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Criminal Injuries and Compensation for Victims of Crime

Criminal Injuries and Compensation for Victims of Crime

I was Injured as a Result of Someone Committing a Crime Against Me, Can I Seek Compensation for Damage and Injury They Caused?

Absolutely. When someone commits a crime, not only could they subject themselves to punishment by the state, but they are also liable to pay for any damage that they may have caused to a victim and their property. “Damages” refer to harm that may have been done in the form of:

  • Bodily injuries
  • Damage to property
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

When looking to be compensated for damages, a plaintiff must prove that the criminal was acting negligently and also that the damage was caused by the negligent actions.

What Are Some Common Examples of Crimes That Result in Injuries?

Below is a list of crimes that typically result in extensive damages to victims:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Assault/Battery
  • Crimes involving firearms and weapons
  • Sex Crimes
  • Murder, torture, and extreme acts of violence

Examples of Type of Damges Victims of Crimes Sustain

Here are some examples of the types of damages that could arise from crimes like these:

Example 1: Joe drives under the influence and hits another vehicle. He totals the opposing car, and also causes the woman driving it severe and chronic back pain. Later on, the woman’s insurance makes him pay for the property damage, and she also sues him for her bodily injuries.

Example 2: Mike commits a murder of a man who has a wife and 2 young children. While none of the other family members are physically hurt, he caused the entire family immense psychological damage and pain and suffering, which he must compensate them for.

What are Defenses that a Criminal Will Use to Protect Themself from Paying for Damages Caused to a Victim?

Even if a crime was committed and police choose to convict the criminal, this does not always guarantee liability for all damages claimed. Below are the 2 most commonly used defenses from criminals:

  • The crime was not the cause of the damages in question
  • The estimate for compensation of damages is excessive

First, it may be the case that the damages were not actually a result of the crime committed. It is not enough to merely show that a crime and damages took place, you must also show that the crime was the cause of them. Let’s apply this to example 1:

The person who was hit by the drunk driver is unable to get any compensation because the accident was her fault. Joe may have been driving intoxicated, but the woman rear-ended him when he was stopped at a red light. 

It is also a possibility that the criminal does not completely deny responsibility for damages, but claims that the damages in question are excessive. Here is what the defense would look like in relation to Example 2:

Mike’s defense argues that paying the family $1,000,000 per child is excessive, because both children are nearly 18 and would not be affected like a young child would be. They counteroffer with $500,000 per child.

Criminal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one is a victim of a crime and have suffered injury and/or sustained damages, we invite you to contact our Criminal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles today at (310) 943-1171 for a free consultation and case review.

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