Legal Aid is not and never has been available for CICA applications. Most criminal injury solicitors deal with compensation claims to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) on a no win not fee basis. All CICA solicitors are independent with no connection to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. If your application is unsuccessful you will not pay a single penny in legal costs. No win no fee CICA claims are completely risk free and no expenses are paid by you during the claims process. Expert CICA solicitors will provide vigorous and committed representation to ensure that you receive fair and equitable compensation for your injuries. If you would like free advice without obligation, just contact CICA solicitors and if after talking you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for initial advice.
A No Win No Fee arrangement – also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) – works on the basis that your solicitor is only entitled to be paid if you win your case and you receive compensation. If your case fails, then your CICA solicitor will lose any fees that could have been earned and will also have to write off any expenses. You will not be asked to fund or finance your claim at any point during the proceedings and CICA claims are completely risk free for you. The CICA does not make any contribution towards legal costs and a charge is only made in the event of a satisfactory outcome resulting in payment of compensation.
Compensation payable by the CICA is determined by a tariff scheme that determines the value of a claim based on the type of injuries sustained which are classified into 25 distinct bands. If there are multiple injuries, only the three worst injuries will be considered with the major injury being paid at full value, whereas the second and third injuries will be compensated at a reduced percentage of the tariff value. The maximum sum that can be awarded for injuries is capped at £250,000. Other claims, such as lost wages or loss of earning capacity for longer than 28 weeks and medical expenses, may also be eligible for compensation, with a further cap, again at £250,000. The overall total maximum CICA claim amounts to £500,000.
If criminal activity results in death, there are several classes of people, outlined in the 2001 scheme, including dependents and close relatives, who can claim an award. The amount of award paid upon death for a sole claimant is a fixed however if there is more than one claimant the amount reduces to half the amount per applicant. In addition, a person who has paid the funeral expenses can claim a reasonable amount to cover those expenses.
A CICA claim must be presented within two years of the incident however in the interest of justice this time constraint may be waived at the sole discretion of the claims officer.
The CICA is entitled to consider each individuals character and behaviour before during and after the assault. Unspent convictions are considered and the CICA can reduce or refuse a payment if it is deemed inappropriate to compensate an applicant from public funds.