The Crimes Compensation Act is a law injured Floridians can take advantage of in the event of an incident involving a criminal. If someone suffers an injury while trying to stop another person’s felony or misdemeanor offense, the victim has the right to seek “crimes compensation.” This is a type of federal financial assistance for victims of adult and juvenile crimes. Find out what the Crimes Compensation Act says, whether you qualify for restitution, and how much you might be eligible to receive.
Who Does the Florida Crimes Compensation Act Help?
The Florida legislature enacted the Crimes Compensation Act because it realizes that some innocent people suffer serious and disabling injuries while trying to prevent crime or apprehend criminals. The legislature created the Crimes Compensation Trust to provide financial assistance to those who suffer serious or catastrophic injuries because of criminals. The state will provide financial recovery, aid, and care as a “matter of moral responsibility” in these cases.
A victim might qualify for Crime Compensation if he/she suffers the following injuries:
- Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis
- Amputation of a limb
- Severe brain or head injury
- Second or third degree burns on 25% or more of the body
- Total or industrial blindness
- Any other injury that is severe enough to qualify for disability income benefits
A person will qualify for Crime Compensation if he/she suffers this type of injury due to certain types of crimes. Crimes that qualify are a misdemeanor or felony offenses that result in physical injury or death, psychological injury, or mental injury from child abuse. Acts involving motor vehicles that result in injury or death also qualify, as do several other types of serious, violent, and child abuse crimes.
What Benefits Come With Crimes Compensation in Florida?
The Crimes Compensation Trust will reimburse eligible victims for many different economic damages that result from the criminal act. Benefits can make up losses such as lost wages, medical bills, treatment expenses, mental health treatment, property damages, disability expenses, loss of a deceased person’s support, and funeral/burial expenses.
If you are a victim in need of immediate relocation for safety purposes, you can also receive financial assistance for relocation through Crimes Compensation. Working with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney while you apply for Crimes Compensation can help you maximize your benefit award. If you do receive Crimes Compensation, it will be in addition to any recovery you receive through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court.
How Do I Apply for Crimes Compensation in Florida?
If you believe you qualify under the provisions of the Florida Crimes Compensation Act, find out how to apply for this type of government financial aid. First, you will need to pass a criminal background check. You will not be eligible if you are a habitual felony offender, violent offender, or have received a forcible felony conviction. You will also have had to report the crime to law enforcement within three days after it happened.
Next, you will need to submit your application. The application process can be confusing, so feel free to contact an attorney for assistance at any point. Upon submitting your application, the Attorney General will review your case and decide whether or not you’re eligible to receive Crimes Compensation benefits. You will need to fulfill all necessary requirements, as well as submit a fully completed form. You have one year from the date of the crime to file your Crimes Compensation request unless the victim is a minor child.
Take advantage of the Florida Crimes Compensation Act by contacting an attorney. As the innocent victim of a crime, you deserve financial reimbursement for your related losses. A lawyer can help you determine your eligibility, file the appropriate forms, and fight for fair recovery through every means available.