Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme amendments approved
Controversial changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme are expected to be approved by Parliament this month, despite the government recently claiming they would reconsider the plans.
The decision means that compensation for victims injured as a result of a crime will now be restricted only to those who suffer ‘serious injuries’.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said that while the government is “dedicated” to helping seriously injured victims, they believe the money would be most useful for providing support and help rather than “small payments” that are often not awarded until long after the initial incident.
Opponents say the decision means that up to 90% of injured victims will now no longer receive compensation, the same observation which initially appeared to have prompted a rethink.
Shadow Justice Minister Robert Flello has accused the government of “stacking” the committee presiding over the changes in their favour. Despite an initial government pledge to review the plans, the proposal was presented with no changes and approved by a 9-7 majority at the end of October.
Organisations including the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have also condemned the plans, saying that members who are attacked while carrying out their work will no longer be eligible for the financial compensation they have previously been awarded.
How will this affect your criminal injury claim?
Clearly, these changes could make it much harder for victims to claim compensation for any injury suffered as a result of a crime, but that should not deter anyone from trying. Indeed, there is now all the more reason to get help from an experienced criminal injury solicitor
The criteria for those looking to pursue criminal injury compensation under the scheme remains the same. You must be a blameless victim of a crime in England or Wales, you must report the crime to the police immediately and cooperate fully with their investigation, and you must also make your claim within two years of the injury occurring.
It remains the case that no one needs to have been convicted or charged for the crime, so you can still attempt to make a claim even if the person who caused your injury was never caught.
If you would like to get help from our experienced team of personal injury solicitors, contact Sheldon Davidson Solicitors on 0808 9000 990 and we will be happy to offer our advice and expertise.