If you are the victim of an automobile accident, and are injured, but the other driver doesn’t have any insurance and you don’t have any uninsured motorist coverage either, you may think you are out of luck. However, if the defendant was convicted of DUI or Vehicular Manslaughter, and you sustained injuries from their actions, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation from a state government plan called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF). There are a number of criteria for eligibility, which are discussed and explained in a user-friendly format of frequently asked questions on the Fund’s website. Generally the Fund is not available for people injured in a motor vehicle collision, unless the defendant was charged with DUI or Vehicular Manslaughter. The Fund is available for victims of many other types of crimes, however.
The Fund is described as a “payer of last resort”. This means that if you have health insurance, medical payments insurance, or liability insurance available to you, then you probably don’t qualify for a CICF award. You are also not eligible if you participated in or provoked the criminal act. The award is limited to a maximum of $25,000 per person, and the expenses must be directly related to the crime. The expenses must be at least $100. A report must be filed within one year of the crime, unless good cause is shown for a request filed later than that (except for child sexual assault). The CICF will consider reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and other types of actually incurred expenses, but will not pay compensation for pain, suffering, and inconvenience. The Fund will even reimburse funeral expenses to whoever paid them, if the deceased is a victim of a crime.
Often, a significant portion of an injured victim’s losses include the mental anguish, physical pain, and inconvenience they suffer as a result of another’s negligence or crime. Since the CICF doesn’t cover these losses, you want to be sure there is no available insurance coverage at all before considering applying to CICF for just your expenses. Often it can be difficult to determine what insurance coverage is available for a particular case.
Please consider consulting with our experienced personal injury attorneys about pursuing a civil claim for you. We can evaluate and investigate your claim, and determine what your best options are for making a recovery. Hopefully you won’t be limited to a CICF award, but if you are we can explain where to go to apply.
About the Author: Kathleen is a Fredericksburg car accident lawyer. She additionally handles many types of personal injury cases including truck accidents and pedestrian accidents in Fredericksburg, Garrisonville and the surrounding areas.