Unfortunately, common assaults occur far too frequently. If you have been injured as a result of a violent assault you may in a position to pursue a claim for compensation. In some cases, where the perpetrator is prosecuted the Judge may award compensation to the victim or it may be offered in mitigation of a sentence. However, for various reasons it is often necessary to take a civil case against the perpetrator separately or seek damages under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme*
If you are the victim of a crime and suffered injury, loss and damage as a result you may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The Scheme provides a mechanism to recover medical costs and other expenses incurred as a result of a violent crime. It is funded by the Department of Justice and Equality and administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal.
Making a Claim*
The first step in the process is to lodge a completed application form with the Tribunal. To avail of the Scheme the crime must have been reported to the Gardaí without delay and an application lodged with the Tribunal within 3 months of the incident occurring. In exceptional cases the Tribunal has discretion to extend the time period. There is no time limit when making a fatal injury claim. The Tribunal will then consider the application and make a determination based on information furnished.
If an applicant is not happy with the decision it may be appealed. The appeal takes the form of an oral hearing where the merits of the claim are reconsidered. It is always advisable to have legal representation at an oral hearing.
Taking a Civil Case
It may also be possible to take a civil case against the perpetrator personally. However, if the person sued for damages has no means or any assets of value the exercise may prove fruitless. In some cases the assault may have been carried out by an employee during the course of his employment, such as a bouncer or security person using unreasonable force for instance. In these cases it may be possible to join the security firm or owner of the premises as a defendant to the proceedings and the claim is then usually dealt with by the owner/employer’s liability insurer.
What to Do
If you have been assaulted while attending an event or on licensed premises you should always:
- Report the accident to management and call the Gardaí
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Identify any witnesses and take details
- Consult a personal injuries solicitor as soon as practicable
Assault cases are invariably complex matters and expert legal advice should always be sought before making a claim.
If you wish to discuss a potential claim or would like advice on any matter, please Contact Us for a consultation.
*in contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award of damages.