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Victim's Rights

Victims Rights

In Louisiana, there is help for victims and witnesses of certain crimes.  Effective July 1982, the State of Louisiana under LRS 46:1801-1822 established the “Crime Victims Reparations Act”.  This program provides compensation to the victims of certain crimes.  The Crime Victims Reparations Board (which is appointed by the Governor) oversees funds that have been placed into a Crime Victims Reparations Fund.  The Board administers the Act’s provisions and awards payments from the fund.  The money in the fund comes from costs levied on criminal court cases and also from federal grants, court-ordered restitution from criminals, donations and interest.

ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY FOR AWARDS

You may apply if you:

  • Believe you are a victim of a violent crime
  • Are the victim’s legal representative (his attorney or the person legally responsible for the expenses).
  • Are the victim’s dependent.

A claim may be filed regardless of whether the offender is know, has been arrested, and/or has been found guilty.

The crime must:

  • Involve the use of force or threat of use of force, AND
  • Result in personal injury, death or catastrophic property loss, AND
  • Result in expenses allowed by the statute that are not reimbursable from any other source.

Vehicular crimes (motor vehicle, boat or aircraft) are not included unless you are:

  • The victim of a DWI driver.
  • The victim of a hit and run driver.
  • The victim of a driver who is fleeing the scene of a crime in which he knowingly participated.
  • The victim whose injuries were intentionally inflicted with a vehicle.

 

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  • The crime must have been committed after July 16, 1982 (the effective date of the statute) and occurred in Louisiana or in a state or country with no compensation program.
  • You must have reported the crime to law enforcement officials within 72 hours unless there was a valid reason for later reporting.
  • You must file the application within one year from the date of the crime unless there was good cause for filing late.
  • You must provide the required information on the application.
  • Your losses must not be reimbursable from any other source, such as insurance, sick or annual leave, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, civil suit or restitution.  If you have access to any of these other sources, you must use them first.
  • You must cooperate with the reasonable request of law enforcement officials.

You may not receive an award if:

  • You do not comply with the application requirements above.
  • You are the offender or an accessory, or an award would benefit either.
  • You are confined in any type of correctional facility.

Your award can be denied or reduced if:

  • The Board finds implication of your behavior at the time of the crime or your past criminal activity caused or contributed to the incident.
  • The victim had a criminal history which included a felony conviction in the last five (5) years.
  • You are operating a vehicle at the time of the crime without the required insurance.
  • You were not wearing a seat belt as required.

 

REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES

Expenses for which you may be reimbursed include those:

  • As a result of an injury:

    • For personal injury:  medical, hospital, dental, nursing, physical therapy, psychiatric care, or mental health counseling;
    • Actual loss of past earnings because of a disability resulting from the personal injury;
    • Care of children enabling a victim or the spouse, but not both, to engage in gainful employment.
  • As a consequence of death:
    • Funeral, burial or cremation expenses;
    • Loss of support to one or more dependents not otherwise compensated for personal injury loss;
    • Care of children enabling the surviving spouse or legal guardian of deceases victim's children to engage in lawful employment, where that expense is not otherwise compensated for personal injury loss;
    • Counseling or therapy for any surviving family member of the victim or cohabiter of such victim.
  • From catastrophic loss of your home by arson
  • Expenses of the victim associated with the collection and securing of crime scene evidence

 

NON-REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES

Expenses which are not reimbursed for any reason include:

  • Property loss, except for catastrophic property loss that is limited to the loss of your current residence, provided it is owned and occupied by you.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Attorney fees, except when they are part of an order from a hearing or awarded by a court of law.

 

LIMITS OF CVR BENEFITS

The statutes place certain limits on benefits that may be paid out, for example:

  • Funeral expenses are paid up to $5,000;
  • Medical expenses are paid up to $10,000;
  • Catastrophic property loss is paid up to $10,000;
  • Mental therapy is paid up to $5,000;
  • Lost wages are reimbursed up to $10,000;
  • Permanent disability is paid up to $25,000;
  • Reimbursable child care is paid up to $1,500.

Other limits may also apply.

HOW TO APPLY

Applications are available from:

  • Any Louisiana Sheriff’s Office (for Jefferson Parish residents, you can contact our Community Relations Section at 504-363-2401).

  • The Crime Victim’s Reparations Board, located at the offices of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE), 1885 Wooddale Blvd., Room 708, Baton Rouge, LA 70806 or by calling 1-888-6-VICTIM or (225) 925-4437

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information is available by clicking the following links.

Click here   to view the LCLE website

In Louisiana, there is help for victims and witnesses of crime.  LRS 46:1801 established the “Crime Victims Reparations Act” and LRS 46:1841 sets out the rights of crime victims and witnesses.

Click here  to view the Crime Victims Reparations Act (LRS 46:1801)

Click here   to view the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses (LRS 46:1841)

In Jefferson Parish, the Sheriff has teamed up with Victims and Citizens Against Crime, a 501(c)3 non-profit entity, that provides support and information on victim's rights, as well as victim assistance.

Click here  to access Victims and Citizens Against Crime web site