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Crime Victims Reparations Board
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CRIME VICTIMS REPARATIONS ACT
Act 250 of 1982
The State of Louisiana has established a program to provide for the payment of compensation to the victims of certain crimes. The law, known as the Crime Victims Reparations Act, became effective in July, 1982. This information applies to the Act as amended through 1991.
The Act created the Crime Victims Reparations Board and established the Crime Victims Reparations Fund. The Board administers the provisions of the Act and awards payments from the Crime Victims Reparations Fund. This fund is composed primarily of monies paid as costs levied on Criminal Court cases.
ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY FOR AWARDS
Anyone who is a victim of a crime which involved the use of force or threat of force and resulted in personal injury and/or loss of income may make application to the Board for an award. Dependents (claimants) of homicide victims may make application to the Board.
In addition, anyone may apply if they are:
1. The victim of a DWI driver,
2. The victim of a Hit and Run driver,
3. The victim of a driver who is fleeing apprehension of the law enforcement officials,
4. A victim whose injuries were intentionally inflicted by a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft,
5. A surviving family member or one in close relationship to a victim, if such member or person was physically present and directly observed the commission of a homicide.
CONDITION FOR ELIGIBILITY:
1. The crime must have been committed in Louisiana after July 16, 1982. A Louisiana resident who is a crime victim in another state which does not have a crime victims compensation program may file a claim with the Louisiana Crime Victims Board.
2. The crime must have been reported to law enforcement officials within 72 hours unless there was a valid reason for a later reporting.
3. The victim/claimant must cooperate with the reasonable requests of law enforcement officials in their investigation and prosecution of the crime.
4. A claim may be filed regardless of whether the offender is known or whether the offender has been arrested and/or found guilty.
5. To file a claim, losses must not have been reimbursed from other sources, such as: health insurance, sick leave paid by an employer, disability insurance, workmen's compensation, social security, medicare or medicaid, restitution or a civil suit.
6. A claim must be filed within one year from the date of the crime.
THOSE NOT ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE BENEFITS
1. The offender and/or an accomplice.
2. A victim whose own misconduct either caused or contributed to the criminal attack may have a claim denied or reduced, depending on the degree of such misconduct.
3. An individual who is a victim of a criminal attack while confined in a prison or other correctional facility.
4. Victims of property crime except for catastrophic property loss which is limited to loss of abode.
EXPENSES REIMBURSABLE (Actual Out-of-Pocket Expenses):
1.For Personal Injury:
2.As a result of death:
3.For catastrophic property loss: the loss must be so great as to cause overwhelming financial effect on the victim/claimant and is restricted to loss of abode.
4.The victim's expenses associated with the collection and securing of crime scene evidence.
LIMITS ON AWARDS:
Compensation is determined by the Board. No award may exceed $10,000 for all claims arising out of the same crime except where the injuries are permanent and/or total, the amount shall not exceed $25,000. The Board does not guarantee receiving the maximum amount allowed by law (only actual out-of-pocket expenses can be reimbursed).
The Board may make an Emergency Award to a victim/claimant not to exceed $500 pending its final decision in a case. An Emergency Award is made when it appears that undue hardship will result if no immediate relief is provided and that an Award will likely be made.
VERIFICATION OF CLAIM:
All information presented on an application by a victim/claimant will be investigated and verified. After careful consideration of a claim, the Board may call for a hearing before making a final decision in a case.
The Board will notify the victim/claimant of any action regarding a claim. If an award is made, notification will include details as to the amount and method of payment.
HOW TO APPLY:
Obtain application forms from any Louisiana Sheriff's Office (Criminal Sheriff in Orleans Parish). Forms may also be obtained by contacting:
Crime Victims Reparations Board Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, 1885 Wooddale Boulevard, 7th Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70806-1442, (504) 925-4437
WHERE TO FILE A CLAIM:
Complete and return application forms to the Parish Sheriff's Office where the crime occurred or to the Crime Victims Reparations Board.
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