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Criminal Injuries

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CRIMINAL INJURIES

  • A victim of any criminal action, or a close relative of a deceased victim of a criminal act has a right to seek compensation in terms of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA) (Act). A & E Legal can assist.

Our experienced solicitors will engage on your behalf (by submitting a claim) with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for the compensation that you deserve resulting from your personal injury or loss, which should ultimately resolve by way of settlement.

I have been the victim of a crime, can I claim?

  • yes, you can seek compensation if you were the victim of a crime and you sustained injuries;
  • you can also claim if you are a close relative of a victim, namely a spouse, de facto partner, grandparent, stepchild or grandchild.

What can I claim?

  • you can claim for any bodily harm you might have sustained, pregnancy arising from a sexual assault, and/or mental or nervous shock, which all fall under the heading of general damages which covers pain, suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life;
  • any loss of income you sustain as a result of the incident;
  • medical expenses which will include counselling and rehabilitation;
  • costs for items such as damage to clothes and travelling expenses for medical appointments;
  • in the case of death, a close relative can claim for loss of financial support and funeral expenses.

What should I do after an attack/incident?

You must report the incident to the police as soon as reasonably possible. Even if the perpetrator has not been identified, apprehended or charged, you can still claim compensation.

How long do I have to claim?

You have three years from the date of the offence, or the last offence, to lodge an application. Your application should be made once you have reached an acceptable stage of recovery from your injuries, except where interim payments are sought for medical treatment, reports or funeral costs. If your claim is more than three years old, you may still apply but you will have to apply for an extension that sets out substantive reasons as to the initial delay in submitting your claim in time.

How much can I claim?

The amount you can claim will depend on the severity of your injuries and or the loss you have suffered and is limited by legislation to the maximum amount of $75 000.

What happens if I was also in the wrong or contributed to the incident?

Your award may be reduced or refused by the Assessor who is appointed to your matter.

How do I make a claim?

After the matter has been reported to the Police you should do the following:

  • contact us at A & E Legal and we can walk you through the claim process and assist you in submitting a claim form;
  • alternatively, write to the Chief Assessor of the Criminal Compensation Commission and request a claim form. This form may also be downloaded from the District Court website;
  • submit all your medical reports and other documents to support your application and complete the application form in its entirety;
  • keep copies of all forms, reports and other documents submitted.

Will I have to go to court?

In the majority of matters the Assessor will consider all the relevant information provided by you and make an award based thereon. These hearings are held in private in the Assessor’s offices and on a relatively informal basis. Only in very limited cases will your matter end up going to trial.

In what circumstances will my claim not succeed?

When you have not reported the matter to the police within a reasonable time, unless you can show that good reason exists for the delay in reporting;

  • where you fail to cooperate with the police during their investigations or during the prosecution of the perpetrator;
  • if the perpetrator is acquitted of any wrong doing during the criminal matter against him/her.

How long will it take and how much does it cost?

We will attempt to get through the claim procedure as quickly as possible by seeking the relevant expert advice from your doctors and other relevant professionals to ensure that your claim is settled at the right time. We will answer all your questions about legal costs at the first free consultation with you.

Can I appeal an award?

If you disagree with the amount you are awarded you can appeal the Assessors’ decision to the District Court within 21 days.

In the matter of Zadeh [2015] WADC 136, Mr Zadeh was awarded compensation in the sum of $4,772 by the relevant Assessor. Mr Zadeh appealed against the award of compensation, pursuant to section 17(2) of the Act, contending that the award was premature as he was not ready for the medical assessment at the time of the award, as he was still undergoing psychological counseling. After a careful analysis of the law, the medical evidence presented (together with additional medical evidence), the Court concluded that the Assessor’s award be substituted by an order of the Court awarding Mr Zadeh the sum of $73,828.

Is the first consultation free?

The first consultation is free with no obligation on your part to proceed.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.