Injuries which are caused by criminal behaviours, such as violent assaults, often leave victims requiring medical treatment including surgery and physical and psychological therapy. All too often, those injured by the criminal behaviour of another party are left permanently affected. Not only can the physical damage persist, but a legacy of stress, anxiety, and social isolation may render victims unable to take part in activities of everyday living, including employment, social interactions, and hobbies.
Regardless of the nature of the criminal injury, you have suffered, our specialist personal injury solicitors will guide you and your family through the process of bringing a claim against the responsible party.
In Ireland, there are two possible routes to seeking recourse following a criminal injury:
- The Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted – this is a scheme available to any person in Ireland who has been the victim of a crime related injury of any type. This is offered under the auspices of the Department of Justice and Equality and is managed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal. The Tribunal may also be able to assist if you were injured due to crime in another EU country.
- Seeking a court order – whereby the court places a legal demand on the offender to pay damages due to their actions.
When you first contact one of Lavelle Solicitors’ criminal injury solicitors, they will be able to advise which route would be most appropriate given the circumstances of your injury.
How does the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted work?
The scheme offers damages in relation to any expenses or losses you have incurred as a result of a criminal injury – whether you were the main target of the violent crime, or you intervened to prevent the incident, or assist the victim.
It is important to understand that under this scheme, there is no payment for your pain and suffering.
It is open to the victim, or in the case of a fatal criminal injury, their family members, or anyone who has suffered loss while assisting the victim at the time.
Claims are time limited to three months; however, this does not apply in the case of death.
In general, there must be a formal police crime report filed in order for the Tribunal to consider your claim.
Most claimants are not required to appear in front of the Tribunal, but in some limited cases, they may ask you to attend, however, this will be a strictly private hearing.
Low-value claims are handled by the Secretary of the Tribunal, however, in the event of an appeal against their decision, a single member of the Tribunal can be asked to review the case.
How much will I receive under the scheme?
Assuming your case is eligible, the amount received will depend on whether the injury has caused short-term effects, long-term effects, or death. If the criminal injury has caused short-term effects, you should receive an amount which reflects your loss of earnings, and expenses including medical, medication, travel, and medically prescribed eyewear.
Long-term effects may warrant any expected future loss of earnings and expenses to be paid. This may include special equipment to assist with your daily living.
Do I have grounds for a criminal injury claim?
To bring a criminal injury claim, it will be necessary to prove:
- You were the victim of injury due to a crime (whether directly or as a witness)
- You were an innocent victim, and;
- The criminal act led to serious injury.
This means that in some contexts, it may not be possible to make a claim because there is a lack of proof that the criminal act caused your injury. One of our primary roles will be to establish if there are grounds for a claim and if so, to create a compelling case that proves the criminal act led to injury.
If you are unsure if the circumstances of your criminal injury are grounds for a claim, please contact one of our criminal injury solicitors today who will take the time to listen to the details of your case and advise you of your legal options.
How Lavelle’s serious injury Solicitors can assist you in bringing a claim
- Lavelle Solicitors have successfully managed many cases of criminal injury caused by the negligence of another party.
- Our personal injury team, headed by a partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 15 years’ experience in personal injury claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
- We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by individuals and their families following such events.
- Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes, and managing the submission of your personal injury claim.
By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important, your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
For further information on making a claim for criminal injury in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Solicitors in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]