Victims of wrongdoings, such as negligence or intentional harm, can file a compensation claim to obtain restitution. In many cases, offenders get away with the injury they’ve caused without getting punished, so victim compensation programs were created to recompense victims and their families. But, how can victims file compensation? What are the different types of victim compensation?
Learn the essential things you need to know about victim compensation by reading below.
- Victim Compensation Timeline
Generally, the claim filing deadline is one to three years after the date of injury. Some states provide more time. For instance, the deadline to file a claim is six years from the date of injury in Wisconsin, but without a time limit for serious injuries, such as permanent brain damage. In workplace accidents, if the employer-provided medical benefits before the employee filed a claim, the time to file a claim only starts until the benefits stop.
Many states have limited exceptions to the deadline for filing claims, such as when the victim couldn’t file a claim immediately after the incident because of the following reasons:
- Coma-related injury
- Severe injuries requiring prompt surgery and prolonged treatment
- Quarantined employee because of a potentially contagious injury
The government can also extend the claim filing date. For instance, the deadline to file a claim for the Victim Compensation Fund (for the victims of the September 11th World Trade Center Twin Tower terrorist attack) is on October 1, 2090. You may check details of the VCF review process from this source.
- Filing Victim Compensation
Before you file a victim compensation claim, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel to determine your options and for proper guidance as to how the claims process works. Victims of personal injury cases, such as motor vehicle accidents, product liability, boating accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, or wrongful death, can hire a personal injury lawyer to represent them before the insurance companies and the court.
When filing victim compensation, here are the following tips to keep in mind:
- You Need To Establish A Solid Claim: The solidity of your claim all boils down to how strong your evidence is. That’s why it’s crucial to gather and preserve evidence early on. Seek medical attention promptly to document all injuries and treatments. It also helps to take pictures and videos of the incident scene.
- You Need To Submit The Correct Requirements: The claims process requires submitting the necessary documents, like claim forms, medical records, police reports, and other paperwork and proof. Personal injury lawyers are highly knowledgeable about how the legal process works, ensuring that all requirements are complete and correct before filing a claim.
- State Crime Victim Compensation Coverage
State crime victim compensation programs reimburse crime victims for medical costs, psychological counseling, lost wages, and funeral and burial costs. All states in the United States have established crime victim compensation programs with similar eligibility requirements and comparable benefits.
In California, their state victim compensation program helps cover medical expenses and burial costs of violent crime victims. The proposed AB-767 Bill would allow using other forms of evidence, like witness testimony and medical records, to prove claims. This California bill was drafted to make police violence victims eligible for compensation.
Compensation is paid when the offender restitution and private insurance don’t cover the damages. Some expenses aren’t covered by most state compensation programs, such as theft and property damage or loss. Also, state compensation programs aren’t required to compensate victims of terrorism.
- Amount OF Compensation
Compensation program eligibility requirements and benefits differ from state to state. At a national level, the average victim compensation benefit is USD$2,000. Maximum benefits of state programs usually range from USD$10,000 to USD$25,000.
A few states impose lower or higher maximum award limits of a crime victim’s compensation. For instance, California, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Minnesota have USD$40,000 to USD$50,000 maximum award limits. Washington State has a USD$150,000 limit for medical injuries. On the other hand, New York crime victims have unlimited medical coverage.
Now, you have a basic idea of how victim compensation works. It’s important to know the time limits or deadlines in filing a claim and submitting requirements to avoid justice delays. Also, filing victim compensation would involve presenting substantial evidence and determining state-specific legal guidelines applicable to your case. The amount of compensation you’ll receive depends on the insurance policy coverage and the state’s requirements.