Victims of Crime: Understanding Your Compensation Rights
Nobody likes to think about being the victim of a crime, but it does happen to a lot of people. If you have suffered a personal injury as the result of being the victim of a crime, you may be eligible to compensation.
The WA Criminal Injuries Compensation Act of 2003 allows you to make a claim against the offender. In addition, you may also be eligible to file a common law claim or ask the court to include restitution as part of the offender’s sentence.
File a Police Report
You always want to report any crime of which you are a victim to police as soon as possible. Make sure to cooperate and give them any information you have which can help them apprehend and convict the alleged offender. However, there are some circumstances in which you may receive compensation even if the offender is not caught. Be sure to get the policeman’s name and the report number.
Beware that you may be denied compensation if you are found to have not helped or cooperated fully with the police.
To make a claim for criminal injury compensation, you must report the crime within three years of its commission. If the Office of Criminal Injuries Compensation determines that you have a valid reason for not reporting it within three years, you may be awarded an extension. For example, the consequences of your injury may not show for more than three years after the crime takes place.
What Compensation You May Receive
You can receive compensation for a number of the consequences of being a crime victim. These include: pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses and “incidental” expenses such as loss of clothing and transport to medical care.
Who Makes the Decision?
The Assessor of Criminal Injuries Compensation decides whether or not you will receive a claim and how much you will receive if anything.
Don’t “Go it Alone”
Always get legal advice before filing any claim. Make sure that you fully know your rights and the benefits to which you may be entitled to. Going it alone could result in you receiving less money than what you deserve. Call our Perth firm on (08) 9316 2299 for more information.