Violence at Work (UK)

Claiming Compensation

Employees who suffer harm/ injury from violence in the course of their employment have three ways to claim compensation.

1. Submitting a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

2. Taking out a private prosecution against the perpetrator of the violence. (A course of action only ever taken if the offender has the capability to pay!)

3. By suing the employer.


You only have one bite at the cherry!

It is not possible to make more than one application where compensation is concerned. So, don't get rushed down the wrong road!



The average time to settle a CICA claim is currently 39 weeks, which is far faster than actions for damages in the civil courts and it is a way of getting compensation that does not involve pointing the finger of blame at anyone else (including the employer) and so avoids conflict. But, (and it's a big but), the CICA scheme restricts compensation awards in line with a national schedule that starts at £1000 and is capped at £500,000.

Examples are:

a) Paralysis of all limbs 250,000
b) Loss of an ear 10,000
c) Loss of sight in one eye £20,000
d) Dislocated jaw £2000
e) Fractured thigh bone (with full recovery) 3000
g) Loss of one front tooth £1500
h) Facial scarring with serious disfigurement 7500

Compensation payments awarded by the civil courts tend to be (much) larger as they are not subject to the CICA scheme's £500,000 cap and they can take account of a greater element of lost earnings and the cost of future care. Civil court awards can also include exemplary damages relating to the manner in which the injury was caused or increased as well as aggravated (punitive) damages intended to punish the defendant.


Suing the employer

The Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 places a duty on employers to take out and maintain approved insurance policies against liability for bodily injury (or disease) sustained by their employees in the course of their employment.

However, the fact that an employer has taken out the necessary insurance policy does not grant an injured employee an automatic right to compensation. Claimants have to be able to prove that the employer was liable (legally responsible AND to blame) for what happened. If the necessary grounds exist (and the casual approach to safety in most workplaces means they usually will) the question will then turn to how much the employee's own actions contributed to the severity of the outcome.



Section 7 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 made it a legal responsibility of all employees to take 'reasonable care' of their own health and safety.

The Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 provides that where any person suffers damage as the result of his own fault and partly of the fault of any other person or persons, a claim in respect of that damage shall not be defeated by reason of the fault of the person suffering the damage, but the damages recoverable in respect thereof shall be reduced to such an extent as the court thinks just and equitable having regard to the claimant's s share in the responsibility for the damage.

In other words, if you perform work that is recognisably unsafe and you get hurt, any compensation that you may have been in line for may be reduced in proportion to how significantly your own actions contributed to the severity of the outcome.


Good advice

Do all you possibly can to avoid needing to claim compensation. Compensation is never ever worth the suffering that has to be endured in order to get it.


Got a claim for compensation?

Thompsons Solicitors are experts in all matters relating to criminal assaults. They will be happy to advise you as to whether or not you have a valid personal injury compensation claim and will talk you through the entire process in plain English.

For information, help or advice about making a criminal injury claim, telephone Thompsons Solicitors now on FREEPHONE 08000 224 224 or complete one of their online compensation claim forms.

To visit Thompsons Solicitors web site: Click Here