Unfortunately, anyone can be a victim of a crime.
You could be walking down the street at night and be assaulted. You could be attacked at your office while leaving work. Crime can happen at any time and anywhere, and if you are a victim, you could struggle for years to overcome your grief and pain. It can hinder your lifestyle, damage your future, and put you on a tough road to recovery.
However, if you live in Alberta, Canada, you could be entitled to receive compensation by way of the Victim of Crime Act of Alberta. It is one of the most powerful laws in the Province and can have a positive impact on many individuals.
There are, though, stipulations that must be met if you are to receive any compensation. This guide will help you understand what to expect, and what you might receive when it comes to obtaining compensation from the Victim of Crime Act of Alberta.
The Crime Must Be Reported & Claim Must Submitted Within Two Years
If you are a victim of a crime, including robbery, physical or sexual assault, you must report it to the police, and assist with the investigation. Records and reports will be vital in assuring the authenticity of the case and claim.
You can submit an application for compensation, but it must be made within two years of the date of the crime. You do not, however, have to wait for a conviction or for the charges against the accused to be laid.
Only in severe circumstances, such as hospitalization for a severe brain injury or a failure of a parent or guardian to apply on behalf of a victimized child, can be the timeframe for submission be extended.
You Are Eligible For Only An One-Time Financial Payment
You must have suffered from a physical injury from the reported crime, to be eligible to receive compensation. This injury must be proven and recorded for validity. Once the claim has been submitted, you will be entitled to a one-off financial benefit, based on the severity of your injuries. You cannot receive a second payment for the same case.
You will not receive compensation for any property damage, medical or funeral expenses, loss of wages, or pain and suffering. If you are seeking to recover these financial losses, then it is advisable to speak to a civil or personal injury lawyer to sue the offender.
Furthermore, if you were convicted of a criminal offence, you are not eligible for the compensation.
What Happens If You Or The Victim Dies?
If the unfortunate should happen, where you or the victim dies because of the injuries sustained at the crime scene, a surviving family member or any other person acting for the deceased may apply for the death benefit.
The family member must be living with the victim for five years, or if they are the guardian of a child, must have lived with the victim at least two years before the death.
You Are Protected Under The Act
You do not have to worry about your protection or privacy concerning the case. Your privacy will be respected to the greatest extent possible while your safety and security will be paramount throughout the whole criminal justice process. You will receive protection from any intimidation and retaliation if required.
How To Apply For The Act
In order to apply for compensation, you have to obtain the application forms from a police station. Along with the application form, you must have recorded information on how the injuries occurred and a description of the injuries suffered. Your application can be dismissed if you do not have the right information to prove your claim. The more information you provide, the stronger your case will be. If you are struggling with applying, you should speak to a victim of crime lawyer for assistance.
Once accepted, it can take up to four months, if not longer, to receive an answer. If the answer is not in your favor, you can apply to the Review Board for a review of the decision no later than 30 days after the first decision. The Review Board will conduct its own investigation into the claim and may rescind, confirm or change the decision. If you are applying to the Review Board, you should consult with a Calgary lawyer so you have the strongest case possible.
At Higgerty Law, we believe in supporting our clients with top-tier legal representation. Everyone is entitled to receiving support for their cases, and we’re the law firm dedicated to helping you. We focus on providing our clients with support and experience for all litigations, particularly for class action lawsuits, personal injury claims, business law and immigration cases, as well as helping victims of crime with a financial benefits program. We are strongly committed to justice and will use our professionalism, expertise and dedication to ensure that you get the legal and personal support you deserve. Get the legal assistance you need with Higgerty Law.