Q. Last year I was attacked when I was in Liverpool. A man grabbed my handbag, punched me and threw me to the ground. I suffered a dislocated jaw and lost 2 teeth in the attack. The man ran off and although I reported it to the police they could not trace him. Is there anything I can do?
A. You can apply for compensation through a governmental body named the ‘Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.’ This seeks to compensate those who have suffered personal injury as a result of a crime of violence. It does not necessarily matter that the Police do not know the assailant’s identity or that they were unable to prosecute him.
The application must be submitted to the CICA who will investigate by obtaining relevant records, such as Police and Medical records. The CICA will then decide whether it is more likely than not that you suffered the injury as a result of the crime of violence.
Compensation is calculated by reference to list of fixed levels of compensation for different injuries. You may also be entitled to claim for loss of earnings if you have been off work for more than 28 weeks. The CICA can however reduce or withhold compensation where the applicant has, for example, not reported the incident to the Police.
You usually have just 2 years from the date of incident to start a CICA claim but this can be extended with good reason or if you were a child. The CICA will seek to avoid making an award if possible so if you wish to pursue a claim it would be advisable for you to contact a local firm of solicitors to ensure that the application is put forward in the best possible way.