Have you been the victim of an unprovoked attack on the street? Have you suffered an injury during a robbery or when attempting to stop a robbery happening? Have you been assaulted in a European country while on holidays or on business?
Did you know that you may be entitled to compensation?
Even if your attacker is never identified, caught or charged, you can still be entitled?
What is the CICT Scheme?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal (the CICT) Scheme is an EU wide scheme. It is run by the Department of Justice and Equality (in Ireland) which compensates you for certain losses incurred by you as a consequence of a criminal act
You can’t claim for pain and suffering under the Scheme but you can claim for a wide range of losses. We have achieved very substantial results for both victims of crime and the relatives of deceased victims of crime through the CICT.
Can I claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal Scheme?
It depends. The following groups are entitled to claim under the Scheme:
- the person was injured in the incident – the victim,
- any person responsible for the maintenance of the victim where they have suffered a financial loss in the care of the victim – for example, the wife/partner of a victim where they have paid money for the treatment of the victim,
- any dependent of the victim in circumstances where the victim has died as a result of the incident and that person has incurred expenses as a result of the victims’ death,
- where the victim has died otherwise than as a result of the incident, then any dependant of the victim may make an application
You might also be able to claim if you were injured assisting a member of An Garda Síochána or attempting to (1) prevent a crime or (2) save a human life.
What injuries are covered?
Any type of injury is covered as long as we can connect it to the criminal act. This includes physical injuries and psychological injuries. You must remember that the Scheme does pay for paid and suffering, only loss of earnings and out of pocket expenses.
The recoverable headings are as follows:
- past medical expenses
- past loss of wages
- Future medical expenses
- future loss of wages
By way of example, if your leg was broken in a random attack on the street, you could not claim for the pain endured in the break and the day to day pain afterwards but you could claim if it caused you to be off work (past loss of earnings), restricted your ability to work in the future (future loss of earnings) and you had to pay for physiotherapy to improve your recovery (medical expenses).
Are there time limits?
There is a time limit to qualify under the Scheme. Once you have suffered your injury, your application must be made as soon as possible after the incident but not later than three (3) months after the event.
This time limit may be extended but only in circumstances which the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal believes that the delay qualifies for exceptional treatment.
This “exceptional treatment” must be the subject of a separate application if the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal and is done after they initially reject your application. An extension is not guaranteed and ignorance of the Scheme is not a sufficient reason for delay.
It is important to note that you must prove that the incident is the subject matter of criminal proceedings or that the matter was reported to an Garda Síochána without delay. We have had cases refused initially (but successfully appealed) because there was no evidence of a criminal act occouring (due to the CICT being unable to find its own paperwork from the Gardai!).
What to do next?
If you have suffered an injury as a consequence of a criminal act, please to the following:
- Report the matter to the Gardai, even if you cannot identify or know who attacked you, then,
- Contact O’Kelly Solicitors to assist you in making your best application to the CICT.
At O’Kelly solicitors, we have considerable experience in dealing with applications before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal and advising our clients on the merits of their claims as well as dealing with highly complex claims involving psychological injuries, future loss of earnings (requiring actuarial analysis) and future medical expenses requiring the input of various medical professionals.
We have also brought the CICT Scheme itself to the High Court for failing to properly implement EU Law in its own rules.
Rest assured, we know what is involved in putting your best application before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal to maximise the compensation payable to you.
To discuss your claim (or potential claim), please do not hesitate to contact Mark O’Kelly, the principal of the Firm, on 086 7889753 or via email to email@example.com. All our contact details can be found here.