If you are injured as a result of a crime, you may be entitled to compensation, direct from the offender. As well as personal injury, compensation may be payable for other items (medical expenses, additional travelling costs and so on) which are not covered by your insurance.
The compensation is set by the court, so the prosecution (the Crown Prosecution Service) will need details of the losses you have suffered. The Court then makes the order and sets the rate at which the offender must pay. Payment is made to the court, which then forwards the payments to the victim. Compensation is payable before any fines, but is limited to what the offender can reasonably afford.
Additionally, victims have the right to sue in the Civil Courts, but caution is the word here: there is no point is suing someone who is unable to pay, as is often the case in criminal injury cases.
Many people forget, however, that where the injury is due to a crime of violence that takes place in Great Britain, compensation may also be sought from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Normally, the application must be made within two years of the crime giving rise to the injury, although later applications may be made – for example where the effects of the injury appeared some time after the crime.
Although the award levels are not high, and minor injuries are not normally covered at all, the maximum payment can be as high as £500,000.
If you think you may qualify for a payment, we will be pleased to advise you.