Are you the victim of a crime or has your loved one been injured or killed as a result of a criminal act? If you answered yes to either question, then you may be eligible for compensation under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund. In Texas, criminals have to pay for their crimes, this means that when the courts collect costs from convicted offenders the money goes into the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund. The funds are then awarded to certain crime victims and the compensation goes towards the following types of expenses that were incurred as a result of criminal acts:
- Medical expenses
- Psychiatric care or counseling
- Lost wages due to medical treatment
- Care for a child or a dependent
- Loss of support
- Funeral and burial costs
- Crime scene cleanup
- Replacement for items seized for evidence and rendered unusable
- Attorney fees for assistance obtaining benefits from the CVC
- Lost wages due to travel to seek medical treatment
- One-time relocation costs for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence who were attacked in their own homes
For those victims who suffered a permanent disability (catastrophic injury), they may be eligible for additional benefits that may cover making their home or vehicle accessible, job training or vocational training, home healthcare, training in how to use special appliances, and reimbursement for lost wages.
Victims may receive benefits for up to $50,000; these funds are either paid directly to the victim or the claimant, or to the service providers on behalf of the victim. In cases of catastrophic injuries that created a total and permanent disability, the victim may receive an additional award of $25,000 (for crimes occurring between September 1, 1997 to August 31, 2001), or $50,000 (for crimes occurring between September 1, 1997 to August 31, 2001) or $75,000 (for crimes occurring on or after September 1, 2001). These funds may be used to pay for things that directly assisted the victim such as lost wages, making their home or vehicle accessible, job training or vocational rehabilitation, training in using special appliances or home healthcare.
Victims may also be eligible for emergency awards if the victim or claimant would suffer undue harm or hardship if the award was not expedited. In cases such as these, the award limit is $1,500 and the amount would be deducted from any future awards.
Please note that losses sustained due to property damage, theft or property crimes are not eligible for reimbursement under this program. Additionally, before reimbursement can be paid under the CVC, reimbursement must be first sought from other resources. Any other available resources would have to pay before the CVC would make any payment under the program.
Another benefit of the CVC is that attorney fees may be awarded for legal services rendered in the Crime Victims’ Compensation process. The attorney fees are only paid if the victim obtains compensation and those fees are limited to the lesser of $300 or 25% of the awarded benefits. If the claim is appealed then the attorney may be entitled to 25% of the claim.
Houston Personal Injury Attorney
At Mukerji Law Firm, one aspect of our practice that makes us unique from other law firms is that we are familiar with the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund. If you or someone you love is a crime victim, we urge you to contact our firm at once to find out if you might be eligible under this program. In many cases crime victims have no idea that they are entitled to compensation under this program, and in effect they are forced to shoulder the losses incurred from the crime, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars in losses over time.
To find out if you maybe entitled to compensation under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, or to find out if you’re eligible to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation from another source, please contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today!
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