Victims of Crime
Legal Representation from Our Columbus Worker's Comp Lawyers
Ohio Revised Code 2743.51, et seq. provides for the Ohio Victims of Crime (VOC) program. Often, we find our police officer clients are eligible for victims of crime compensation when they have lost special duty earnings due to an industrial injury sustained in the course of their employment (such as making an arrest of a resisting suspect, being involved in a car crash in their cruiser while chasing a fleeing felon, or being shot by a suspect). Even when the officer does return to work, if the return is to "restricted duty," he or she is still precluded from working his or her extra job(s).
The crime victim program helps victims with certain out of pocket expenses that arise when the victim is physically injured, emotionally harmed or killed because of a violent crime. The VOC program costs are paid from fines assessed in criminal cases.
The application for crime victim compensation must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the crime. Victims who were minors at the time of the crime can file for compensation between ages eighteen (18) to twenty (20) and under certain circumstances, may be able to file later.
The crime must be reported to a law enforcement agency within seventy-two (72) hours, unless there is good cause for delay; and the victim must cooperate with any request from law enforcement relating to the crime.
The victim and claimant must not have committed a criminal act that caused or contributed to the injuries.
Finally, the victim must have incurred expenses that are not fully covered by certain other sources.
Persons Who Are Not Eligible
The following persons are ineligible for crime victim compensation:
A victim or claimant who has engaged in a felony offense of violence or drug trafficking within ten (10) years prior to the crime that caused the injury or during the pendency of a claim;
A victim or claimant who has been convicted of a felony within ten (10) year prior to the crime that caused the injury or during the pendency of the claim;
A claimant who has been convicted of a child endangering or domestic violence offence within ten (10) years prior to the crime that caused the injury or during the pendency of the claim; and
An adult victim who was injured while incarcerated and serving a sentence.
Examples Of Compensable Expenses
- Medical and related expenses;
- Counseling for the victim and immediate family members of victims for specific crimes (up to $2,500 each, a maximum of $7,500 per claim);
- Lost wages from being unable to work (including lost special duty earnings by police officers);
- Replacement services;
- Crime scene cleanup (up to $750);
- Evidence replacement (up to $750); and
- Funeral expenses (up to $7,500).
Limits to Compensation
- Compensation cannot be provided for pain and suffering, or for stolen, damaged or lost property;
- Compensation cannot be provided for expenses payable by collateral sources (such as insurance, workers' compensation benefits, or restitution);
- The total award must be $50 or more before payment can be made; and
- The total award of compensation may not exceed $50,000.
Have more questions about your Ohio workers' compensation claim? Call Charles Zamora Co., L.P.A. He is a certified Columbus workers' compensation attorney that is ready to fight for your right to be compensated!