Crime Victim Legal Representation
The Realities and Procedures
Of all the crimes committed a violent act upon an individual whether with a weapon or via a vehicle when an operator of a vehicle is under the influence of drugs and alcohol, leaves not only physical injuries and scars but months or years of emotional and mental scars.
According to a study done in 2022 by Law Enforcement Today, there was a slight drop in crime from 2019 but the murder rate increased following Covid-19. Only certain cities were studied (those with already high crime rates), so this is not a total validated study, and research continues. (1)
Violent crimes can occur anywhere and many times without apparent reason. Student dormitories and other public buildings are especially prone to attracting culprits who commit violent crimes.
However, homeowners can also be targeted, as can the elderly as violent crimes can many times occur during a robbery in a convenience/department store and home invasions oftentimes turn violent.
There is a wide variety of violent crime that impacts individuals: assault and battery, rape and sexual assault, as well as vehicular injury and death, as well as wrongful death, can occur during a violent crime.
2 Crucial Components of Crime Victim Representation
When representing a crime victim against a defendant, whether an insurance company or the perpetrator, a great crime victim attorney must consider the physical injuries as well as the emotional injuries. The two parts are:
- The severity of the physical injuries
These must be addressed completely, as well as the long-term effects on financial difficulties or life changes that might occur. The spectrum of physical injuries can be wide, from traumatic brain and spinal injuries, as well as loss of limbs and functioning.
Physical rehabilitation is oftentimes needed and can last for months or years. This needs to be compensated. A wrongful death may also come into play.
- Emotional injuries cannot be dismissed
These can be “hidden” injuries as crime victims can experience shame many times, especially in rape and sexual assault. Crime victims can suffer from depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for years or a lifetime after a crime is committed against their person.
They can many times “suffer in silence” and not find much empathy from friends and family who can tell them to move on. This is easier said than done and the gamut of emotions can run from anger to depression and severe and pervasive anxiety. Psychological and/or psychiatric treatments must be properly compensated and last for months or even years.
Conclusion on Crime Victim Representation
The changes individuals experience as victims of crime is studied in length and colleges now offer courses in Victimology. (2) This is not the study of the crime itself but the range of emotions that victims experience, everything from initial anger, to shame and sometimes social isolation. A feeling of “disconnection” from real life is also common.
A crime victim attorney will have resources available in the form of specialists in Victimology to mitigate the emotional impacts of a crime. Resources in the form of physicians who specialize in injuries must also be present.
Obtaining the correct amount of compensation does involve addressing both the physical and emotional impacts of a crime upon a person and an attorney that represents crime victims should indeed know this and be the “voice” of the victim to prevent the crime victim from being victimized twice: once by the perpetrator of the crime and the second time by the judicial system.
While the Statute of Limitations is wide for the prosecution of perpetrators, the Statute of Limitations for personal injuries caused by perpetrators against crime victims can be a mere two to three years in most states. Contacting an attorney experienced in criminal injuries is paramount as soon as possible.
Christian J. Hoey, Esquire, and the team at Hoey Legal, of Paoli in Chester County, have the resources, compassion, and empathy to deal with all types of crimes against persons. All initial consultations are free.
With millions won and a track record of providing the greatest guidance in these types of cases, Hoey Legal should be contacted immediately whenever a crime against a person either through intentional or non-intentional harm occurs.