Can Crime Victims Receive Compensation in Western Australia?
If you experienced a physical injury or property damage as the result of a crime, you may be entitled to compensation
If you were the victim of a crime committed in Western Australia, you may be able to receive compensation. This article will explain the three ways that crime victims in can try to recover money for their physical injuries or financial losses.
Crime Injuries Compensation Claims
Victims of crimes that cause physical or emotional harm can make a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act. The crime must have occurred in Western Australia.
You must report the crime to the police in order to be eligible for compensation, but it is not necessary for the police to identity the criminal or to make an arrest. You may be denied compensation, however, if you do not cooperate with the police investigation.
Compensation can be awarded for:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a close relative died as the result of a crime, the applicant can receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses and for loss of financial support.
You must file a claim within three years after the crime is committed. The maximum amount of compensation that can be awarded is $75,000.
You need to prove your entitlement to the claim. If the evidence developed by a police investigation does not clearly establish that you are a crime victim, or if there is some doubt about the severity of your injuries, you should seek legal advice.
You can file a civil lawsuit against the person who committed the crime. A civil lawsuit can ask for damages resulting from physical injuries, financial losses from theft or fraud, or for the value of damaged or destroyed property.
Whether it is worth filing a civil action usually depends on whether you can collect any money from the offender. You should talk to a lawyer if you want to pursue a lawsuit.
Restitution or Compensation
If the offender is prosecuted and sentenced for the crime that was committed against you, the court can order the offender to pay restitution or compensation.
A restitution order requires the offender to return any money or property that the offender took from you. If property was stolen from you that the police recovered, the police will be ordered to return the property to you.
A compensation order requires the offender to reimburse you for:
- Damage or destruction of your property
- Expenses you reasonably incurred as a result of the crime
A compensation order cannot include compensation for physical injuries that you can seek under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.
You can ask for restitution or compensation at the offender’s sentencing hearing. You can also make the request within 12 months after sentencing. The court will give you a form you can submit for that purpose.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.