Criminal Inflicted Injuries
At McMahon Goldrick Solicitors, we have many years experience of dealing with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal pay out-of-pocket expenses and loss of earnings caused as a direct result of a violent crime, or by serious injury caused while trying to prevent a crime or save a human life.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal was originally set up to provide compensation for persons who were injured as a result of a violent crime (and in certain other limited instances). The Tribunal will award compensation for out of pocket expenses, including loss of earnings and medical expenses. Compensation for pain and suffering is not awarded for the victims of crime since 1986 save for prison officers who are the victims of an assault suffered in the course of their duties.
What Does the Scheme Cover?
The scheme pays compensation for expenses and losses suffered
• as a direct result of a violent crime or
• while assisting or trying to assist in preventing a crime
• while assisting or trying to save a human life.
Who Can Claim Compensation?
There are three situations where you may be entitled to apply for compensation to the Criminal *Injuries Compensation Tribunal
• as a victim of crime
• as the immediate family of a victim of crime who has died
• as the person responsible for looking after a victim of crime, and are out-of-pocket as a result of his or her injuries
Time Limit for Making a Claim
There is no time limit for making a claim in cases where the victim has died as a result of the injury inflicted.
In all other cases the current time limit for making a claim is three months.
The Tribunal may exercise their discretion and extend the time limit if you can give a reasonable explanation for the delay, but it is safer to apply within the timescale as the Tribunal may refuse to extend the time.
Making a Claim
If you are entitled to claim for compensation, you can apply directly to the Criminal *Injuries Compensation Tribunal for compensation.
However, McMahon Goldrick Solicitors can assist and guide you through the process. The Tribunal will not pay your legal expenses so payment of your legal expenses will have to be discharged out of any compensation/Award that is made.
It is important to note that the crime should be reported to the Gardai as soon as possible, because if you allow too long a delay in reporting the crime, you may possibly not be considered for compensation.
In all cases, the Tribunal will look for a Garda report on the crime. The crime should be reported to the Gardai as soon as possible.
The Tribunal may also require witness statements.
Usually, your application will be dealt with on the basis of your application form and you do not have to actually appear in front of the Tribunal. McMahon Goldrick Solicitors can help you complete this application form. If your claim is for less than €317.43 euro, the Secretary of the Tribunal can deal with it.
The Tribunal may request detailed Submissions regarding your claim. McMahon Goldrick Solicitors can assist you in the preparation of these Submissions. The Submissions usually include an outline of the Applicant’s backround, the injuries suffered, the Applicant’s current situation, details of the special damages claimed by the Applicant (i.e. all out of pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime), and details surrounding the criminal act inflicted upon the Applicant. Various reports, such as medical/care/nursing/actuarial etc together with all vouching documentation in support of your claim should be referred to and annexed to the Submissions. McMahon Goldrick Solicitors can assist you in gathering all of this relevant information.
Once the Tribunal is satisfied that it has everything it requires to allow a decision to be made, either the Secretary or a single member of the Tribunal will make a decision regarding your claim.
Appealing a decision
If the original decision was made by the Secretary of the Tribunal, you can appeal that decision to a single member of the Tribunal.
Alternatively, if the original decision was made by a single member of the Tribunal you may appeal it to an informal oral hearing by 3 members of the Tribunal.
You must present your case before the Tribunal, although you may have legal representation at your own expense if you wish. Once again, McMahon Goldrick Solicitors have experience in presenting Appeals to the Tribunal and would be delighted to assist you with an Appeal.
The decision of the 3-member Tribunal is final.
How Much Compensation Will Be Awarded?
The scheme only covers out-of-pocket expenses and bills. It does not compensate you for pain and suffering.
When deciding the amount of the award, the Tribunal will consider any social welfare payments, salary or wages you received while on sick leave from work. The Tribunal will also take into account any compensation paid by or on behalf of the assailant.
The Tribunal may reduce the amount of compensation or give no compensation at all if it decides that you were partly or wholly to blame for the incident, for example, if you provoked the incident.
It may also reduce the amount of compensation because of your behaviour, character or way of life. If you have a criminal record, it can be taken into account.
How is Compensation Paid?
Usually the compensation is paid in a single payment. However, there are exceptions:
- The Tribunal may make an initial payment and postpone the final award until it becomes clearer what the long-term effect of an *injury is likely to be.
- If you are under 18 years old, the Tribunal may invest the money until you become an adult.
- If you are no longer able to manage your affairs, the Tribunal may have the money placed in a trust for your benefit.
- If the Tribunal’s funds are limited. At the moment, no single payment to successful Applicant’s during 2012 will exceed €250,000. This is because the Tribunal, in common with all publicly funded bodies, is provided with a fixed annual budget to carry out its functions under the Scheme. Due to the current economic climate, this cap on payments has been introduced by the State due to the availability of limited funding.
Exceptions to the Scheme
No compensation will be paid:
- if the loss is less than €63.49
- if you and the assailant were living together as part of the same household when you suffered the injury
- if your injury is the result of a traffic offence, unless the Tribunal decides that there was a deliberate attempt to run you down
- if you do not give reasonable assistance to the Tribunal.
Examples of what can be claimed
Personal Injuries with Short-Term Effects
You can claim for your actual loss of earnings, actual medical expenses (including dentist’s expenses), reasonable traveling expenses, medication and eyeglasses.
Personal Injuries with Long-Term Effects
You can claim for your estimated future loss of earnings (how much you would have earned if you had been able to continue working), estimated future medical expenses and estimated future expenses as a result of the disability including care and appliances.
Death of the Victim due to Criminal Injury
The family can claim for the actual loss of earnings and expenses that may have been incurred before the death, future loss of support or maintenance for anyone who was dependent on the victim, funeral and burial expenses and mental distress money for immediate family members.
Death of the Victim not due to the Criminal Injury
If the victim died of causes unrelated to the criminal injury, the family will not be compensated unless the Tribunal considers that this would cause hardship to the dependants of the victim.
Stolen or Damaged property
The scheme does not compensate for stolen or damaged property, except medically necessary items like eyeglasses and artificial limbs.