In situations where a member has been the victim of an assault or crime of violence, the union usually tries to progress a claim for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Applications under the CICA scheme have to be lodged within two years of the date of the incident.
To qualify for a compensation award it is necessary to have suffered a physical and/or mental injury sufficiently serious to be classified in one of the CICA tariff bands.
These bands are on a scale of fixed levels of compensation for particular kinds of injuries. Any award is based on these fixed amounts with the minimum qualifying award being £1000. This means that if your injury is worth less than £1000 you will not be awarded compensation.
If the CICA board are prepared to accept your application they will need to obtain some evidence to evaluate your claim.
They will contact your treating hospital and/or your GP to obtain a medical report. Therefore it is important that you ensure that your GP is fully aware of the injuries sustained following the incident.
The CICA will also contact the police involved in the crime of violence. You can claim for compensation even if your assailant was not convicted of a crime.
However, you are likely to be denied compensation if the incident was not reported to the police at the time it occurred.
You should also note that you are under a duty to fully co-operate with the police or any other authority attempting to bring the assailant to justice. If you fail to comply with this duty your rights to make a claim may be jeopardised.
If the CICA makes an award of compensation for your injuries, the amount will be determined by the medical report obtained and will be considered in line with the criteria set out in the tariff bands mentioned above which specify exact amounts received for certain types of injury.
If you have suffered an injury arising from an assault or a crime of violence and you would like PCS to consider making an application to the CICA on your behalf, call 0800 328 3255.