Criminal Restitution for Injury Victims
If you were injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused your injury. Well, pretty much everyone knows this. That's what insurance is for. What you may not know is you may also be entitled to restitution (monetary compensation) if the person who caused the injury committed a crime? If you were injured by aDUI driver or a hit and run driver, you may be entitled to have all your out of pocket costs covered directly from the wrongdoer.
In an accident, when we get injured, here is how things tend to go: First the accident occurs and we go to the hospital to get treated for our ailments. Our car goes to the body shop and gets fixed. We file a claim with the opposing insurance company and after they pay for the car to get fixed we fight it out with them for some small "bodily injury" recovery.
Bodily injury settlements are intended to compensate us for our pain and suffering. Sadly, out of this settlement we must also pay all of our medical bills and also pay the lawyer. And, this assumes that there is enough insurance coverage to pay for everything.
Is there a better way to make the client whole? Yes. A skilled injury lawyer, preferably one skilled in criminal law as well, should know that victims of crime can get compensated either directly from criminals who are ordered to pay restitution or from the State Restitution Fund. Any order for criminal restitution should not effect a civil settlement for bodily injury. The criminal restitution compensates the victim for actual monetary expenses: Lost wages, medical bills, or property damage. The actual monetary costs won't be paid twice, but they can be ordered paid by the defendant in a criminal case as a term and condition of probation. It should be noted that any payments by the State Restitution Fund must be reimbursed when they are paid out by a third party or his insurance company.
What does this mean to the injured party? This means that we might be able to get 2 bites at the apple or at least 1 1/3 bites. By getting medical bills paid through criminal restitution this may allow us to keep a greater share of the civil bodily injury recovery. If we don't have to use part of the civil recovery to pay for our medical bills, this leaves more money in our pocket at the end of the day. Also, in a case where the injury is substantial and the insurance coverage is not sufficient to fully compensate the injured party, criminal restitution can help to bridge that gap and make the injured party whole.
Other reasons why criminal restitution is so helpful is that: First, it is a court order by a judge and becomes a term and condition of the wrongdoer's probation. If they don't pay, they get hailed back into court and could face jail time or other sanctions for not making their restitution payments. And, secondly, a criminal restitution order helps to place pressure on an insurance company to act in good faith in settling an injury claim.
If you have been the victim of crime, injured in an accident or have questions about hiring a lawyer for any injury or accident case, call me:
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340,
Email me at: email@example.com or visit my sites for more information: