Tag: criminal

Making a Criminal Injury Claim

What do I need to make a claim for a Criminal Injury

 

When making a claim for personal injury if you have been the victim of a serious assault it is important that all the relevant details provided are accurate and correct. The attack must have been reported to the police at the time of the incident or shortly after or it cannot be accepted.

When making a claim for criminal injuries it is compulsory to provide the following:

 

  • The date and location of the crime
  • The name of the police station the crime was reported to
  • Your crime reference number
  • Your GP’s name and surgery address
  • The name and address of your Dental surgery (if you had to have dental treatment as a result of your injuries)
  • Details of any previous claims made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
  • Details of any unspent criminal convictions you may have
  • Proof of identity such as a birth certificate

 

If you knowingly provide incorrect or misleading information you may be prosecuted.

 

Criminal Injury – What can I claim for?

What can I claim for if I have been the Victim of a Criminal Injury?

 

If you have been injured as a result of a criminal act you may be able to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Individuals who make these claims may have been the direct victim of, for example, an assault, sexual abuse or rape. Your injury could also have been sustained when the individual was attempting to help the police after a crime had been committed. Relatives of a person who has died as a result of injuries can also make a claim.

In all cases, incidents must have been reported to the police at the earliest convenience for our solicitors to potentially proceed with your case. Claims for compensation must be made within two years of the date in which the incident took place. However, exceptions are made in some circumstances so we do advice that you speak to our solicitors who may still be able to take on your claim and/or provide you with legal advice.

 

What you can claim for:

  • Physical injuries
  • Disabling mental injuries
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Loss of earnings and expenses

 

A disabling mental injury is when your injury affects your day-to-day life such as at work or in your relationships. Mental injuries must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.

You can apply for compensation for loss of earnings or paid expenses if you have had to have any adaptations to your home or mobility aids as a result of your injuries. You can also claim for damage to any physical aids in the attack such as glasses.

To be eligible to claim for loss of earnings or expenses, you must have been employed at the time of the crime or for the 3 years immediately before the accident date. If you were not working, you could still be eligible to claim if you were unable to work, retired, in full time education or a carer for someone. You must have also not been able to work for 28 weeks or longer to be eligible.

 

While it is possible to make a claim with CICA yourself, Gowing Law will make sure that you recover the maximum compensation possible under the terms of the Scheme. All our claims are funded by a no win no fee basis, so there is nothing to pay in the event that your application is unsuccessful. In the event that your application is successful, your contribution will be capped at 25%. There is NO requirement for ATE or any other similar insurance for CICA cases

At Gowing Law we have a dedicated and sympathetic team ready to advise you. Call our team on 0161 464 4444 for advice about making a claim today!

Been involved in an Accident on Public Transport?

Have you been injured as a passenger on Public Transport?

 

As a customer travelling on public transport you are trusting the driver of the vehicle with your safety. There are a number of health and safety rules in place on public transport to ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers, however unfortunately accidents do still occur. Here’s a few examples of accidents that can cause injuries on the most commonly used modes of public transport.

 

Bus

The chances of being injured if involved in an accident on a bus are higher as it is not a legal requirement for them to have seatbelts for passengers. As buses are on the road they can easily be involved in collisions with other vehicles which can jolt passengers out of their seats, causing injuries.

You can be injured on a bus as a result of an accident not involving a collision with another vehicle, such as if the bus driver brakes suddenly or is driving recklessly as these actions can cause passengers to be thrown from their seats or fall over if they are standing or have not yet reached their seat after getting on the bus.

If you’ve been involved in an accident on a bus be sure to let the bus driver know you have been injured. Make sure to obtain the registration of the bus you were travelling on as well as the registrations of any other vehicles involved if possible. Make a note of the bus number and if possible the location of the accident. We do also ask that you keep hold of the bus ticket or bus pass used on the journey when the accident occurred.

 

Train

Accidents on trains are less common but do still happen, these can be as a result of hazards on the trains or crashes caused by debris on the tracks or a drivers error. It is important that potential hazards are all clearly signposted for people to see such as if there is a big step down from the train to the platform and making sure people can clearly see restrictions of the platform of where is and isn’t safe to stand. Injuries can happen on trains due to technical faults such as emergency breaks activating or faulty doors trapping people in them. Defective or damaged components on trains can also cause injury such as sharp protruding objects or damaged seats.

If you’ve been injured make sure a formal report is made in the accident book, there should be one in every train station. If injured on a train be sure to make a note of which train you were traveling on, where you got on it at which time and where it was going, as well as the rail company. Also be sure to take photos if injuries were as a result of defective components.

 

Taxi

When you are a passenger in a taxi, you expect the driver of the vehicle to drive safely and follow the rules of the road, as they are responsible for your safety. If you are injured in an accident as a passenger in a taxi, you have every right to make a claim for personal injury.

Make sure that the driver is aware you have been injured, take note of the registration of the vehicle you are in as well as the driver number, name and taxi company. Try to make a note of the accident location and if possible take photos as evidence. If the accident was the fault of another vehicle try to obtain their registration and driver name.

 

If you’ve been injured in an accident travelling on public transport in the last 3 years, call our team at Gowing Law today on 0161 464 4444!

Been involved in a Cycling Accident?

What to do if you’ve been involved in a Cycling Accident 

 

The roads can be very dangerous for cyclists, unfortunately accidents occur involving cyclists and motorists on a regular basis, some of these accidents can result in serious injuries for the rider as well as irrepairable damage to the bike. Although most cyclists know the rules of the road they may not know what to do if involved in a road traffic accident, especially if they don’t drive.

 

We have put together a guide to inform cyclists what to do in the event of a road traffic accident.

  • If you have suffered serious injuries or been knocked unconscious ensure you seek the necessary immediate medical attention such as a paramedic.
  • Identify who was at fault for the accident and what happened, make sure to get the details of the defendant such as their name and registration. A description of the vehicle and driver is also useful if you are unable to obtain specific details.
  • Check for any witnesses and obtain their names and contact details before they leave the scene of the accident.
  • Wait for police to attend the scene so that a full report can be filed. Even if the accident is minor as injuries might not be apparent for a few hours and then it will be too late to identify the defendant if you did not take details yourself.
  • Be sure to take photographs if possible of the damage to both your bike and any vehicles involved. Also try to take photos of the location where the accident occurred and injuries sustained. It is recommended that cyclists use dashcams or Go Pros either on their bikes or helmets to provide evidence if they are involved in an accident.
  • Take photographs of any damaged property such as your phone as these can be claimed for as damages if presented with a receipt of purchase. Also remember after an accident a new cycle helmet should be purchased!
  • Even if you didn’t experience any immediate injuries such as cuts or bruises you should still visit your GP or walk in centre as some injuries can take a few hours to become apparent such as back, shoulder and neck pain.
  • Finally, call Gowing Law on 0161 464 4444 to start your claim for personal injury!

The Dangers of Crash for Cash Scammers

What to do if you have been targeted by a crash for cash fraudster

 

What is a crash for cash scam?

Crash for Cash scams are a form of premeditated fraud when an individual or group of people deliberately cause, fabricate or stage an accident with the intention of putting forward a claim for personal injury and receiving payment under the policy that they would not be otherwise entitled to.

Crash for cash scammers usually take the time out to choose their victims carefully. They look for vulnerable drivers and drivers who don’t look like they would cause too much fuss, such as young women driving alone or mothers with children in the car.

Types of Crash for Cash scams?

The three most common types of crash for cash scams are; a staged accident, an induced accident and a fabricated accident.

  • Staged Accident – Fraudsters can stage an accident by crashing their own vehicles together or use something to mimic the damage of a crash such as a sledgehammer to dent or smash parts of their car.
  • Induced Accident – The fraudster will target an innocent motorist as their victim to become the “fault driver” and deliberately cause them to crash into them such as by slamming on the breaks so the victim hits them in the rear or flashing a car to let them out of a side road and then proceeding to crash into them, making the victim to appear at fault.
  • Fabricated Accident – These are also known as “ghost accidents” where the fraudster will attempt to claim for compensation for an accident that didn’t ever occur.

Things to look out for

  • Be vigilant and look out for erratic or unpredictable drivers, does the car in front keep unnecessarily speeding up, slowing down or suddenly braking. Remember to leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front so that you have ample breaking distance as some fraudsters go as far as disabling their break lights.
  • If the driver of the car in front is paying particular attention to your car travelling behind them such as constantly checking mirrors to see if you are paying attention, they may be planning to slam on their brakes and cause an accident.
  • Remember that just because another driver flashes you to pull out, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to go, be sure to use your own judgement and always proceed with caution.

What to do if you have been a victim of a crash for cash scam

  • Gather all necessary information; driver and passenger names, insurance details and registration of the vehicle. Also take photos of the accident scene if it is safe to do so.
  • Do not admit liability at the scene of the accident and suggest calling the police to the scene as this may cause the fraudster to back off.
  • When you report the accident to your insurer, be sure to report your suspicions of the legitimacy of the other driver.
  • See if there are any witnesses at the scene, however take care with this as fraudsters could be in on placing witnesses at the scene.
  • Finally, you can report the accident to the Insurance Fraud Bureau via their website or by calling on 0800 422 0421

Consequences of making a Fraudulent Claim for Personal Injury

What are the consequences of making a fraudulent claim for personal injury?

A fraudulent claim is recognised as when the person making a claim intentionally leaves out, mispresents, alters or hides vital information relating to the claim. This is with the intention of receiving payment under the policy that they would not be otherwise entitled to.

There are 2 types of fraudulent personal injury claims

Insurance fraud can be recognised as two different categories, Soft Fraud and Hard Fraud. Soft fraud or “opportunity fraud” is the most common type of fraud committed, an example of this is when the individual claiming “fakes” or exaggerates their injuries sustained from the accident they were involved in. Hard fraud or “premeditated fraud” is when the individual claiming has deliberately been involved in an incident, an example of this is “crash for cash” claims where the claimant has intentionally caused another party to collide with their vehicle.

Consequences of making a fraudulent claim based on the type

Soft Fraud

Soft fraud usually stems from a sincere claim, where the claimant has been involved in a genuine non-fault accident and is feeling some discomfort or minor injury, however they may exaggerate the amount of pain or discomfort they are in as a bid to be awarded a higher amount of compensation. If it is believed that the claimant is attempting to make a soft fraudulent claim the solicitors or insurance company can review the case and involve the police as well as share the claimants’ details with other insurance companies or solicitors firms to alert them that they may contact their business to commit fraud in the future. They may also pass the claimants details onto fraud prevention database, Cifas, once on this database it can be extremely difficult for the individual to get insurance or have access to other financial services.

Hard Fraud

Hard fraud is when the claimant has planned on making a claim for personal injury and therefore has prearranged an “accident” to occur. Staged accidents are a huge part of organised crime and are often referred to as “Crash for Cash” claims. There is a harsher punishment for these kind of claims as there are innocent people at risk of genuine injuries. If an individual is found to have committed hard fraud when making a personal injury claim they can be sentenced to up to 3 years in prison.

Courts have begun to take a much tougher approach on insurance fraud as an attempt to discourage the behaviour, as stated in the featured article below, “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime, it affects all motorists through higher premiums and staged accidents can put other road users at risk of serious injury or even death.”

Read the full article in the Insurance Times here: http://ow.ly/7C3u50uNk4p

 

Look out for our next blog post to read more about Crash for Cash claims and what to do if you think you have been a victim of one of these scams!

Criminal Injury

A man has been charged with grievous bodily harm following an assault in in the North East of England

The local police force said the incident happened early in the morning and has left the victim with life-changing injuries.

The man was successfully convicted for this crime but it has not taken away the feelings of fear and intimidation from the victim who now struggles to leave home or attend work.

 

Have you been the victim of similar incident?

Has this incident affected you physically or mentally? If so, At Gowing Law Solicitors our goal is to handle your case quickly and efficiently, so you can get the funds you need to rebuild your life. Fill out the contact form and we’ll contact you shortly to set up a consultation. You can also call us at 0161 808 8888 to talk to one of the Team today.