Can I Get Compensation if I'm a Crime Victim?

On September 26, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released the latest data from the report entitled, Crime in the United States, 2015, which reported a 3.9 percent increase in violent crimes nationwide compared to 2014. According to the report, there were nearly 2,000,000 violent crimes reported nationwide. Here are some more statistics reported in Crime in the United States, 2015:

  • Nationwide, there were nearly 15,700 murders in the United States.
  • In 2015, there were roughly 91,185 rapes.
  • Nationwide, there were approximately 327,34 robberies.
  • In 71.5 percent of the murders, firearms were used.
  • Firearms were used in 24.2 percent of aggravated assaults.
  • Of the total violent crimes in 2015, aggravated assaults accounted for 63.8 percent of them, followed by robbery at 27.3 percent, and rape at 7.5 percent.

If you were a victim of a violent crime in Columbia, South Carolina, you may not realize it but you may be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation even if the liable party was arrested or never caught by the authorities. How is this possible? Under personal injury law, when someone is a victim of a violent crime, he or she may be able to pursue compensation via the following methods:

  • An insurance policy,
  • A liable third party, or
  • The criminal defendant (perpetrator of the crime), if he or she has personal assets.

For example, let’s say that a woman was sexually assaulted at work by two of her co-workers. In that case, she could file a sexual abuse lawsuit against her employer. Or, suppose a man was beaten and robbed at gunpoint one night in a motel parking lot. In that case, the crime victim can file a lawsuit against the motel’s property insurance policy.

Or, let’s say a high school student is the victim of a hate crime while shopping at a mall. He can file a lawsuit against the mall, whose property insurance would likely kick in to cover the young man’s medical bills and other damages from the attack.

If you were recently a victim of criminal activity, you may be entitled to compensation through a civil lawsuit, even if you were a victim of a non-violent crime, such as a computer crime, stalking, theft, or embezzlement. To find out if we can help you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Columbia, SC personal injury attorneys.

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