Crime Victims' Compensation

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What is Meant by “Crime Victims' Compensation”?

In many jurisdictions, victims of certain crimes may receive compensation for their losses resulting from the offense.  This is known as “Crime Victims' Compensation”, and is available to certain victims of specific crimes such as:

Crime victim compensation programs are funded through state operated Victim Compensation Funds.  The person applying for the compensation usually needs to file within two years of the injury or death. 

Who is Eligible to Receive Victim Compensation Funds?

Persons who may apply for crime victim compensation typically include:

Thus, not only the victim, but also the relatives or survivors of the victim may be eligible for compensation.

What Types of Expenses are Covered?

Crime Victim Compensation usually only covers crime-related expenses, especially those not already covered by other sources such as insurance. 

In many states, crime victim compensation programs allow the victim to receive anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on the nature of the losses.  Crime victim compensation usually doesn’t cover property loss or damage, pain and suffering, lawyer fees, or any non-economic losses.

What are the Requirements for Receiving Crime Victim Compensation?

Eligibility requirements may vary according to the state where the crime occurred, and also according to the nature of the crime itself.  Most state victim compensation statutes require that:

In some cases, the person receiving the compensation funds may be required to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the prosecution of the offender.  This may include providing eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, or identification of suspects.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Crime Victims' Compensation?

Crime victim compensation can often be complicated, as there are many different requirements to be fulfilled.  If you need assistance with crime victim compensation, it is to your benefit to hire a criminal lawyer in your area.  A qualified criminal attorney can assist you in filing the appropriate documents and evidence.  Also, your lawyer can provide assistance when working with criminal prosecutors and other authorities.  

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Last Modified: 03-08-2012 02:00 PM PST

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