We are often asked, ‘Do I have to accept a CICA offer?’ The simple answer is that you are not obliged to accept an offer from the CICA. You have the option to ask for the award to be reviewed and if you are still not happy you can formally appeal it. For expert guidance on CICA reviews and appeals contact our free legal helpline on 0808 139 1597 or send an email to us at [email protected]
When the CICA make an offer of compensation it can put the victim in a difficult position. Awards are calculated according to complex criteria and it can be difficult for the ordinary man or woman in the street to know if it is a fair offer.
Unlike normal injury claims, CICA compensation for injuries is based on a set tariff and isn’t open to negotiation. So a particular injury will result in an award of a fixed sum. However, the CICA often make mistakes when it assesses injuries and can, for example, misclassify an injury, resulting in a far lower sum of compensation than the victim is entitled to.
Errors can also be made in relation to financial losses such as earning or expenses.
So if you are made a CICA offer that you feel is too little then what are your options?
First you can ask for the CICA offer to be reviewed. The CICA scheme allows you to write to the CICA and ask them to review a decision if you disagree with it.
A CICA claims officer will reconsider your claim. Their decision can be more or less favourable than the original decision, or the original decision may be left unchanged.
If you remain dissatisfied after the CICA review has been carried out you can appeal to the criminal injuries compensation tribunal.
The tribunal can:
- uphold CICA’s decision
- increase or reduce your award
- decide you should not get anything
- ask CICA to make the decision again
Time limits for disputing a CICA award
A written application for a review must be submitted within 56 days of the date of the original decision, together with any additional evidence you wish to rely on.
If you wish to appeal then you have 90 days to do so from the date of CICA’s review decision.
Expert help is available
While you do not have to appoint a solicitor to deal with your CICA claim, you may benefit from appointing one of our expert lawyers to deal with a CICA review or a CICA appeal.
We have an excellent track record of success with reviews and appeals. For instance, we challenged a CICA offer of £16,500 resulting in the award being increased to £181,000. In another case we recovered £210,000 for a client who was due to receive only the basic award of £22,000. And in this case we obtained compensation for a client whose CICA application had been rejected.
We work on a no win, no fee basis and offer a free assessment. Just call our helpline on 0808 139 1597 or email us at [email protected]