Assault Compensation Claims
If you’ve suffered an assault, you’re likely to be experiencing many different feelings. You may seek justice, financial compensation or even an apology – any way that gives you closure for a traumatic experience. Our assault claims solicitors are specially trained in cases just like yours, and will help you to get the compensation you deserve.
Claiming for assault compensation
You may have suffered at the hands of an individual or an organisation. Whatever your circumstances, you deserve justice. Assault compensation claims cannot undo the pain that you suffered, but they can help you to gain closure and get your life back on track.
For friendly advice without judgement, speak to our expert solicitors at Criminal Injuries Helpline. We offer decades of experience handling assault claims just like yours, and we’ll guide you through every step of the legal process.
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Assault Compensation Claims
If you’ve been the victim of assault, our specialist assault compensation solicitors can help you make a claim and get the financial compensation you deserve. You should feel safe whether you’re at home or out in public. If you’ve been physically harmed by an attacker, we can help you to get your life back on track.
Get in touch with us today to start your no win, no fee assault compensation claim.
What is assault?
Assault is the act of physically attacking or threatening to attack another person. Under UK law, there are three main areas of assault, categorised by the severity of the physical damage the victim suffers. Our trained solicitors can settle compensation for assault victims in the UK, whether they are civil claims or made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Types of assault
There are three main types of assault as outlined in UK law. These are:
- Common assault
- Actual bodily harm (ABH)
- Grievous bodily harm (GBH).
Under section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, common assault is defined as “violence or the threat of violence inflicted on another person”. Common assault does not need to be physical violence – it could be threatening words or body language, for example, a raised fist.
Common assault can be as minor as pushing, grabbing or spitting. In cases of violence, the legal definition would be ‘battery’ – even if the victim suffered no physical injury. Assault may be intentional or through reckless behaviour. You can still make a claim for assault compensation regardless of your attacker’s intentions.
The UK punishment for common assault is a maximum of six months’ imprisonment, unless it was racially or religiously aggravated, which can lead to up to two years in prison.
Actual bodily harm
Actual bodily harm refers to assault that causes physical damage to a victim. It does not need to be serious or permanent damage, but it is more severe than common assault. Compensation claims for ABH may also take psychological damage into consideration.
If the injuries are considered ‘transient or trifling’, then they will likely be classed as ABH. The maximum sentence for ABH is five years in prison.
Grievous bodily harm
Grievous bodily harm is the most serious of all three assault charges, and is split into two categories based on intention and wounding:
- Unlawful wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm (section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861)
- Grievous bodily harm with intent or wounding with intent (section 18 of the act).
GBH denotes serious physical harm, though the effects are not always dangerous or permanent. If you’re making a compensation claim for GBH, you can also claim for psychological damage or infection, such as a sexually transmitted disease.
‘Wounding’ refers to breaking of the skin, though in less serious cases this may not be classed as GBH. The attacker must have acted recklessly, but may not have intended to harm the victim seriously. This sentence is punishable by up to five years in prison.
With GBH with intent, the attacker intends to do serious harm through wounding or other physical injury. The main difference in both cases is intent – with section 20, the attacker may have been involved in a minor scuffle that led to damage, whereas with section 18, they wilfully harmed the other person.
Sexual assault and rape compensation claims have their own rules and legal definitions. You can find out more about making sexual assault compensation claims here.
Whichever category your assault compensation claim falls into, we can help you get the settlement you deserve.
Can I make an assault compensation claim?
You can claim compensation for assault if you have been the victim of a violent crime that wasn’t your fault. You do not need to know your attacker, and they do not need to have been convicted. If you can prove that you have been harmed and have reported your attack to the police, you can make an assault compensation claim.
You have two choices when it comes to making a compensation claim.
- Civil claims will go through the UK court system and are monetary claims made against the attacker.
- CICA claims are made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Your attacker does not need to be involved.
Many assault victims do not know their attacker or do not wish to have any contact with them. In these cases, you can still claim, but all assault victims’ compensation claims will be made through the CICA.
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Making assault compensation claims through the CICA
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is a government body set up in 1964 to help assault victims and those who’ve suffered at the hands of crime. If you’ve been assaulted, you can make a compensation claim through the CICA to get a financial settlement and get your life back on track.
Support is available to help you through the claim process
We may be able to represent you and help you to make a claim through this scheme. There are many forms to fill out, so we can help you to make sure you’ve provided all the necessary details.
The CICA awards specific compensation amounts depending on the type of assault you’ve suffered and the long-term impacts of the damage, both physical and mental. Claiming through the CICA can be a worthwhile alternative if you do not know your attacker, if your attacker has died, or if you simply do not wish to interact with them.
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How much compensation can I claim for assault?
Your assault compensation amount will vary depending on the CICA guidelines. The CICA are very strict about the compensation they award, and calculate your settlement based on the type of injury, whether it was a single incident or repeated incidents, and if you suffered any psychological damage.
Generally, you can expect the following compensation amounts based on physical and mental injury:
- Up to £8,200 for repeated sexual assault – find out more about sexual assault compensation here
- Up to £2,000 for minor, short-term physical damage
- Up to £27,000 for serious injuries
- Up to £44,000 for serious injuries result in permanent disability and mental illness.
There are also specific amounts for damage to certain body parts, which can vary enormously depending on the extent of the injury. For example, if you suffered severe brain damage resulting in lifelong disability, you could be awarded as much as £175,000.
The CICA awards compensation based on the highest level of assault, so if you suffered more than one of these injuries, you’ll be awarded the highest value settlement. For cases of multiple injuries, you’ll be compensated for up to three of the most severe injuries.
When can I make an assault compensation claim?
Generally, you have two years to claim criminal injury compensation through the CICA. These two years start from the date you reported the incident to the police, so it’s important that you do so.
There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the attack happened years ago but you have suffered ongoing psychological damage, you may be able to claim after two years. If your assault compensation claim was for damage you suffered while you were under 18, you have until your 20th birthday to make an assault claim.
How long do assault compensation claims take?
Generally speaking, we aim to award compensation for assault victims between 12 and 18 months. However, this does depend on the approach you take with the CICA. You have two options:
- To make a compensation claim for assault with the police report and medical evidence
- To make a claim with the police report only.
If you choose to claim compensation for assault with your police report only, your claim could take as little as six months. However, we strongly advise against this if you have suffered any loss of earnings. For example, you may have had to pay for physical therapy, or taken time off work.
Our experienced solicitors can help you claim compensation for all of these financial losses, but we will need medical evidence to do so. A report from your doctor outlining your physical injuries, and any receipts or loss of earnings statements, can be used as evidence.
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Further information and support
We understand that criminal injuries assault compensation is only the start. You may need extra help and support to move on and rebuild your life after assault. You can get help here.
Victim Support is an independent charity founded to help victims of crime. You can contact them for free, confidential support and resources online, or call 0808 168 9111.