Crime Victim

A police officer comforting a girl after a crime.

Attorneys for Victims of Crime

Lost sense of security, fear, and a long road of recovery are what face those who fall victim to crime. Even when a felon is convicted of a crime, compensation for damages, medical expenses, and loss of property may not be awarded to the victim. It is extremely important if you are the victim of another person’s illegal actions that you call Branch & Dhillon, P.C. immediately. You can still claim compensation by filing a civil case against the individual that caused you harm. Our personal injury attorneys can help you claim compensation for medical expenses and other damages that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a no-cost consultation for your case.

Types of Crimes

For a crime victim lawsuit, the crime that has been committed by the defendant is usually considered a felony. The following are some common crimes that may lead to a crime victim lawsuit:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Family violence
  • Criminally negligent homicide
  • Intoxication manslaughter
  • Robbery
  • Negligent endangerment of a child
  • Arson

Crime Victim’s Compensation in South Carolina and Texas

Crime scene tape is in front of a police car.In the states of South Carolina and Texas, crime victims may claim compensation by filing a request with their respective crime victims’ compensation programs. Here are the following crime victim compensation programs in more detail:

Department of Crime Victim Compensation (South Carolina)

The office of the Attorney General controls the Department of Crime Victim Compensation in South Carolina. Under this program, crime victims are allowed to seek compensation for medical expenses associated with the crime. These are the following services that the Department of Crime Victim Compensation may give monetary compensation for:

  • Medical services including dental services
  • Counseling services
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of support
  • Funeral expenses

The Department of Crime Victim Compensation does not give compensation for the following damages:

  • Property damage
  • Property replacement costs
  • Non-criminal related traffic offenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Relocation expenses

The Department of Crime Victim Compensation is a last resort option. Crime victims are required to utilize third-party payers – such as their private insurance providers – before going to the DCVC for reimbursement. The DCVC also places a $15,000 cap on reimbursement.

The personal injury attorneys at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. can help you claim compensation for your medical copays and any damages not covered by insurance or the DCVC. Contact Branch & Dhillon, P.C. to help you with the path to full financial recovery.

Crime Victims’ Compensation Program (Texas)

In the state of Texas, violent crime victims may seek compensation for damages and medical expenses by filling out an application through the Texas Department of Public Safety. Depending on the individual case, victims may be entitled to full or partial compensation. Here are some of the damages that may be eligible for compensation under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program:

  • Lost wages due to the inability to work
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • The cost of crime-scene-clean up
  • The replacement of any property, such as a cellphone, seized as a result of a criminal investigation
  • Home health care
  • The cost of making a car or home more accessible to the handicapped

These costs may be awarded to the victim, regardless of whether or not anyone was found guilty of the crime. Unfortunately, victims seeking compensation under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program may not be able to gain full compensation.

Compensation for Relocation for Crime Victims in Texas

Victims of horrific crimes such as sexual assault and human trafficking may be able to claim compensation for relocation costs. This compensation allows the victim of these violent acts to heal and recover, and it also helps to ensure their safety. These are the costs that may be covered as part of this compensation program:

  • Rent for those who live in a rental home or apartment
  • Costs of transportation
  • Moving company and vehicle expenses
  • Utility fees, such as electric and water
  • Pet deposits for those who already own animals
  • Storage costs for up to three months

These costs, unless otherwise specified, are guaranteed to be paid for up to three years while the victim rebuilds his/her life.

Crime Victims’ Restitution

Restitution payments can only be claimed when the individual accused of a crime is convicted. The following damages may be covered by restitution in both the States of Texas and South Carolina:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Compensation for damaged property
  • Insurance deductibles
  • Crime-scene-clean-up costs
  • The replacement of any seized property
  • Counseling costs
  • Prescription expenses
  • Any travel costs resulting from the crime
  • Childcare costs

Any costs already awarded compensation by the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Program or from the South Carolina Department of Crime Victim Compensation may not be claimed as restitution.

There are certain damages that cannot be claimed by either the compensation program or from restitution. These damages are as follows:

  • Emotional anguish
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Punitive Damages

Rights of the Crime Victim

Under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, crime victims are granted certain rights to help protect them during the court proceedings. Here are the following rights that are standard throughout the US under this act:A lawyer going over legal documents with a book, gavel, and a set of legal scales.

  • The right to protection from the accused
  • The right to notice of any public court proceedings or parole proceedings of the accused in a timely manner.
  • The right to be involved in and present personal testimony during any such court proceedings. This right is revoked when there is clear and convincing evidence that the individual’s testimony may be altered by the testimony of others.
  • The right to speak with the prosecutor of the case
  • The right to receive restitution in a timely manner
  • The right to proceed with hearings without an unreasonable delay
  • The right to be treated respectfully and with dignity
  • The right to be informed of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement in a timely manner

Additional rights have been granted to crime victims by the states of South Carolina and Texas. The rights further protect the victim and give them peace of mind during the trial proceedings and afterward.

Additional Crime Victim Rights in South Carolina

Under the South Carolina Code of Laws, 17-25-322 crime victims have the following rights during restitution hearings:

  • Be treated with fairness and respect
  • Be free from intimidation or harm throughout the criminal process
  • Be informed about their rights
  • Be informed if the accused is arrested, released, or escapes custody
  • Confer with the prosecution before the case is heard in court
  • Be present at a criminal proceeding where the accused has the right to be present
  • Be heard at proceedings affecting bond, bail, release, pleas, or sentencing
  • Have reasonable access to documents relating to the crime before the trial
  • Receive restitution from the adult or juvenile offenders
  • A reasonable, prompt, and final conclusion of the case

Additional Crime Victim Rights in Texas

These rights are applied throughout all of the proceedings related to the crime victims:

  • The right to have their safety taken into consideration before any bail is set for the accused
  • The right to be informed of any court decisions before they are made public
  • The right to be informed of their ability to receive compensation under the crime victim’s compensation program
  • The right to have a waiting area before they testify that is separate from the waiting areas of other witnesses and the accused
  • The right to have the prosecutor inform their employer of their need to be absent so that they can testify in court
  • The right to victim-offender mediation

Under article 56.021 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, there are additional rights given to victims of sexual assault, abuse, stalking, and human trafficking. These rights are as follows:

  • The right to the disclosure of information and evidence relating to the cause unless such disclosure would interfere with the investigation or prosecution of the crime
  • The right to forensic medical examination following the offense
  • The right to be tested for AIDS, HIV, or other infections related to the offense
  • The right to counseling relating to the acquisition of AIDS or HIV
  • The right to have the prosecutor file for a protection order on their behalf.

Crime Victim Attorneys

Victims of crime face years of recovery from their physical and mental damage. Loss of income, serious injuries from the crime, and the thought of possible relocation can be overwhelming. Don’t make the journey alone; instead, contact the crime victim attorneys at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. Our dedicated team has been proudly serving the people of South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia for years. Branch & Dhillon, P.C. removed the fear out of pursuing compensation, as we provide free consultations as well as a no-win, no-fee policy. Our attorneys will also automatically reduce their fee if the settlement is made before filing a lawsuit in order to adjust to the compensation net of the settlement. We want our clients to know that they are in safe and capable hands. Contact us today to claim back control of your life.