Q&As

Can a person who has suffered severe psychological damage as a result of witnessing a violent murder claim compensation as a ‘direct victim’ under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?

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Published on LexisPSL on 09/07/2015

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a person who has suffered severe psychological damage as a result of witnessing a violent murder claim compensation as a ‘direct victim’ under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?
  • Criminal injury
  • Crime of violence
  • Mental injury
  • Ineligibility and reductions to the award
  • Procedure

Please note this Q&A provides information relevant to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 (see here) which applies to all applications lodged on or after 27 November 2012.

Under the 2012 scheme:

'A person may be eligible for an award under this Scheme if they sustain a criminal injury which is directly attributable to their being a direct victim of a crime of violence committed in a relevant place.'

A relevant place for the purposes of the scheme is anywhere within Great Britain.

Criminal injury

A criminal injury is defined as one or more personal injuries sustained in Great Britain and directly attributable to one of the following qualifying events:

  1. a crime of violence (eg arson or an act of poisoning)

  2. the apprehension or attempted apprehension of an offender or a suspected offender, the prevention or attempted prevention of an offence, or the giving of help to any constable who is engaged in any such activity

The injuries must have directly resulted from the qualifying event. This means that the incident must have caused the injury and that the injury was not due to some other event.

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