Can Crime Victims Receive Compensation for their Injuries?
It’s a thought many would prefer not to even consider. After all, the thought of being the victim of a crime is worrisome. But, it is a reality. Crime victims may suffer serious injuries or even die at the hands of an attacker. Are they entitled to compensation of any kind?
Maria was the victim of a crime. She was hit over the head while at a strip mall. Her assailants left her for dead and almost succeeded. As a result of the assault, Maria was left with a traumatic brain injury. Her life has changed forever.
The incident happened in an area known for high crime. Normally, Maria would not have ventured to a store in that particular strip mall. However, she was looking to fulfill her son’s Santa list. Maria vaguely remembers rushing through the dimly lit parking lot. It turns out the mall property owner didn’t bother to properly illuminate the premises. It made it entirely too easy for predators to find their mark.
Crime Victims May be Entitled to Compensation
You might be able to figure out where we are going with Maria’s story. Did the mall property owner have a duty to provide lighting in the parking lot? They knew or should have known that the area was known for criminal activity. At the very least, the property owner should have made sure there was proper illumination. Perhaps they should have also hired security to promote customer safety.
Crime victims may be entitled to compensation if their injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. Obviously, they can attempt to pursue a claim against the actual perpetrators of the crime. An experienced personal injury attorney can help determine if it would be beneficial to file a civil lawsuit. This is done separately from the criminal action. And, it is not necessary to secure a criminal conviction to pursue a case for money damages.
Third parties also may be held civilly liable for some crimes that result in injuries. Here are some examples:
- Property owners of malls and all types of stores
- Bar or restaurant proprietors
- Government entities
- Employees of companies or government entities
An investigation is the key to determining if a crime victim is entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. It is important to discuss the prospect of a claim as soon as possible.
New Jersey Victims of Crime Compensation Office
New Jersey does have a fund in place for those who are victims of crimes. The Victims of Crime Compensation Office provides compensation for many crimes. In order to submit an application, a person must have suffered personal injury. A claim may also be made by someone who was hurt while trying to prevent a crime. If a fatality occurred as a result of a crime, family members may be able to make a claim.
Benefits available from the state are limited to certain expenses such as medical bills, loss of earnings and limited transportation allowances. The maximum benefit for each claim is $25,000.