Common assaults, sadly, happen far too often. However, a victim of violent behaviour or physical assault might have the right to make a compensation claim. In cases where the offender is brought to court, the judge might decide to offer them to compensate the victim in return for sentence mitigation. Nevertheless, quite often the victim needs to take civil action against the offender separately. Alternatively, they can even claim damages under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
A victim who has suffered loss, damage or injury might have the right to pursue a compensation claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which allows them to recover medical and other expenses that incurred because of the crime. The Department of Justice and Equality is the one to fund this Scheme, while the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is the one to administer it.
How to Make a Claim
First off, the victim should initiate the process by lodging an application form with the Tribunal. In order to be able to take advantage of the Scheme, they need to report the crime to the Gardai immediately. In addition to that, the victim needs to lodge the application form with the Tribunal no more than three months after the incident occurred.
There are certain situations and cases in which the Tribunal may extend this time period. However, when it comes to making a fatal injury claim, there is no time limit. Once the victim lodges their application, the Tribunal will proceed to the assessment of the case.
In case the victim doesn’t feel like the decision is correct, they have the right to appeal. If so, the appeal will take place as an oral hearing. Also, in this case, we highly recommend having a legal representative.
How to Take Civil Action
There’s a possibility of taking civil action against the offender. But if the perpetrator has no valuable assets or means, the case may turn out to be pointless. It often occurs that an employee carries out an assault during his employment (i.e. bouncers, security staff, etc.). In that case, there might be a possibility of joining the security owner or firm as a defendant in the judicial proceedings. Hence, the owner or the employer’s insurer will be the one in charge of dealing with the claim.
What the Victim Needs to Do
In case a person is assaulted whilst attending an event or being on licensed premises, these are the steps to follow:
- Firstly, they need to inform the management about the accident and give a call to the Gardaí.
- They should get medical help and attention as quickly as possible.
- Then, they need to try to identify any eyewitnesses and gather their contact details.
- Also, it’s highly recommended to consult a personal injuries solicitor as quickly as possible.
Finally, knowing that an assault case is an extremely complex matter, the victim should seek professional legal advice before pursuing a claim.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.