffered as a result of the attack he decided to accept the offer. He signed the acceptance form and returned it, within the 90 day time limit required for doing so. Shortly afterwards, he received a cheque in the post for the full settlement amount.

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