Whether its the verdant valleys and bustling cities of Scotland, the safety and well-being of its inhabitants remain paramount. Unfortunately, not all days are without accident, and some individuals find themselves harmed due to the criminal actions of others. During such adversities, it’s reassuring to know that mechanisms exist to ensure the affected parties are compensated for their sufferings. This guide, meticulously curated by the seasoned team at PICS, seeks to illuminate the ins and outs of criminal injury claims in Scotland. Our panel of personal injury solicitors has tirelessly advocated for numerous criminal injury victims, ensuring their voices are heard, their rights upheld, and that they secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.

What Is Criminal Injury?

Put simply, criminal injury is harm that a person experiences as a direct result of a crime. It’s not just about the physical cuts or bruises that can be seen. It’s also about the emotional scars that can linger, often hidden from view but deeply felt. Imagine someone stealing your belongings and, in the process, pushing you to the ground; the emotional trauma and the bruises from the fall are examples of criminal injury. It’s essential for victims to understand this concept, not just to heal and recover but also to ensure that justice is served. In a world where everyone deserves to feel safe, recognising and addressing criminal injuries becomes our shared responsibility.

What Is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?

Have you ever wondered how victims of crime find their way back to normalcy, especially when they’ve suffered injuries that impact their everyday lives? That’s where the criminal injury compensation scheme comes into the picture; it is a safety net or a helping hand extended to those hurt by others’ wrongdoing. 

It is a programme set up to support victims by providing them with compensation – a kind of financial support – for the harm they’ve endured. It’s not just about money, though. This scheme represents a promise from our society that we won’t let victims bear the brunt of someone else’s actions alone. 

Whether it’s helping to cover medical bills, therapy sessions, or just offering a cushion during tough times, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme stands as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the collective compassion we hold for one another.

How Do I Claim For Criminal Injuries Compensation In Scotland?

Making a Criminal Injury Compensation Claim can feel daunting, but with the right steps, it becomes manageable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process in Scotland:

Breathe and Compose Yourself:

The aftermath of a crime can be overwhelming, but try to compose yourself. Remember, while it’s essential to act, you have plenty time to gather yourself. Claims usually need to be made within two years, but exceptions exist for specific circumstances.

Document Everything:

 Make a record of all the essential details related to the crime. Note down dates, times, and location, and gather any supporting evidence; the more thorough you are, the better.

Seek Official Records:

Engage with the police and obtain official reports of the accident. These records can strengthen your claim significantly.

Fill Out the Required application Forms:

While paperwork might seem tedious, it’s vital for your claim. Detail the accident, injuries sustained, and other relevant information. Ensure everything is accurate and truthful.

Turn to Trusted Organisations like PICS:

 If the process feels overwhelming or confusing, remember that organisations like us are here to assist. Our panel of seasoned Personal Injury Lawyers Scotland can guide you, ensuring every step is done correctly.

Review and Compensation:

After submission, your Criminal Compensation Claim will undergo a review. Compensation amounts will be determined based on the severity of your injuries. Remember, the process might take time, but be patient because it’s about recognising the wrong done and facilitating your healing.

Who Is Entitled To Criminal Injuries Compensation?

When someone is hurt because of a crime, it is a real, personal struggle. In Scotland, there’s a system in place to offer victim support financially; here are some people who might be eligible to make criminal injuries compensation claims.

A Direct Victim:

If you were the one who suffered an injury because of a crime, even if you weren’t the intended target, you can claim compensation. For example, if you were out for a stroll and came across a street robbery and got hurt because of that, you are eligible to claim compensation.

Family and Loved Ones:

In some tragic cases where someone died as a result of the violent crime, their close family members, like children or spouses, can step in to seek compensation.

Witnesses with Emotional Scars:

Witnessing a traumatic event can leave lasting emotional marks. If you’ve seen a crime unfold and it has deeply affected your well-being, you have the right to seek help and compensation.

For good Samaritans:

If you’ve ever jumped into action to prevent a crime or tried to assist a victim and got hurt in the process, your bravery deserves recognition and you can apply for compensation.

Residents Outside Scotland:

Even if you don’t live in Scotland, but the crime happened there while you were visiting, the system has got your back. Residents from other parts of the UK or even international visitors can make a compensation claim if they have been injured in Scotland due to criminal activities.

What Is The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Scotland?

In Scotland, amidst its historic landmarks and vibrant cities, lies a lesser-known entity. One that brings hope and support to the victims of crime: The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) Scotland.

What is CICB Scotland?

CICB Scotland is essentially a safety net to support victims of criminal activity. It is a board that offers financial aid to those who’ve been wronged.

Why Was It Formed?

Back in the day, when crime victims had little to no support, there was a call for change. Society recognised that victims needed more than just sympathy; they needed tangible help. Thus, CICB Scotland was born, aiming to provide financial relief to those hurt by criminal acts.

How Does It Work?

The board goes through every application with caution and attention to detail, ensuring that the compensation goes to the right individuals. By evaluating the nature and severity of injuries and the circumstances surrounding the crime, the board ensures fairness and justice.

With every claim processed, there’s a group of dedicated individuals working diligently. From clerks to legal experts, they’re committed to understanding the pain of victims and making sure their needs are met.

How Is Compensation Calculated For Criminal Injuries?

Here are some things that CICB Scotland takes into account when calculating your criminal injury compensations. 

The Crime's Impact on You:

First things first, the nature and severity of your injuries play a significant role. A minor bruise will be viewed differently than a broken bone or emotional trauma, both of which are more severe injuries.

The "Tariff System":

 There’s this thing called the ‘tariff system’. It is a list of different types of injuries and a set compensation amount for each. However, while it gives a ballpark figure, every individual’s experience and recovery are unique, so the actual compensation might vary.

Special Expenses:

Did you miss work and lost wages? Have hospital bills piled up? Special expenses take into account any financial damages you’ve had because of the injury. So, if you had to take a cab to the hospital or missed out on some pay checks, it counts.

Pain and Suffering:

Beyond the physical scars, the general damage, such as emotional and psychological impacts, is also considered. These can sometimes be heavier than the most visible injuries. If you’ve needed counselling or have faced sleepless nights, it factors into the calculation.

Future Impacts:

Sometimes, an injury can affect your future – like if you can’t do a particular job anymore. When calculating compensation, they think about how the injury might affect your future earnings or if you might need ongoing treatment.

Requirements For Claiming Compensation For Criminal Injuries:

Navigating the aftermath of a criminal injury is a lot like piecing together a puzzle; there are many bits and pieces that need to fit perfectly. Among these pieces, understanding the requirements for claiming compensation takes precedence.

Reporting the Crime:

First and foremost, you’ve got to let the authorities know. Make sure you have reported to the police about the crime; the sooner you make the report, the better. It not only helps with the claim but can also aid in ensuring the culprit doesn’t hurt someone else.

Proof of Injury:

 Be it a doctor’s note, photos of bruises, or medical reports, you need concrete proof of the injury. Remember, the stronger your medical evidence, the smoother the claim process will be for you.

Connection to the Crime:

Your injury needs to be a direct result of the crime. This might sound obvious, but proving this connection can sometimes be tricky. It’s not just about showing you were hurt but that the crime itself caused the damage.

Who Can Claim?

To be eligible, one typically needs to be a resident of Scotland or have sustained the injury while in the country. However, this isn’t exclusive to residents; tourists and visitors have the right to make an application for compensation, too, although there might be additional steps involved.

Time limits:

There’s generally a designated period within which you should make your claim after the criminal injury, usually spanning two years. However, even if this window appears to have closed, don’t be disheartened. There are occasions where the court, recognising valid reasons for delays, might still consider your claim.

Character Assessment:

It might sound a little invasive, but your own past conduct could come under the scrutiny. If there are some past troubles with the law, it might influence the claim.

Going through a traumatic experience and then dealing with Criminal Injury Claims Scotland can feel overwhelming. However, remember, every big journey is just a bunch of tiny steps. With the proper knowledge, some patience, and perhaps a guiding hand from an expert, the path to claiming compensation becomes a lot more navigable. 

What Payments Are Available From Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?

Here are the various types of payments you can get in a criminal injuries compensation scheme.

1. Tariff Payments:

 Every injury has a price tag attached to it, and this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Based on the severity and impact of the injury, there’s a list (a tariff) that chalks out how much compensation is due. From minor cuts to life-altering traumas, the scheme has it all mapped out. This tariff serves as a guideline, helping the committee in making decisions on how much compensation you should get for your injuries. 

2. Special Expenses:

Sometimes, an injury does more than just cause pain; it profoundly impacts our financial situation. Think about medical bills, therapy sessions, or even those special shoes you had to buy. If the injury has left you with out-of-pocket expenses, the scheme’s got you covered!

3. Loss of Earnings:

When injuries keep you from work, your wallet feels the pinch because of the loss of earnings; the scheme considers this, too. If you’re unable to work or have reduced capacity due to the injury, compensation for those lost earnings can be claimed.

4. Bereavement Payments:

Life is unpredictable, and sometimes the people die as a result of criminal activity. If a criminal injury results in the death of a loved one, the scheme offers a bereavement payment. It is a way to provide financial support during such heartbreaking times.

5. Child's Payment:

When a child loses a parent or guardian due to a criminal injury, the scheme provides a special child’s payment. It’s a way to ensure that the child’s future has a financial safety net.

It is important to note that claiming isn’t about putting a price on pain but rather about acknowledging the impact of an injury and offering a helping hand. While money can’t erase memories or pain, it can undoubtedly help smoothen the path to recovery. 

What Are The Time Limits For Applying To the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority CICA?

Time limits play a vital role in the Scottish legal system, and the same is true for criminal injuries compensation claims; here is what you need to know. 

1. The Two-Year Window:

Generally speaking, if you’re considering claiming compensation for a criminal injury, there’s a two-year window from the date of the accident.

2. Exceptions to the Rule:

While two years might sound like a long time, sometimes life gets in the way, or the injury’s impact isn’t immediately clear. For special cases, like when the victim is a child or if there were exceptional circumstances preventing a timely claim, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Scotland (CICA) can show a bit of leniency and extend the deadline.

3. For Children:

For underage children, the rules have a little bit of leniency. If the individual was below 16 when the injury occurred, their time limit starts from their 16th birthday, which means they have until they turn 18 to make their claim. This allowance provides them with a transition period, ensuring they can assert their rights once they come of age.

4. Late Discoveries:

Sometimes, the repercussions of a criminal injury aren’t immediately noticeable. If a condition or injury surfaces later, the two-year clock starts ticking from the date of discovery, not from the date of the accident.

If you’ve faced a criminal injury, keep an eye on that calendar, gather your documents, and make your claim within the time limit. 

How Much Do Criminal Injuries Pay Out?

CICB follows their tariff when calculating payout for simple injuries; here is a detailed description of how much criminal injuries payout. 

Worsening of previous Injuries:

If you had a previous injury, which got worse due to a violent crime, you may get compensated. However, if the increased severity is valued at less than £1,000, no payment is awarded.

For those facing mental trauma after a sexual assault, the scheme chooses the higher payment between mental injury or the sexual assault award. It’s a “one or the other” situation, so you can’t claim for both.

Dealing with Multiple Injuries:

Life is not always straightforward. If you’ve suffered more than one serious injury, here’s how the payout works:

  • You get the full tariff value (100%) for the most severe injury.
  • For the second most severe injury you get 30% of its tariff value.
  • Any other equally severe or third-ranking injury will get 15% of its tariff amount.

However, if your injuries led to certain additional outcomes like an unexpected pregnancy, loss of a foetus, or contracting a sexually transmitted disease, you might be eligible for extra payments.

When Injuries Impact Your Earnings:

If your injury’s aftermath has left you jobless or with limited working hours, the scheme has provisions for loss of earnings payment, but the following conditions apply. 

  1. You should have been working during the accident or have a solid work history in the past three years.
  2. The loss should span more than 28 weeks from the injury date.

Payments cover the gap between the 28-week mark and either your return to work, reaching the state pension age, or your life expectancy (if the injury has impacted it).

Extra Support: Special Expenses:

If the criminal injury has shaken up your life, resulting in additional costs, the scheme offers support in the form of ‘special expenses’. You qualify if your injury has incapacitated you for over 28 weeks.

This covers a range of costs:

  • Personal property damage like walking sticks and spectacles.
  • Treatment costs in the NHS or similar health services.
  • Special equipment needs or home adaptations.
  • Costs associated with personal care or safety supervision.
  • Legal fees related to mental incapacity matters.

For these, the Scheme checks for necessity, the absence of free alternatives, and the reasonability of the costs.

Coping with a Bereavement:

Losing a loved one is tough. If they’ve passed away due to a crime of violence, the scheme provides support.

  • Child’s Payment: For children below 18, the scheme provides compensation for the loss of parental love, care, and other emotional and practical aspects. The amount is £2,000 per full year, reduced proportionally for past years.
  • Dependency Payment: For those financially or physically dependent on the deceased, there’s a calculated amount based on several conditions. It covers the period of dependency and considers factors from Annex F.
  • Funeral Payments: A basic £2,500 can be given for funeral expenses. In special circumstances, an additional amount (max £2,500) might be given, capping the total at £5,000.

The scheme acts as a safety net. If you can get compensation elsewhere, you should try that first. If you’ve been compensated elsewhere for the same injury, the scheme might reduce or withhold its award. If you later get compensation from another source after receiving from the scheme then they may ask for a repayment.

PICS Helps You Make Criminal Injury Claims In Scotland:

When you’ve been a victim of crime in Scotland, the aftermath can be a storm of emotions and challenges. Among these, dealing with injuries—physical or psychological—can add layers of stress. We are here to support and guide victims through the intricate process of making a criminal injury claim.

Our strength comes from our diverse team. At PICS, our vast panel of personal injury solicitors is our backbone. Among these talented individuals, a significant number specialise exclusively in criminal injury claims. This specificity ensures that when you come to us, you’re not just enlisting a solicitor; you’re gaining a partner with an in-depth understanding and experience in this field. With us, you can be confident that your case is in skilled hands.

Financial concerns often rear their head in these situations, and we recognise that. The trauma of the crime itself is more than enough to grapple with without the added burden of potential legal fees. That’s why many of our solicitors work on a no win no fee Scotland basis. It’s a simple but powerful promise: if your claim doesn’t succeed, you won’t be burdened with extra costs. This approach offers victims of crimes of violence a semblance of peace in what can be a turbulent time and highlights our commitment to seeking justice for every individual we assist.

So, why choose PICS?

Beyond our expertise, we stand firmly on the pillars of transparency and compassionate care. We believe in keeping our clients informed, ensuring they’re never in the dark about any aspect of their case. There are no hidden surprises with us—just a dedicated team ready to fight for your rights. Moreover, our panel of solicitors understand the profound emotional and physical toll of being a crime victim. With that in mind, they approach each case with the sensitivity and dedication it deserves.