Steven woke one night to find a robber in his home. In the tussle that followed, Steven suffered a broken rib, but luckily the intruder was caught by the police. Due to the injury, Steven decided to file a criminal injury claim to get compensation for the injuries. It should have been easy for him to get the compensation. But unfortunately, his claim was denied.
Because he made one serious mistake: Steven did not save his medical report or any information showing expenses related to his injuries.
The above hypothetical example shows the consequences of a mistake when it comes to criminal injury cases. What should have been an easy win for Steven turned out to be a complete failure, as he was not able to get the compensation he needed for his injuries.
However, this is not the only mistake that can have disastrous consequences on a case. There are many other blunders that can have negative consequences on a criminal injury case. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
1. Filing after Lapse of Statute of Limitations
Every state in the US apart from Wyoming has a statute of limitations regarding criminal prosecution. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that the prosecution of an individual occurs based upon evidence (eyewitness or physical) that has not deteriorated over time.
Thus, it is essential that you file the case for a criminal injury before the time specified in the statute of limitations lapses. Keep in mind that statutes of limitations apply to all types of crimes except murder, kidnapping, sexual acts with minors, forgery, and arson.
2. Not Declaring Being Partly Responsible for the Injury
Another common mistake when it comes to criminal injury is not declaring involvement in an act of violence that led to the injury. For instance, suppose that you were involved in a brawl in a public place and the confrontation in which you suffered serious injuries occurred because of your taunting or rude remarks. In this case, if you don’t admit being partly responsible for the crime, it could lead to negative consequences.
3. Not Assisting the Police
After you have reported the crime, it is important that you cooperate with the police, such as by identifying people or the scene of the crime. Your claim for injury due to the criminal act may be denied by the judge if it comes to light that you did not assist the police with their investigation of the crime in which you were injured.
4. Agreeing to the First Settlement
Remember that the initial settlement offered by the defendant’s insurance company will most likely be less than the amount that is due to you. It’s important that you have the offer reviewed by your attorney before signing any document.
5. Not Hiring an Attorney in Criminal Injury Case
An experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive the maximum possible amount from the defendant. The services of a criminal lawyer can also ease the task of navigating through the complex legal system. An attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected and increase your chances of success in court.