After considerable debate, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2008 (CICS) has been finalised and came into effect with regard to all claims made on or after 3 November 2008. The CICS exists to provide compensation for people who are injured or killed as a result of a crime.

For the purposes of the CICS, personal injury includes physical injury, mental injury and disease that is a medically recognised illness or condition. It is not necessary for the assailant to have been convicted of a criminal offence in connection with the injury.

Compensation is payable in accordance with a tariff and may include compensation for loss of earnings. The actual rules and restrictions are complex – the guidance booklet referred to below runs to 55 pages.

The changes made are not changes of substance and in many cases there is no change to the level of compensation on offer. The changes are aimed at providing an improved service to victims of violent crime and include streamlining some administrative procedures, clarifying the scheme rules in areas of doubt and updating the tariff of injuries to reflect current views on the relative seriousness of certain injuries.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has published an information booklet on compensation for criminal injuries, which can be downloaded from their website.

It is often forgotten that a person who is injured by someone else, whether deemed a crime or not, may have a personal right of action against the person responsible. If you are injured by someone else, you may be able to sue them for compensation.