If you are injured as a result of a crime, you may be eligible compensation under the Scheme of Compensation for Personal Injuries Criminally Inflicted. This scheme is funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.
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 or saving a human life.
The injured person (the victim) or, if that person has died, the immediate family of the victim can claim compensation under the scheme.
If you are responsible for looking after the victim and are out-of-pocket as a result of his or her injuries, you may claim compensation. The scheme only covers out-of-pocket expenses and bills. It doesn’t compensate you for pain and suffering.
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 time limit for making a claim is three months. However, sometimes the tribunal will not impose the time limit if you can give a reasonable explanation for the delay.
An Garda Siochana
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. If you leave too long a delay in reporting the crime you may not be considered for compensation unless the tribunal is happy that you have co-operated fully with the Gardai.
The tribunal will not pay your legal expenses.
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. If your claim is for less than 317.43 euro, the Secretary of the Tribunal can deal with it.
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.
There are various types of cases:
Personal Injuries with Short-Term Effects
You will be paid for your actual loss of earnings (because you had to take time off work), actual medical expenses (including dentist’s expenses), reasonable traveling expenses (e.g., going to and from the doctor), medication and eyeglasses.
Personal Injuries with Long-Term Effects
You will be paid 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, estimated future expenses as a result of the disability (e.g., future care or special equipment) and estimated future loss of earning potential.
Death of the Victim due to Criminal Injury
The family will be paid 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.