If you were assaulted by a drunk person, no matter where the incident occurred and you can provide evidence that you did not contribute to the assault in any way, you may be entitled to seek compensation for any injuries you sustained. An attack could include an unprovoked assault by someone you do not know, by a family member or spouse or by a work colleague. The attack could be a sexual assault, behaviour that is threatening in nature, an assault with a deadly weapon or aggravated assault to name just a few. With this in mind, an assault on you by a drunk person or another person, can be any form of physical attack or a threat to harm you.
To find out more about how to claim compensation if you are assaulted by a drunk person, what evidence you would need to prove you did not contribute to the attack, and how a personal injury solicitor who deals with this type of claim can assist you when it comes to filing an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for the injuries you suffered if applicable, please read on.
- Are There Different Types of Assault, and Can I Claim if the Person Was Drunk?
- What Are the Consequences of Being Assaulted by a Drunk Person?
- What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and Can I Claim For an Assault by a Drunk Person?
- What Criteria is Associated with an Assault by Drunk Person Claim to the CICA?
- How Long Does It Take to Be Compensated for an Assault by Drunk Person Through CICA?
- What Could I Include in a Claim for Compensation for an Assault by Drunk Person?
- What Level of Assault Compensation Could I Receive Through the CICA?
- Do I Need a Solicitor to File an Assault Claim Through the CICA?
- What Evidence Do I Need to Make an Assault Claim Through the CICA?
- What Does a No Win No Fee Agreement Entail?
- How Do I Start an Assault by Drunk Person Claim?
- Useful Links
As previously touched upon, there are three levels of assault you could be subjected to by a drunk person (or other person) under the law in the UK, then there is ‘sexual assault’. These are:
- Common assault – if your assailant hit you or slapped you when they were drunk but you were left with no visible marks or injury, their actions would be deemed by the police and the courts as being a ‘common assault’ on you
- Assault causing actual bodily harm – should your assailant have attacked you physically and you were left with visible injuries, the police and the courts would deem their actions to be an ‘assault causing actual bodily harm’ to you
- Assault causing grievous bodily harm – if your assailant attacked you and caused you to suffer serious injuries and harm, the police and the courts would charge them with an ‘assault causing grievous bodily harm’ to you. This is the more serious category of assault on a person
- Sexual assault – if your assailant’s behaviour and attack against you was of a sexual nature in any way which includes groping, rape or date rape, child sexual abuse or stalking, the police and the courts would deem this to be a ‘sexual assault’ on you
You could suffer life changing injuries if your attacker used a weapon in the attack but you could also experience mental anguish even if your assailant verbally abused you when they were under the influence of alcohol. Should you have been subjected to verbal abuse over a long period of time by someone in your household, the effects can be devastating on your mental health and well-being. Mental trauma can only become apparent several years after an assault took place but this does not mean you can not seek help and compensation for the suffering a drunken person caused you.
Even if the person who assaulted you was a stranger, you could seek compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, providing your case meets the specific criteria required. A solicitor would assess your claim before providing essential legal advice on how best to proceed with an application to the CICA for compensation for injuries you suffered at the hands of an assailant.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme was set up so that blameless victims of crime can seek restitution for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity whether an assailant has been caught by the Police or not. However, your case would need to meet specific criteria as set out by the CICA or the authority would not accept your application to claim assault compensation through the Scheme. Because there are such strict rules to applying, it is always advisable to seek legal advice from a solicitor prior to sending an application to prevent it being turned down.
The criteria that must be met for an application to the CICA are as follows:
- Eligibility – you must be eligible to make a claim through the CICA Scheme – more information on this can be found here
- Police report – this is essential because without a police report, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority would refuse a claim whether for an assault or other
- Medical report – detailing the injuries you sustained whether physical, psychological or both. Where mental issues are a problem, a report carried out by either a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist must be provided
- Blameless victim – you must be a blameless victim of a crime and not have provoked an assailant or contributed to the assault against you. If you chased after an attacker and they injured you in the process, you would not be considered as a ‘blameless’ victim by the CICA
- The injury you suffered in an assault as an innocent victim of an assault must be listed in the authority’s tariff of injuries for a claim to be considered
- You must not have any ‘unspent criminal convictions’ against you. Should you have any, the authority would not consider your application for compensation through their Scheme
When it comes to the timescale related to compensation awarded through the CICA Scheme, it would depend on the complexity of your case and how your injuries negatively impacted your daily life and future life. The CICA has a tariff of injuries and the injury you suffered must be listed for a claim to be accepted.
A typical timescale for receiving compensation would be six months of filing an application to the CICA but it can be longer if your case is complex and the injuries you sustained extremely severe or life-changing. It would also depend on whether you have been able to provide sufficient evidence to the authority or whether they would require further proof and other relevant documentation before awarding an assault claim for compensation through the Scheme.
As previously mentioned, there is a tariff of injuries tariff the CICA operate when calculating the level of compensation an innocent victim of crime may be awarded if their case is successful. It is also worth noting that if you have an injury listed in the CICA tariff and the condition already existed but was made worse by the assault on you, it may be possible to claim compensation through the Scheme. However, the authority would only consider a payment which would reflect how much your existing health issue/injury was made worse and not compensate you for the existing injury itself. Should the value be less than one thousand pounds, the authority would not make a payment.
Should you have suffered more than one injury, the CICA has a way of working out how much compensation you would be awarded through the Scheme with the most serious injury receiving the highest amount. Under the Scheme, you cannot claim more than 3 injuries but there are other payments which you could receive which could include:
- You get pregnant
- You lose the foetus
- You contract a sexually transmitted disease
You could also claim any loss of earnings you incurred as a direct result of having been the blameless victim of an assault by a drunk person. However, you must show that your injuries were so severe they prevented you from carrying out your normal paid work or your ability to work was ‘limited’. With this said, you would not be paid any loss of earnings compensation for the first twenty eight weeks you are off work because the authority would only take into consideration payments after this.
A solicitor has the necessary experience in handling this type of claim and would work out how much loss of earnings you could receive through the CICA Scheme.
You could also claim ‘special expenses’ through the Scheme. Again, a legal expert would steer you in the right direction as to what special expenses you may be able to include in an assault claim filed through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority who would need proof of any costs and expenses you incurred.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority base the amount of compensation you may be awarded having been the innocent victim of an assault on the level of injuries you sustained. The authority uses a tariff of injuries scheme and the injury you suffered must be listed for them to consider an application for compensation. If your injury is listed or you sustained several injuries in an assault, the CICA would only consider the first three more serious ones which they would compensate according to the level of severity of the injuries.
Another thing worth noting when filing an assault claim through the CICA Scheme is that the injury you sustained is valued at £1,000 with the maximum payment for a severe injury sustained as a blameless victim of violence being set at £500,000.
You are not obliged to have legal representation when you make an application to the CICA for compensation for an assault claim. However, it is far wiser to seek legal advice because you must get your application right first time and all too often a claim is refused by the authority because of an error made in an application. There is also a time factor to consider with claims through the Scheme having to be filed within two years of an incident, although under exceptional circumstances the authority may extend this.
A solicitor has the necessary legal expertise to negotiate all the pitfalls associated with making an application to the CICA. They fully appreciate that the time limit has to be respected and are aware of all the criteria that must be met for an application to be accepted by the authority. In short, having a solicitor represent you means a claim for compensation through the Scheme stands a much better chance of success and if the solicitor believes your case is strong, they would offer you No Win No Fee terms when acting on your behalf. This means you would not have to pay them a retainer (upfront fee) for them to begin their investigations.
As previously mentioned, you would need to prove to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority that you were the innocent victim of a violent assault against you. Other evidence that would be required is as follows:
- You reported the assault on you to the Police in a timely fashion
- You got a medical report on the injury/harm you suffered at the hands of an assailant
- You did not contribute to the assault in any way, and you did not provoke your attacker
- There are no unspent criminal convictions against you
- You fully cooperated with the Police throughout their investigations into the assault against you
A personal injury solicitor has the necessary legal experience to advise you whether you have sufficient evidence to submit an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for compensation for injuries and harm you suffered in an assault as an innocent victim.
As previously mentioned, a solicitor would agree to work on your assault case on a No Win No Fee basis once they have determined that your claim is strong and therefore stands a good chance of being successful. You would not have to pay an upfront fee and there would be no ongoing payments to make as your assault claim progresses. This is because there would be a contract between you and the solicitor known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) that sets out the terms which includes the percentage you would only have to pay when you are awarded compensation. This is known as a success fee and it is deducted directly from the amount you are awarded. Should your claim for compensation be unsuccessful, the success fee would not be payable because of the Conditional Fee Agreement you entered into with the solicitor.
If you are thinking about filing an assault by a drunk person claim, you should contact a solicitor sooner rather than later so you have enough time to collect all the evidence required to support an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The reason being that you would need to provide proof of your eligibility and this can take time. On top of this, you would need a medical report detailing the injuries you sustained and how your future life has been impacted.
You may have already gathered other necessary evidence as detailed above, but a solicitor working on your behalf would ensure that any added documentation and proof to substantiate an application for compensation through the CICA is available at the outset. This means there is less chance of the authority needing further evidence when assessing your claim for compensation following an assault by a drunk person which is just one of the advantages of having legal representation when making an assault by drunk person claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
If you were the victim of an assault by a drunk person and you suffered injuries whether minor or more severe, you should report the incident to the Police as soon as you are able to. For more information on reporting a violent crime to the Police, please click on the link provided below:
There are many organisations that provide support to people who have been the victims of sexual assault. If you were sexually assaulted whether by someone you know or a stranger and would like more information on who to turn to for advice and sympathetic support, please click on the link below:
For more information on how the Police handle cases of sexual assault, and how officers are trained to listen and offer support to victims of this type of traumatic event, please click on the link provided below: