If you have ever been injured physically through criminal activities you will know the terror involved. In many cases it really changes your life and you can become too stressed to work or even go outside the house alone. If this has happened to you, talk to a criminal lawyer to see about compensation. It can be some small comfort to receive compensation for what you have suffered, including a changed lifestyle.
Most people are familiar with getting compensation from insurance, so it can be quite amazing to know that the government has set aside a fund that pays compensation to victims of crime who have been injured. In Western Australia, this amount was increased to $75,000 in 2004, with the amount paid depending on the injuries sustained.
It is paid out for –
- Having suffered pain and mental or emotional anxiety
- If you have lost your enjoyment of life
- Medical expenses
- Income loss
- Travel expenses for medical treatment
- Loss of clothing
- Pregnancy expenses in the case of rape
It is not only the victim who can apply, but the close relative of a victim who has died as the result of criminal activities can also make a claim for loss of financial support and/or funeral expenses.
Claims must be made within 3 years of the incident and when the victim has recovered as much as is possible. However, payment can be sought earlier to help with the costs of treatment or a funeral. While a claim can be made after the 3 years, you need to apply for an extension before that time is up, showing the reason for the delay.
When you apply for this compensation you will have to provide medical reports and other documents to support your claim. An assessor will deal with the information and decide on the amount you will be paid. However, in some cases they will need you to attend a hearing. This is done in private and as informally as possible, so you need not be afraid of the process. The perpetrator of the crime will not attend, though they may be given notice about the claim and copies of your documents.
While the application for compensation is kept confidential, copies of the decision made by the assessor are available to the media. However, the assessor can order that the names of those involved not be made public, especially in cases where those involved are minors.
If any action is taken to recover the monies awarded from the criminal, the victim of the crime is not involved in it. This will give you peace of mind that you won’t have to confront a violent criminal that has caused you harm.