Compensation for victims of crime
I have been injured as the result of a crime. What are my options for compensation?
If you have been injured, or suffered loss flowing from the injury, as a result of a criminal offence, you may be able to:
- make a compensation claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA).
- bring a common law claim against the offender.
- ask the court sentencing the offender to make an order for compensation or restitution.
What is Criminal Injuries Compensation?
Victims of crime who have suffered an injury can apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA).
A close relative of a person killed as a result of an offence may also be able to claim compensation for some of the financial loss caused by the person's death. Close relatives include a spouse, de facto partner, parent, grandparent, step-parent, child, step-child, or grandchild.
What does the compensation cover?
Compensation may cover:
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment of life
- loss of income
- medical or psychological expenses including the costs of reports and treatment, and
- other incidental expenses (such as travel for medical treatment and loss/damage of clothing, footwear or aids).
In the case of death, a close relative may be eligible for compensation to cover funeral expenses and the loss of financial support.
Do I need legal advice?
Many of the issues regarding a claim for compensation are complex and time limits apply. You should get legal advice if:
- the offence has not been reported to the police
- the offender is acquitted of the offence
- the offender is not charged
- the victim is a child
- you were injured as a child
- you have suffered long term sexual abuse
- you are unsure of your injuries or loss
- it has been more than three years since the offence happened
- you wish to make a claim for mental or psychological injury
- you wish to make a claim as a close relative of a person killed as a result of the offence
- you wish to make a claim for future loss of earnings
- a hearing is arranged
- you are not satisfied with the amount of compensation you receive and wish to appeal, or
- you receive a query from the Australian Taxation Office about payment of tax on an award.
Our Civil Law Division may be able to help you with advice or representation to make a claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation. Call the Infoline to find out what help we can give in your situation, or for a referral to other organisations.
If you receive a grant of aid to apply for compensation, Legal Aid WA will only ask you to make a contribution to cover your legal costs if your application for compensation is successful.
Your local community legal centre or Family Violence Prevention Legal Service may also be able to provide advice and assistance with Criminal Injuries Compensation applications. FVPLS also offer counselling services for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island peoples who are victims family violence or sexual assaults.
Victims of Crime - WA Government
Information and support for victims of crime, including counselling through the Victim Support Service, help with safety and protection issues, and information about compensation.
Victim services - Department of Justice
Information and forms for Criminal Injuries Compensation applications.
District Court of WA - Criminal Injuries Compensation
Information, forms and a procedure guide if you are representing yourself in an appeal against a decision of the Office of Criminal Injuries Compensation.
Reviewed: 27 April 2018