Don’t know your attacker? You could still be able to make a criminal injury claim

Violent crimes accounted for 1.2 million incidents, according to the latest data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (2020). In many cases, the victim may not know their attacker or, for whatever reason, no one was ever convicted of a crime.

If you don’t know the identity of your attacker or there was no criminal conviction, you can still make a claim for compensation for the injures you and some financial losses arising from that criminal act. The compensation you could receive is awarded on the basis that you’re a blameless victim of a crime, rather than whether your attacker was convicted or not.

How do I prove I was attacked if I don’t know my assailant?

There are three main conditions needed to make a criminal injury claim: the attack should be completely unprovoked and you suffered a personal injury caused by the attack. Furthermore, you need to be able to prove the crime took place. It’s essential that you report the incident to the police straight away so you can get a crime reference number. You’ll need to show proof that you have assisted the police with their inquiry – for example, attending an identity parade, appealing for witnesses or giving a statement.

What can I claim?

Even if you don’t know the assailant, you can claim for:

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) allows victims to claim for loss of earnings and expenses such as medical bills, prescriptions and rehabilitation costs. If a close relative died as a result of the attack then you can claim for funeral costs.

What do I need to make a criminal injury claim?

Make sure you have all the relevant details to hand when making your claim. This includes an official diagnosis of your injuries by your GP or the cause of death as set out on the death certificate. If you’re experiencing mental problems such as anxiety, depression or PTSD, you’ll need to be clinically diagnosed by a Psychiatrist or a consultant Psychologist rather than a doctor or counsellor. But that is something we can help you with if you would find it easier for us to do so.  

You will also need the following details when making a criminal injury claim:

  • GP’s name and address (and dentist if you needed dental treatment or psychiatrist if you suffered mental issues)
  • Contact details of the police station where you reported the crime
  • Crime reference number
  • Details of any previous claims you’ve made to CICA
  • Unspent criminal convictions
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of identity for any dependants you may have (e.g. birth certificates or marriage certificate)

It’s crucial that you apply to CICA as soon as possible. There is a 2 year time limit but the earlier you make a claim from the date of the attack, the more likely it will be accepted. Even if you do know your attacker and you’re taking them to court – don’t wait for the court’s outcome. You can apply to CICA regardless of the court’s decision, so even if your attacker isn’t convicted but the incident was completely unprovoked you’re likely to receive compensation.

Make sure you have the right legal advice before you make a criminal injury claim. We can guide you through the process and help you strengthen your case. Just call 0800 614 722 to speak to our criminal injury team today, or use the button below to email us or request a callback:

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