London Calling: From Crime Victim to Crime Survivor
Like any capital city, London has its fair share of recorded crime and for anyone who has suffered a loss or an injury as a result of being targeted by a criminal or suffered in an accident, there is very often something you can do to try and put matters right.
Could you get compensation?
Whilst this is probably not your first thought if you are recovering from a street robbery or receiving medical attention for an injury you received from an incident that was not your fault, however it does seem only fair that you subsequently consider the possibility of being compensated for your loss or personal injury. Sometimes, getting compensated for an incident that has left a potential physical or financial scar can be part of the healing process and the Metropolitan Police offer guidelines as to what might be considered for compensation.
Two types of compensation
If you have suffered a financial loss or have been injured as a result of a criminal act, you may well be entitled to make a claim in one of two ways. The first option is to apply for court awarded compensation, which is considered when an offender has been convicted of a crime against you, and is then ordered to pay you compensation.
The second type involves making a claim for criminal injuries compensation. If you have been injured due to being a victim of a violent crime then you could be eligible to apply for recompense under the Government backed criminal injuries compensation scheme.
What you could claim for
According to the legal team at injury Lawyers 4 U, many people are simply unaware that they could be entitled to get financial help which is designed to get their life back on track and possibly allow you to get back to where you were before the incident, from a financial point of view at least. The sort of things that you could claim court awarded compensation for are Personal Injury, Loss from theft or damage to your property or loss as a result of fraud.
The idea of compensation is to recover financial expenses and losses that you have incurred as a result of a crime. This means that you could be compensated for having to take time off work, any medical bills you have had to pay, travel costs attributed to your injuries or loss, any pain or suffering that you have experienced and also any loss you have incurred due to the theft of a vehicle or criminal damage caused.
Criminal injuries scheme
It is worth remembering that the Government set up the scheme with the direct purpose of it not just being a method for claiming compensation but also to be “an expression of public sympathy for innocent victims of violent crime.”
It is perfectly reasonable and acceptable to claim for compensation when you consider that crime at any level can be very traumatic and affect people in many different ways. It is also important to note that under this scheme, the offender does not have to have been caught for you to be able to make a claim, as the court system collects a fee towards this scheme which they add to fines imposed amongst other methods, meaning that there are public funds available should you be accepted for compensation, irrespective of the outcome of any criminal investigation.
You need to make a claim within two years of any incident occurring to be considered for compensation and it is always worth talking your case through with a specialist lawyer, who can quickly advise what you would be entitled to claim for.
Being a victim of crime in London or anywhere else for that matter is not a pleasant experience, but it happens to many of us at some point, so it is only fair that you try to get back what you have lost through no fault of your own.
Callum Anderson is a personal injury consultant. He often deals with victims of crime and he blogs about his insights.
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