Violent Crimes and Compensation – What is the CICA?

3 Min Read

Police tape with blurred lights in background

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority are a government authority who deal with compensation claims from people who have been physically or mentally injured by a violent crime in the UK.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated that 1.6% of adults aged 16 years and over were a victim of violent crime in the year ending March 2020. The police recorded 1.8 million violence against the person offences in the same year, of which “violence with injury” accounted for 31% (540,502 offences).

Violent crime and head injuries

One of the most common injuries caused by violent crime are head injuries, whether through the primary impact, like being struck with a blunt object, or from the secondary impact of falling to the ground. These often result in traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which although invisible, can be life-changing.

The symptoms can be subtle, and they are complex injuries to diagnose. Careful consideration is required to ensure that a person’s injuries are understood well enough to ensure they receive adequate compensation that reflects any changes to their needs.

TBIs are commonly classified based on the severity of the injury. One of the most common classifications is the Mayo Classification System, which divides TBIs into three categories: possible, mild and moderate-severe. These categories are based on various signs and symptoms, including loss of consciousness and post-traumatic amnesia along with physical symptoms such as blurred vision, confusion, headaches and seizures.

Even if you sustain what is classified as a possible or mild TBI, such as post-concussion syndrome, this is still a brain injury and should be treated as a serious injury.

The CICA scheme has its own tariff to classify these injuries but it follows a similar range of classifications, and ranges from minor head injury up to very serious brain injury.

Getting full compensation for Mark

Recently we acted for Mark (not his real name), who was injured when he was unexpectedly struck by a vehicle while walking through town. The collision was proven to be intentional, making it a crime of violence.

As a result of the impact, Mark sustained significant scarring to his head along with ongoing symptoms as a result of a brain injury, including problems with thinking and understanding, a personality change and a reduced ability to work.

On the initial application to the CICA they awarded Mark £3,000.00 for his scarring. We requested a review, as this did not include any compensation for his brain injury.

The CICA then awarded Mark an increased award of £23,050.00 made up of compensation for the scarring and minor brain damage, but we still did not think this showed an understanding of the ongoing symptoms and difficulties that he now had, and so we appealed the decision. Following a hearing with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, we were successful in proving that Mark had sustained moderate brain damage, and as a result the award was increased to £56,050.00

This shows that often these injuries and symptoms can be overlooked, and it can take an experienced lawyer to ensure that victims receive the right amount of compensation from the CICA scheme.

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Kieran Grainger, Paralegal at Enable Law

Kieran Grainger

Paralegal View Profile >

Tim Jones

Legal Director View Profile >