Criminal injury suffered abroad? What can you do?

This article was published on: 06/14/16

This weekend’s football headlines were dominated by disturbing scenes of violence surrounding the England vs Russia game. Many fans suffered serious criminal injury at the hands of extremist fans. One middle aged England fan was left fighting for his life.

It is no secret that England fans carry a negative reputation when it comes to crowd trouble at major tournaments. However, this year things seem to be worse than ever, thanks largely to a group of Russian ‘Ultra’s’ . They have made the trip to France, armed and motivated to seek out and assault English fans attending the tournament, leading to chaos on the streets of Marseille on Saturday night.

The French authorities have described the Russian supporters as ‘Ultraviolent’ and there are many snapshots and videos on social media to back this claim up. It certainly doesn’t help matters when a Moscow football official tweets his approval of the behaviour and carelessly labels it as ‘standing up for your country’.

Indeed such is the level of violence being seen from the Russians in France, that UEFA have today imposed Russia with a suspended disqualification. This means that if the Russian fans inflict anymore violence inside the stadiums, as they did on Saturday, then they will be kicked out of the tournament.

There have been many England fans suffering injury as the result of unprovoked attacks or through trying to protect themselves. Also, there has been reports of inadequate policing, both inside and outside the ground, with fans being tear-gassed by French riot police.

Fans, who have been caught up in the violence over this weekend, may return home wondering whether they can claim compensation for their criminal injury. If the same types of incident occur within the UK, then it is quite clear what the protocols are in terms of reporting the crime and make a compensation claim for criminal injury.

We take a look what happens if you suffer a criminal injury abroad.

Can I make a claim criminal injury after being attacked abroad?

Yes it is possible for you to make a claim for criminal injury. The UK Government advise that the rules for claiming against violent crimes abroad vary, depending on whether the assault took place in an EU country or outside of the EU.

The first step would be to check with your travel insurance company to see if you are covered against criminal injury abroad. Some offer this option as part of their premium, so make sure you read ther terms and conditions.

In the UK, a claim for victims of violent crime is usually pursued through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive through CICA is referred to a tariff, which is dependent on your injury.

Hoever, CICA claims are subject to extremely strict rules surrounding your eligibility to make a claim. They state that the claim must be made within two years and that the claimant must be fully co-operative with the police. There should also be no evidence that claimant provoked their assailant prior to the assault.

There are similar schemes to CICA in other European countries and if you have been a victim of criminal injury in the EU, then it is possible for you to submit a claim through the UK based CICA.

What types of criminal injury does the CICA scheme cover?

CICA claims cover a wide variety of violent crimes. These include terrorist attacks, human trafficking offences, armed forces personnel who are victims of violence and holiday makers who have suffered criminal injury as a result of violence.

What do I do next?

As most European countries hold  similar criminal compensation schemes to ours, we advise that you get in touch with the UK CICA organisation. If your injury was suffered in an EU country, then you can call their EU Compensation Assistance Team on 0300 003 3601.

If your assault happened on a holiday outside the EU, then you will need to apply directly to the country where you were assaulted. For help with this, contact the British Embassy, high commission or consulate.

We would then advise seeking legal representation or advice. Remember, in most cases the time limit to submit a claim for criminal injury abroad is two years. To find out more information about submitting a CICA claim why not give us a call on 0800 61 43 61. Alternatively, you can visit our website to request further information or arrange a call back.

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