Serious Injury

How long do I have to claim criminal injuries compensation?

November 3, 2022
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Written by Julia Eyton, Partner & CILEX | Serious Injury Law


If you want to make a criminal injuries claim, but you’re unsure what the deadline is, Fletchers Serious Injury can help. We have more than 30-years’ experience in securing criminal injuries compensation across the UK, and have a long-standing relationship with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Want to know how long you have to make a claim? Read on to discover how our specialist criminal injury lawyers can help you.


Is there a time limit for claiming criminal injuries compensation?

To claim for criminal injuries compensation, an applicant should make a claim as soon as possible.

The general rule is that an applicant must apply to CICA within two years of the violent crime in order to pursue a claim.

There are some exceptions to this rule:


  • The applicant’s physical or mental health has prevented them from bringing a claim earlier
  • Where a claim is being made as a result of childhood sexual or physical abuse

Eligible CICA claims can often take 12-18 months before an award is offered. This is because a priority system is in place, whereby older cases with CICA are prioritised.

Cases involving complex injuries may not settle within this timeframe. Ultimately, CICA will not reach a decision on the award in an eligible case where an applicant’s level of recovery is unknown, or treatment is ongoing within that case.


To claim for criminal injuries compensation, an applicant should
make a claim within two years of the violent crime

– Fletchers Serious Injury


What counts as a criminal injury?

A crime of violence can be defined as:


  • A crime involving a physical attack
  • Any other act of a violent nature causing physical injury to a person
  • A threat against a person, causing fear of immediate violence
  • A sexual assault to which a person did not consent
  • Arson or fire-raising incidents

If you have been the victim of any of the incidents described above, you could be entitled to claim compensation. To make this easier to understand, you can claim criminal injuries compensation for:


  • Injuries sustained in a violent attack or crime
  • The death of a close relative
  • Witnessing a violent crime take place
  • Contributing financially towards a funeral
  • Injuries, both physical and psychological, if you stopped a crime
  • Dealing with trauma in the aftermath of the incident  


As well as being compensated for any physical injuries, our serious injury solicitors appreciate there are plenty of financial concerns that arise because of criminal injuries.  For example, you may have had to take an extended leave of absence from your place of work as a direct result of the injury.

It’s also important to know you may be able to claim compensation for taking a ‘justified and exceptional’ risk in preventing a crime or trying to stop it happening.

This could be where someone was in danger and you stepped in, despite not being trained to deal with such a situation.

To make a criminal injuries claim the crime must have happened in England, Wales or Scotland and it must be reported, or have already been reported to the police.


Eligible claims can often take 12-18 months before an award is offered

Serious Injury Team


How do I make a claim for criminal injuries compensation?

We have a long and trusted relationship with CICA, the governing body that overviews any criminal injury claims we put forward.

Once we can accept your case, we will then require the following information to ensure you can make a criminal injuries claim:


  • Location and exact date of the crime
  • Name of the police station where the crime was reported
  • Crime reference number
  • Name and address of your GP
  • Any previous applications made to CICA by you or on your behalf
  • Unspent criminal convictions details
  • Proof of identification such as a birth or marriage certificate, power of attorney or deed poll


As specialist criminal injury solicitors, we will maximise the value of your claim

Fletchers Serious Injury


You may be able to claim compensation for taking a justified risk in preventing a crime


Can I claim criminal victim compensation on behalf of someone else?

Generally speaking, adults who are physically and mentally able need to submit their claim to CICA on their own accord.

However, there are exceptions:


  • Parents, or persons with parental responsibility for a child, can complete applications to CICA on behalf of their child. Details and proof of relationship to the child will be required in the application stage.
  • You can apply on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity to make their own application. CICA would require proof of a person’s authority to act, and may also require medical evidence that the person being represented lacks mental capacity, in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • CICA will progress claims by a parent, relative, friend on behalf of someone else if they are acting under a registered Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
  • In the absence of the above, an application for authority to conduct, negotiate and conclude the CICA claim must be made to the Court of Protection


How working with a specialist solicitor is beneficial to your case

As a victim of a criminal injury, you can claim yourself online, but the benefit of working with an experienced legal advisor is that all the stress and uncertainty is taken away.

Naturally there’s some red tape to cut through, but we know how to handle that.

As specialist criminal injury solicitors, we’ve been dealing with CICA claims for many years.  As a result, we have built a high level of expertise and we can help guide you through the many complexities of a criminal injuries claim.

Once the case is accepted,we will walk you through the potential scenarios and hurdles ahead, and make sure you’re informed each step of the journey so you can claim criminal victim compensation.


If you are a victim of, or witnessed an attack that resulted in criminal injuries, call our expert criminal injury lawyers today to ensure that you receive the right advice, as quickly as possible.


Rest assured, our dedicated and friendly team will answer any questions you may have.



We can help you

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