Area of Law: Criminal Law
Answer # 790
Victim compensationRegion: Ontario Answer # 790
There are four ways that a victim of crime can be compensated. They are:
- Through insurance,
- Through restitution,
- By applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and
- By suing the person who committed the crime.
The first way to compensate victims of crime is through insurance. If you are injured, or your car is damaged in an accident, your car insurance company will usually compensate you for damages suffered. You can also seek compensation through your home or property insurer if any personal property is stolen or damaged as a result of a crime.
Applying for restitution
The second way to compensate victims of crime is by applying for restitution to the court that found the offender guilty of committing the offence. Restitution means that the offender is required to repay the victim. The court will consider your application when deciding on the offender’s sentence. To compensate you, the court can order any stolen property to be returned to you, or the court can order the person who committed the crime to pay you a sum of money. However, because the court’s main concern during sentencing is not victim compensation, it may be best to try other methods.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
The third way to compensate victims of crime is through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The Board deals mainly with cases of serious personal injury or death, and can give compensation in several circumstances, such as:
- Compensate any victim of crime who was physically injured.
- Compensate anyone who was physically injured while trying to prevent a crime.
- Compensate anyone who 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.”
- Compensate anyone who was physically injured while lawfully arresting or assisting in the arrest of a person committing a crime.
- Compensate for medical bills, prescriptions, funeral expenses, and loss of income.
- Compensate for injury or death, a lump-sum up-to a maximum of $30,000; and in the case of periodic payments, $1,000 per month.
- Compensate for pain and suffering, up-to a maximum of $5,000.
- If a victim has died, compensation is still available for the person who financially supported the victim or for the victim’s dependents, such as a parent, spouse or child.
An application for compensation must be made with the Board within two years of the date of the incident. However, there may be cases where this limitation period can be extended. Original receipts and supporting documentation must be included with your application. There are two types of applications for compensation, one for an injury and one for a death. Both applications can be submitted online or by mail.
For more information, refer to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
The final way to compensate a victim of crime is to sue the person who committed the crime. A civil lawsuit is held separately from the criminal trial, and can result in an award of damages for injuries suffered. You should consult a lawyer for more information if you are considering a civil lawsuit of this nature.
If you live in Ottawa or the surrounding area and need assisting with applications and representation before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, contact our preferred Licensed Paralegals, AJ Murray Legal Services.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, contact our preferred criminal law experts, Rotenberg Shidlowski Jesin Criminal Lawyers .
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