By Olivia Robertson. Last updated 2nd March 2021. Welcome to our guide to making a murder compensation claim. The loss of a loved one will always be devastating, but when their death has been caused because they were the victim of murder, it can be even more traumatic. At the time of your loss, compensation is not going to be a priority. However, as the days and weeks pass it may be something you want to consider, especially if you had some form of financial dependence. While receiving victim of murder compensation won’t make bring your loved one back, it could help make things a little bit easier moving forward. In the guide that follows, we’re going to look at when you could be entitled to compensation, what you’re able to claim for and how much you could be entitled to.
Legal Helpline could help you to begin a claim for compensation after a murder. While it won’t be easy for you, our professional staff will help you by providing no strings attached legal advice about your claim. They’ll also assess your claim, but you’re under no obligation to proceed. If you do decide that you want to pursue compensation, we could refer you to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. To make things less stressful, and to reduce your financial risk, they’ll handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you’d like to talk to us today about making a claim, please call an advisor on 0161 696 9685. Alternatively, if you’d rather find out more about claiming murder victim compensation, please read on.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide To Victim Of Murder Compensation Claims
- What Are Homicide, Manslaughter And Murder?
- What Are The Differences Between Murder And Manslaughter?
- Homicide Statistics
- The CICA And 1995 Criminal Injuries Compensation Act
- Claiming For The Murder Of A Parent Or Other Close Relative
- Claiming Compensation As The Dependant Of A Murder Victim
- Time Limits To Make A Murder Or Homicide Compensation Claim
- Victim Of Murder Compensation Claims Calculator
- What Could I Claim? – Criminal Injuries Claims
- Steps To Make A Victim Of Murder Compensation Claim
- Why Make Your Murder Or Homicide Claim With Us?
- No Win No Fee Victim Of Murder Compensation Claims
- Contact Legal Helpline Today
- Criminal Injury Claim Resources
A Guide To Victim Of Murder Compensation Claims
When making personal injury claims, you’d usually claim against the person whose negligence led to your injury. Any compensation awarded would usually be paid by the defendant or their insurance policy. With murder cases, that type of claim isn’t usually possible.
It’s more likely that any claim for murder victim compensation would be made against a government scheme administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, or CICA. While CICA compensation is different from that paid in a personal injury claim, it can help cover expenses following a death, such as funeral costs. As we continue through this guide, we’ll look at what else CICA claims can include and the eligibility criteria for claiming.
We know how difficult it will be to discuss the loss of your loved one with a stranger, but our advisors will work with you compassionately to ensure they gather the required information when you contact us. We’d advise you to begin your claim as soon as you can because there is a time limit for CICA claims which is less than other types of claim. We’ll discuss this in more detail later in the guide.
Throughout this guide, we’ll try to answer some frequently asked questions, such as:
- Who pays compensation to victims of crimes?
- Do you get compensation if a family member is murdered?
- How much compensation do you get for criminal injuries?
- How do I claim victim compensation?
If you don’t find an answer to a question you have about claiming, please feel free to call a knowledgeable advisor from our team. We don’t charge for any advice we provide, and you won’t be pressured into making a claim. You can use our advice to help you decide whether to begin your claim or not.
What Are Homicide, Manslaughter And Murder?
Homicide is defined as the killing of one person by another. It doesn’t have to be a deliberate act, but some forms of homicide are. In guidance laid out by the CPS, homicide can include crimes such as:
- Death by careless or dangerous driving.
- Manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary).
- Gross negligence manslaughter.
- Corporate manslaughter.
- Assisting or encouraging suicide.
This guide is about claiming through the CICA scheme. Therefore, your loved one’s death will need to be recorded as manslaughter or murder. That said, if the reason for death was a driving-related crime, you could use our guide on claiming through the responsible party’s motor insurance or via the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) if they happen to be uninsured or untraceable.
Importantly, to make a murder compensation claim, the criminal responsible doesn’t have to have been found, charged, or prosecuted. So long as you’ve reported the crime to the police, and a coroner has recorded the death as murder or manslaughter, you could be entitled to make a claim.
What Are The Differences Between Murder And Manslaughter?
According to the CPS document from the previous section, murder is usually defined as:
- Where a sane person unlawfully kills a living human being and intended to kill them or cause grievous bodily harm.
Manslaughter is possible in three different ways:
- If the criminal intended to kill the victim but where there’s a partial defence such as diminished responsibility or loss of control.
- Where the defendant was grossly negligent because there was a risk of death and their actions did lead to a death.
- Where the defendant committed an unlawful act, which involved danger or risk and did cause a death.
The key difference between murder and manslaughter is that, for murder, the criminal intended to cause harm by their action.
Here are some homicide statistics from the Office of National Statistics for the year ending March 2019:
- 671 people were killed in homicides in this period. This is a fall of 5% in the previous year.
- 429 of the victims were male and 241 were female.
- 113 of the homicide victims were aged between 16 and 24.
- The most common method of committing a homicide was by using a sharp instrument. 259 homicides were carried out in this way.
- Female victims aged over 16 were most likely to be killed by a partner or ex-partner (38%).
- Male victims were most likely to be killed by an acquaintance or friend (27%).
- In total, the homicide rate for the reporting period was 11 homicides per million people of the population.
The CICA And 1995 Criminal Injuries Compensation Act
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995 set out to create a scheme to provide compensation for criminal injuries. It is used as the basis for the CICA scheme and helps determine how and when compensation is awarded. It also dictates how reviews and appeals to the CICA scheme are handled.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is an executive agency of the UK government. It administers the compensation scheme that pays compensation to victims of violent crimes in England, Scotland and Wales. The scheme is funded by the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales and by the Justice Directorate in Scotland. The current chief executive of the CICA is Linda Brown.
Claiming For The Murder Of A Parent Or Other Close Relative
Under the CICA scheme, qualifying relatives could be eligible to claim a bereavement award. Section 59 of the 1995 Act defines qualifying relatives as:
- The civil partner or spouse of the deceased who was living with them in the same household.
- A partner (i.e. not a spouse or civil partner) who lived with them at the time of their death and had done so for a period of 2 or more years.
- A parent of the deceased.
- A child of the deceased. This does not have to be a child under 18. It includes adult children and unborn children of the deceased.
Bereavement payments cannot be paid to former spouses or civil partners. The same is true for somebody who’s estranged from the deceased at the time of the murder.
The standard bereavement payment at the time of writing is £11,000 if there is only one claimant. If there are multiple parties eligible to claim, the bereavement award for murder is reduced to £5,500 per claimant.
Claiming Compensation As The Dependant Of A Murder Victim
As well as claiming a bereavement payment, you may be entitled to a dependency payment as part of your murder compensation claim. Claims are possible for those who were financially or physically dependent on the deceased. You can only claim for financial dependency if the deceased was in paid work or had the ability to work. If their main source of income was social security benefits, then you cannot claim in this way.
The CICA scheme uses a weekly rate to calculate the total dependency payment. If there are multiple dependents, the weekly amount will be shared equally between them. For financially dependent adults, the payment is made in one lump sum. For children under the age of 18, the payment is normally made annually to the person with parental responsibility.
You can also claim for a dependency payment if the deceased was your main carer. Examples of the dependency used by the CICA scheme include where the deceased helped with personal hygiene, food preparation, administering medicine, continence management and keeping you safe from harm.
If you’d like to check if you could claim a dependency payment, please contact an advisor for free advice today.
Time Limits To Make A Murder Or Homicide Compensation Claim
In most murder compensation claims, you’ll have 2 years to bring a claim from the date of the crime. This is less than the personal injury claims time limit of 3 years.
The CICA scheme does allow for an extension of the 2-year time limit but only in exceptional circumstances where the application could not have been made earlier. Importantly, you don’t have to wait for the outcome of a criminal trial before submitting your claim. The CICA can settle the claim without a criminal conviction so you should not use this as a reason to delay making a claim.
A solicitor will require as much time as possible to collect evidence, review medical records and speak with witnesses. Therefore, the sooner you can begin your claim, the better.
Victim Of Murder Compensation Claims Calculator
When discussing other types of claim, we’d usually provide a personal injury claims calculator at this point. However, CICA claims are different as no two murder compensation claims are the same. Therefore, the payout you receive for a murder compensation claim can vary quite significantly depending on your circumstances and your dependence on the victim. Therefore, we’d advise speaking with an advisor and letting them assess your claim. A solicitor from our panel will be able to determine a compensation estimate once they understand your situation better.
What Could I Claim? – Criminal Injuries Claims
When claiming through the CICA scheme, there are several different things you could claim compensation for. Some were listed in the previous section’s table. We can’t provide an estimated amount of compensation in this guide as every claim is unique. When you’ve spoken with a solicitor from our panel, they may be able to explain the amount of compensation they hope to achieve in your case.
Here are some of the things you could claim through the CICA:
- Bereavement award. This is usually paid to a spouse or partner. If there is more than one claimant for the bereavement award, then the amount paid is reduced.
- Funeral expenses. The cost of a funeral has risen over recent years. Therefore, you could ask for this to be considered in your CICA claim.
- Dependency payments. If you were financially or physically dependant on the murder victim, you could ask for a dependency payment to be made. For children, the payment calculation will start on the date of the murder and end on the child’s 18th birthday. For adults, the end date will be the date when the victim would’ve reached state pension age. Multiple parties can claim dependency and the amount awarded will be divided amongst them. Although the figure is calculated weekly, the CICA will pay the dependency payment as a lump sum.
When claiming for financial dependency, it’s important to provide the necessary evidence to the CICA. That’s why having a specialist solicitor on your side could be important. That’s because if you accept a settlement and then realise you forgot to include something in your claim, you can’t go back and ask for more compensation later. Our panel of solicitors have years of experience and will always try to ensure you receive the correct level of compensation.
Steps To Make A Victim Of Murder Compensation Claim
When making a murder compensation claim through the CICA compensation scheme, you will need to provide evidence when asked. While your solicitor will explain what’s needed, here is some guidance on what could be used as evidence:
- A crime reference number. The CICA scheme stipulates that any claim must’ve been reported to the police. They don’t need to have solved the crime for you to claim but a reference number is mandatory.
- Witness details. Although you’ll have provided this information to the police, it won’t do any harm to retain a contact list in case you’re asked for further details.
- Medical records. You may be asked to produce medical records to help with your claim. In this case, you could ask a GP or hospital to provide these.
- Financial records. If you’re claiming as a dependant of the deceased, you might want to keep hold of bank statements and wage slips to support your claim.
We understand what a difficult time it is likely to be for you so don’t worry too much about gathering evidence at this stage. Your solicitor will guide you through the process as and when required.
Why Make Your Murder Or Homicide Claim With Us?
We believe that if you’re claiming compensation for murder victims, you should have specialists supporting you all the way. Here are some of the ways Legal Helpline could help you:
- Our claims line is open 24-7 so you can begin when it’s most convenient.
- We provide completely free legal advice and a no-obligation assessment of your claim.
- Our panel of specialist solicitors has 30 years of experience handling claims.
- If your case is taken on, your solicitor will provide regular updates as the claim progresses.
- During your claim, your solicitor will be on hand to answer any questions and to explain any complex legal jargon.
- The solicitors on our panel will always try to ensure you receive the correct level of compensation and will act as swiftly as possible.
If you’d like any further information on how we could help, please speak with an advisor.
No Win No Fee Victim Of Murder Compensation Claims
It’s quite understandable to worry about the cost of making a murder compensation claim. Therefore, to reduce the stress and financial risks involved, our panel of solicitors operate under a No Win No Fee basis for all claims. This should give you the conviction to pursue justice and the compensation you could be entitled to.
When you get in touch, your solicitor would review your claim with you. If they believe you’ve got a strong case, they’ll prepare a No Win No Fee agreement, sometimes called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), for you to sign.
The CFA is a contract between you and the solicitor. It will clearly explain that:
- You don’t need to pay any upfront fees.
- There aren’t any payable fees during the claims process.
- If the solicitor fails to win compensation for you, then you won’t have to pay their fees.
If your solicitor goes on to win your claim, they could ask you for a modest percentage of the compensation awarded to cover their costs. This is known as a success fee. This would be payable when the claim is settled. You needn’t worry about this too much as success fees are capped by legislation and the amount you’ll pay is listed in the CFA from the start.
Please call and speak with an advisor to learn if you could bring your case on a No Win No Fee basis.
Contact Legal Helpline Today
If you’d like to start a claim now that you’ve read this guide about claiming compensation for murder, here are the best methods of contacting us:
- Call and speak with a friendly member of our team on 0161 696 9685.
- Begin your claim online by completing this claims form.
- Use our live chat facility to connect with an online advisor who’ll answer any questions you might have.
We understand how difficult you might find it to discuss the loss of a loved one with a stranger. Therefore, our advisors will listen to your case compassionately and won’t put any pressure on you. If they think the claim is strong enough, and you’re happy to proceed, they could refer you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel who’ll be able to help on a No Win No Fee basis.
Criminal Injury Claim Resources
This is the final section of our guide about claiming for a victim of murder compensation. To help you further, we’ve provided some further information which you might find useful. This includes some more of our helpful articles as well as some relevant external resources.
Claiming Compensation For An Assault – This guide looks at a victim of crime compensation that could be paid following an assault.
CICA Compensation Claims – A more detailed look at how to claim victim compensation from the CICA scheme.
Victim Support – A UK charity that aims to support those affected by crime and traumatic events.
Report A Crime – An online tool from Police UK that explains the methods available to report crimes.
Criminal Courts – Information from the government on the different types of criminal court in the UK.
Murder Compensation Claim FAQs
Here, we’ll conclude our guide by looking at the top frequently asked questions regarding murder compensation claims.
Do murderers pay compensation?
Usually, no. Instead, compensation is provided for victims of crimes through the CICA scheme, as discussed above.
How much compensation do you get for victims of crime?
There’s no average payout for falling victim to a crime. Compensation amounts are calculated using the extent of each victim’s suffering, which is typically evaluated in a medical assessment. For more information or for an estimated payout figure, please contact our team at Legal Helpline today for a free consultation.
Thanks for reading our murder compensation claims guide. We hope you now have a better understanding of your rights in this situation. If you’d like to learn more, please contact one of our specialist advisors today to see how our panel of personal injury lawyers could help you.
Guide by BE
Edited by REG