If you have been the victim of a crime and sustained injury as a result you may be entitled to compensation under the Victims of Crime Act 2001.
Can I make a claim?
In order to be eligible to make a claim, you must have been the immediate victim of an offence.
This means that you suffered injury as a result of the offence or suffered psychological injury as a result of the direct circumstances of the offence.
Alternatively, if a member of your immediate family died as a result of an offence you may be eligible.
In addition to satisfying one of the above criteria, you must show one of the following:
- That the offence involved the use of violence or a threat of violence; or
- That the offence created a reasonable apprehension of imminent harm; or
- That the offence was a sexual offence; or
- That the offence caused death or physical injury.
In order to claim under the Victims of Crime scheme you must not be eligible under any other statutory scheme (eg motor vehicle accident claims and workers compensation claims).
It is important to note that compensation is only available if an offence can be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
In circumstances where an offender has been successfully prosecuted there will be no issue in proving the offence.
How much can I claim?
For offences that occurred after 1 September 1990 the amount of compensation that can be claimed is capped at $50,000.00.
For offences that occurred prior to 1 September 1990 the amount is reduced.
The amount that you may be awarded will depend on a number of factors including:
- When the offence happened
- The severity of the injury
- Whether you are found to have contributed to the offence or the injury
- Whether you cooperated with the police investigation and prosecution
- Whether you have taken steps to mitigate your loss.
What do I need to do?
Normally a claim for injury must be made within 3 years of the date of the offence and death claims must be made within 12 months.
It is possible to make a claim even after the limitation period but you should discuss this with a lawyer.
If you think you might be entitled to make a claim, please call 8357 7611 to make an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers to discuss it further.