If you are a victim of property crime, you usually call your insurance company, and obtain whatever compensation you are entitled to.
But what about when your injuries—or the injuries or death of a family member are the result of a criminal action?
Victims of violent crimes committed in Ontario are just as likely to be affected by sudden expenses as the victim of an accident. Medical treatment, lost income, travel expenses, and even funeral-related costs are just a few of the financial burdens afflicting the victims of violent crimes.
A personal injury lawyer can help you secure compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB).
What is the CICB?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board exists to provide compensation for people who qualify under Ontario’s Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. It is a tribunal which assesses applicants’ cases to determine if they are eligible and, if they are, how much compensation is appropriate.
According to the CICB annual report, in 2014-15 the CICB processed a total of 3,831 applications. Of these, 3,102 were heard at an oral or written hearing.
87% of claims are received from adults aged 18-64; 10% of claims involve minors (0-17); and 3% are received from seniors (65+).
Who is eligible?
Anyone injured as a result of violent crime in Ontario can apply.
This includes peace officers injured while making an arrest, or individuals injured with assisting law enforcement duties, or while trying to prevent a crime.
Violent crimes may include murder, attempted murder, firearm offences, arson and other offences such as assault, sexual assault, domestic assault, child physical assault, child sexual abuse, etc.
The injuries may either be physical or psychological. However, the injuries must be more than merely brief or insignificant in nature in order to be awarded compensation.
How to apply
In order to apply you must complete an authorized application form and submit it to the Board. Your personal injury lawyer can assist you when filing your application.
To find out more about the application process you can also visit the CICB website.
Effective on March 8, 2016, under the new Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, victims of sexual and domestic violence can make applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for compensation at any time. In the past, these applications had to be received within two years of the crime taking place.
The two-year limit still applies to applications related to other kinds of violent crime. You can extend the two-year limitation period when it is warranted, but you will have to request an extension and explain your reason for the delay in applying.
Compensation may be awarded regardless of whether a person has been prosecuted or convicted of the offence related to the injury or death. Accordingly, you may still be eligible for compensation if no charges were laid or if there was no conviction in a criminal proceeding.
If you have been injured due to the result of a criminal act our lawyers at Harris Law are here to help you get the compensation you deserve and can guide you through this process.