As a victim of crime, you may discover unexpected expenses that have occurred as the result of the crime. These expenses may be large, such as medical or hospital bills. These expenses may also be smaller, such as the cost of changing your locks or the cost of cab fare to court on the days of criminal hearings. There are several ways that you can recover these expenses.
Private Insurance Benefits
Victims should always first check to see if their homeowners, car, health or life insurance policies cover any expenses related to the crime. Next, confirm whether there is anyone else’s policy that may cover the expenses related to the crime. For example, if the crime occurred at another person’s house, their homeowners insurance may cover the losses experienced by the victim.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) provides financial assistance for innocent victims of crime. The Board may compensate victims who suffer from physical injury by helping with medical expenses and by providing payment for part of their lost wages.
In cases of homicide, the Board may assist with funeral expenses and loss of support on the part of the victim’s dependents.
For more information on CICB and to download their application form go to the CICB website.
Victims’ Emergency Funds
Some jurisdictions in Maryland (counties and Baltimore City) have set up small funds to assist victims of crime in that jurisdiction with their more immediate, emergency expenses. Please check with your local State’s Attorney’s Office to see if they have a Victims’ Fund.
Restitution is a civil judgment against the offender for allowable expenses incurred by the victim as a result of the crime. A victim can directly request that the judge order a restitution judgment in the criminal trial. The restitution judgment is then a part of the offender’s sentence in the criminal case. For more information on restitution and how to request and collect restitution, please click here. (Restitution Fact Sheet)
Civil Lawsuits Against the Offender
As a victim of crime, you have the right to sue the offender for damages in a civil suit (even if the offender was found not guilty in a criminal trial). Sometimes you can also sue other parties that share the blame for your harm, such as property owners. You may wish to contact a private attorney to find out about:
- A possible lawsuit against the criminal
- The liability of persons other than the criminal
- The time period during which your lawsuit must be filed (the “statute of limitations”)
- Collecting judgments
- Attorneys’ fees
Contact us for more information about getting help with your financial problems:
- Metro Washington DC area: 301-952-0063
- Baltimore area: 410-234-9885
- Toll Free: 877-VICTIM-1