4 - Compensation

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What is the process for claiming damages from the offender?  (e.g. court case, civil claim, adhesion procedure)

If you are a victim of a violent crime you may be able to claim compensation. Unless there are good reasons, you should report the incident to the police as soon as possible after it happened and submit an application for compensation within two years (of the date of the incident that caused the injury). The two year time limit may be waived if Compensation Services consider that there is a good reason for the delay and it is in the interests of justice to do so. Further information about compensation for victims of violent crime can be found at Link opens in new windowhttp://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/compensation-criminal-injuries.

Court-ordered compensation

A magistrates' court can make a compensation order up to a maximum of £5,000 per charge. The Crown Court has unlimited powers, but should have regard to the means of the offender.

Compensation orders shall be for such amount as the court considers appropriate, taking into account any evidence and representations by the prosecution and defence.

Courts attach considerable importance to the making of compensation orders and must give reasons where they do not make an order.

The court ordered the offender to pay me damages/compensation. How do I make sure the offender pays?

Enforcement of compensation orders is a matter for the courts.

If the offender does not pay, can the state pay me an advance?  Under what conditions?

No - there is no up-front payment of court ordered compensation in Northern Ireland.

Am I entitled to compensation from the state?

You may be eligible under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, more information is available Link opens in new windowhttps://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/compensation-criminal-injuries

Am I entitled to compensation if the offender is not convicted?

Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme you may still be eligible for an award even if your assailant is not known, or is not convicted. More information is available at Link opens in new windowhttps://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/compensation-criminal-injuries

Am I entitled to an emergency payment while I wait for the decision on my compensation claim?

Where Compensation Services have decided that you are eligible for a payment but cannot make a final decision then, they may consider making an interim payment. If they are unable to make a final decision this is likely to be because they are waiting until the long term impact of your injury is understood.


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Last update: 14/03/2019