William W. Hurst – Personal Injury Lawyer, Indianapolis, IN

Many clients come in to our office after being injured during a violent crime or an automobile accident where the person at fault was charged with a crime. One common example is being the victim of an Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fundassault at a bars or other drinking establishment, such cases typically involve alcohol use. In such situations you are entitled to recover not only from the perpetrator of the crime and the bar (see Dram Shop Actions) but you may also be entitled to money from Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund (ICJI). The fund is intended to assist victims and their dependents with certain costs associated with such violent crimes. The fund can pay for a variety of things including: forensic exams, outpatient mental health counseling, and limited medical expenses related to a sexual assault.

Indiana Code defines a violent crime as “a felony or Class A misdemeanor that results in bodily injury or death to the victim”. Persons eligible for assistance from this fund include:

  • Victim of a Car Accident caused by a drunk driver;
  • A parent, surviving spouse, dependent child or other legal dependent of an innocent wrongful death victim killed as a result of an eligible violent crime, including an auto accident caused by a drunk driver; or
  • A person who is injured or killed trying to prevent a violent crime or giving aid to a law enforcement officer.

Other requirements include:

  • The crime must have taken place in Indiana;
  • The victim must have incurred a minimum out-of-pocket loss of $100;
  • The crime must have been reported to the police within 72 hours
    (Note: Victims of sexual assault do not have to report the crime to law enforcement unless they choose to apply for compensation under the Victim Crime Fund for expenses not covered at the time a forensic exam was completed);
  • The victim or survivors must cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of the crime;
  • An application for benefits must be filed no later than 180 days after the crime occurred;
  • Medical expenses must be incurred within 180 days of the crime, but can be extended under certain circumstances.

For more information please visit the Indiana State Government website.