What is Criminal Injuries Compensation?
If you have been a victim of a criminal act and suffered financial loss, physical and/or psychological harm as a result, you may be entitled to compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA).
Unlike other compensation schemes for victims, Criminal Injuries Compensation (CIC) does not require the offender to be identified, charged or convicted for you to receive compensation. You are required however to have reported the incident to police and been cooperative in their investigations as a minimum standard.
In the event that a close relative of yours is killed as a result of a criminal act, you may still be able to seek compensation through CIC, it is more limited than claiming for an injury you suffered personally and generally relates to covering funeral expenses, or loss of financial support on behalf of the deceased’s dependants.
If the criminal act perpetrated against you occurred after 1 January 2004, the maximum threshold for compensation of a single criminal act is $75,000, if there are multiple criminal acts perpetrated by the same offender this maximum threshold increases to $150,000.
What do you need to qualify?
In order to potentially qualify for a CIC claim you must:
- Have been a victim of a crime in WA and were injured or experienced financial loss resulting from such an injury.
- Been the close relative of someone killed as a result of a crime in WA, and experienced financial loss as a result.
The type of injury or loss you have suffered is:
- Bodily Harm
- Mental and Nervous Shock (Psychological Harm)
- Pregnancy resulting from a crime in WA.
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Earnings
- Medical Expenses you have or will incur.
- Other Expenses (E.g. Travel for medical treatment and damage to personal items.)
You may not be eligible for compensation if:
- You did not report the offence to the police within a reasonable amount of time (unless you can prove there was a good reason for the delay).
- You did not help the police with their enquires concerning arresting or prosecuting the person who committed the crime.
- You already claimed compensation for the injury or losses suffered from the injury from another source (e.g. Medical Insurance).
- The injury you received was from a car crash.
- You were not the primary victim of the crime.
- The assessor believes that your behaviour contributed to your injury.
An application must be lodged within 3 years from the date of the offence or the date of the last offence, in circumstances where you have been the victim in a string of offences. If the offence happened more than 3 years ago, your application may still be accepted but you must include in your application a written request for an extension of time.
Why Should I Engage Carter Dickens Lawyers for my CIC Claim?
Criminal Injuries Compensation claims can be a long drawn out process and complex process. It can be highly beneficial to engage a lawyer with experience in making such applications, not only would this reduce the pressure on you to recount your experiences and act within legislated timeframes.
We will assist you throughout the entirety of the process and completing the necessary paperwork. If your matter is directed to a formal hearing we may be able to represent you at this hearing and we may be able to provide you with advice in the event of an appeal.
Please contact our offices to arrange a no obligation one-off meeting to discuss a potential claim and whether or not making a claim would be advisable.
Please note that the above is general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice. All situations are different and legal advice must always be tailored to the specific situation