While most personal injuries that occur in Georgia are the result of accidents, a significant portion of these incidents are the consequences of criminal acts. The law states that a person who causes a physical injury through a criminal act is just as liable to provide compensation to a victim as those who inflict injuries through accidents.
However, individuals who commit these crimes may not have the financial resources necessary to compensate their victims for their losses. This can leave you feeling helpless as medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses pile up as a result of another person’s criminal act.
The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program is a State-run program that allows a victim to claim money from the State following injuries from a criminal act. This can often include payments for medical bills, lost wages, any mental health counseling. A well-versed Georgia victims compensation program lawyer could help you determine whether you qualify for this program and to take the necessary steps to file a claim.
When the Victims Compensation Program Applies
Georgia recognizes that the impact of a criminal act may affect every portion of a victim’s life. The State also recognizes that the victims of violent crimes should not have to bear the burden of paying their related expenses.
Traditionally, victims of crimes could sue their attackers for compensation following the incident. However, many perpetrators of crimes do not possess the assets needed to cover these losses. The Georgia Crime Victim Compensation Program offers a way for these people to make a financial recovery.
However, not just any person can make a claim under this program. According to O.C.G.A. §17-15-7, to qualify, an applicant must be able to prove that:
- The crime happened in Georgia
- The crime took place in the past three years
- Some party reported the crime to law enforcement, child protective services, or some other government investigative agency
- A victim suffered a financial loss because of the crime
- Insurance did not cover the expenses involved with the incident
A crime victim compensation lawyer could help to provide more information about the program. They could also help to determine whether a person’s situation qualifies them for benefits.
What Benefits are Available in Georgia?
The purpose of the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program is to ease the financial burden on the victims of crimes. As a result, anyone who meets the above-listed criteria may qualify for cash benefits to cover the outstanding costs associated with the attack. Specifically, the program may provide:
- Medical expenses up to $15,000
- Funeral expenses up to $6,000
- Counseling expenses up to $3,000
- Economic support expenses up to $10,000
- Crime scene sanitation up to $1,500
A victims compensation lawyer could help individuals apply for these benefits. However, it is important to remember that there is a cap of $25,000 per victim, per incident.
How a Victims Compensation Division Attorney Could Help
Oftentimes, the aftermath of a criminal attack can affect you physical health, mental wellbeing, and finances. Of course, your primary concern should be to get better and to work with police to ensure that your attacker is punished. However, it is also important to take the steps needed to stabilize your finances following the attack.
A Georgia crime victims compensation attorney can help. They can gather the necessary paperwork, complete the application, and submit that application within the applicable time limits. Contact a Georgia victims compensation program attorney today to see how they could help you after suffering the effects of a violent crime.