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Criminal Injury Compensation

Jul 24th, 2014 | By | Category: Personal Injury

Criminal Injury Compensation

If you have become a victim of a violent crime and got injured, you are more likely eligible for financial compensation. Call us to talk about your situation. Our lawyers have a great experience in helping people who were injured as a result of a violent crime to get full compensation.

Innocent victims of crimes of violence that have occurred in the Province of Ontario may be compensated in accordance with the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. Do you know that you do not need to be a resident of Ontario, to apply for “victim of a crime” compensation?

Eligibility for Compensation

Violent crimes may include murder, attempted murder, firearm offences, poisoning, arson and other offences such as assault, sexual assault, domestic assault (e.g. abuse by a spouse/partner), child physical assault, child sexual abuse, etc. The injuries may either be physical or psychological. However, the injuries must be more than merely transient or trifling in nature in order to be awarded compensation. A person can also apply for compensation if he/she witnessed or came upon the scene of a crime that resulted in a death and meets the criteria for a finding of “mental or nervous shock.”

Qualified individuals:

  • Individuals who have been injured as a result of a crime of violence committed in Ontario. Criminal Code offences include: assault, sexual assault, criminal harassment,
  • etc. Injuries received from a motor vehicle accident (hit and run or drunk driving) are excluded, unless the vehicle is used as a weapon.
  • Individuals who are responsible for the care of a victim of crime and suffered a loss of income or had expenses as a result of the victim’s injury or death
  • Individuals who are the dependants of a deceased victim (in the case of murder)
  • Individuals who were injured while trying to prevent a crime or while helping a police officer

In Ontario, anyone injured as a result of violent crime can apply for compensation. This includes those hurt or affected while making an arrest or assisting a peace officer with law enforcement duties, or while trying to prevent a crime. If a person died as a result of violent crime in Ontario, any family members that were dependent on the deceased person or who paid expenses as a result of the death (including expenses to care for one or more children of the deceased person or expenses for bereavement counseling) can apply for compensation.

Compensation may be awarded regardless of whether a person has been prosecuted or convicted of the offence giving rise to the injury or death. Accordingly, you may still be eligible for compensation if no charges were laid or if there was no conviction in a criminal proceeding. If a victim/claimant is under the age of 18, or unable to manage his/her personal affairs, a legal guardian must make the application.

The following items are not awarded for compensation:

  • crimes committed outside the Province of Ontario
  • Damaged or stolen property
  • An accident involving a motor vehicle (i.e. drunk driving or hit and run)
  • Legal fees for criminal court and/or civil suits
  • Distress of attending criminal court
  • Workplace accidents (claims should be filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board)
  • deaths resulting from suicide
  • negligence by an institution/organization
  • pain and suffering for grief and sorrow

Time Limits

An application for compensation must be made within two years of the date of the incident. However, the two-year limitation period could be extended when it is warranted. Our lawyers can request such an extension and explain your reason(s) for the delay in the application form.

Types of Compensation

You may be awarded the following types of compensation for physical injuries and/or psychological harm that resulted from a violent crime in Ontario. In order to be awarded compensation, your injuries must be more than merely transient or trifling in nature.

  • Pain and Suffering: Awards are based on several factors, including:
    1. the nature of the crime/abuse,
    2. any breach of trust or abuse of power,
    3. the age and vulnerability of the victim,
    4. the degree of violence involved,
    5. the seriousness of the injuries sustained or the extent of the harm caused,
    6. the recovery period,
    7. the possibility of a continuing disability,
    8. the impact the crime/abuse had on the victim’s life.
  • Treatment Expenses: May be awarded for ambulance fees, hospital charges, prosthetics, eyeglasses, prescriptions, dental expenses, counseling expenses etc. Only expenses not payable by any other source will be considered.
  • Travel to Treatment Expenses: May be awarded if you are required to travel more than 40km each way from your residence for treatment.
  • Loss of Income: May be awarded to you (or a person responsible for your care) if you were unable to work because of injuries arising from the incident. We may award up to a maximum of $1,000 per month for lost income. Generally, this is paid out to a maximum of $50 per day or $250 per week. Any benefits received from other sources will be considered and possibly deducted from this amount.
  • Loss of Support: May be awarded to the dependants who relied on the deceased victim for financial support at the time of the crime.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: This includes the cost of a funeral director, clergyman, casket, cemetery plot, grave marker, newspaper notices, death and birth certificates.
  • Other: Costs associated with the support of a child born as a result of a sexual assault.

 

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