Victim of a Crime? Submit a Claim to the Victim Compensation Board

After experiencing the pain and indignity of a crime, a crime victim may be left attempting to navigate the court process and communicate with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office, which can be frustrating in its own right. Several of Janssen Malloy LLP’s attorneys have experience both in criminal and plaintiffs’ personal injury law that informs their ability to help crime victims understand and be heard in the prosecution of the individual who perpetrated the crime against them.

The California Victim Compensation Board (“CalVCB”) is a potential lifeline to crime victims that may be under-utilized across the state. This government entity exists to review claims by the victims of crime and their legal representatives for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from crime and reimburse qualifying claims. In many cases, this can mean the difference between tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills being paid through timely CalVCB reimbursements, and a crime victim’s credit being ruined by those bills going to collections. The program is funded by restitution paid by criminal offenders through fines, orders, penalty assessments and federal funds.

Many district attorney’s offices, including Humboldt County’s, have some type of  victim services division, employing non-lawyer advocates to improve communication between crime victims and prosecutors. However, as with a recent Trinity County wrongful death civil case arising from a gross vehicular manslaughter crime, many district attorney’s offices will fail to provide crime victims and their families, who may be eligible for CalVCB benefits, with claim forms or even basic information regarding CalVCB. This is another way in which having an experienced advocate in your corner can help you obtain a more just result.