Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund

Transcript: Hi, I’m Indiana personal injury attorney David Holub.

At least once a week, we get calls from people who have been a victim of a crime and they’re looking for legal assistance.

We do only civil litigation.
Only the police and the prosecutors are able to handle putting people in jail for crimes. So why are we getting these calls?

Well, there’s a slight overlap between criminal law and civil law in a number of situations. Some criminal acts can be pursued in court in a civil action for damages or compensation.

For example, if Person A beats up Person B, Person B is technically a victim of a crime. Person A can be convicted of assault and battery in a criminal court setting, and they can be sentenced to jail. They can also be ordered to pay restitution, though there is little likelihood that they have the financial wherewithal to pay the restitution. Because of such situations, Indiana has a crime victims’ compensation fund.

Victims of violent crimes can apply to this Violent Crime Victims Compensation Fund in order to get some of their medical bills paid by the fund. This is based on the typical recognition that criminals generally are not financially responsible and cannot be counted on to pay for the damage that they do.

Technically, damages from a person who has committed a crime can be obtained in a civil court setting; however, most attorneys would advise not to pursue such a case. The reason is simple. You cannot buy insurance to protect you against the financial consequence of an intentional criminal act where you harm somebody. So without any insurance and without any independent financial responsibility, there’s very little chance of collecting money if you try to pursue the criminal into a civil court setting. A great example we had is where a woman called because her former boyfriend decided to smash into her car and run her off the road.

This was an intentional act.
As soon as a claim was filed, the insurance carrier for the former boyfriend denied the claim, citing a clause in the insurance policy saying that we don’t insure for intentional wrongdoing. There’s typically such an exclusion in almost every insurance policy that’s issued. This particular woman was able to make a claim against the violent crime victims compensation fund. Keep in mind this is not a fund that compensates you if you’ve had a tv stolen. It’s for violent crime, and it’s purpose is to help with medical bills.

So why are we posting this video?
Well, just to give you some general background about what you can and cannot do or expect to accomplish if you’ve had a situation where you have been injured as a result of criminal activity by another. Now, situations can be different in the sense that if you are at a bar and violence breaks out and the bar doesn’t have bouncers to keep you safe and those kinds of things, that’s a different situation. I’m talking just one-on-one type crimnal activity. Keep in mind we focus on civil law. We cannot deal with the situation where someone needs to be prosecuted and put in jail. That’s for the police and that’s for the prosecuting attorney.

We invite you to seek out the other videos that we have on our website as well as on our YouTube site and our Facebook site. A link to all of our videos is at the top of each webpage labeled videos or informational videos.

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