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How Illinois law helps crime victims

When people fall victim to crimes in Illinois, they may end up losing money from expenses that they have to cover in the wake of those crimes. This is true for everything from a hit and run accident to a sexual assault. In order to help the victims, the state passed the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act.

Though this act does not pay out money up front, it covers costs after the fact. There is a cap on how much compensation can be provided, which is set at $27,000.

Victims who may be eligible for compensation could include the direct victim of the crime—the person who was assaulted, for example—or others who are connected to that person. A victim's parents may be able to put in a claim, especially if the victim passed away. Likewise, a spouse or a child may be able to put in a claim, especially if it deals with mental health issues and the cost of treatment.

There are a few things that must be done if people want to be eligible. First and foremost, they have to report that the crimes happened. This is typically done in 72 hours, though the deadline is extended to a full week for a sexual assault. On top of that, the applications have to be put in no more than one year after a criminal charge is filed or two years from the date on which the crime was committed.

Being victimized in a crime is bad enough; make sure that you know what legal steps to take to get compensation so that you don't also suffer a financial loss.

Source: Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Crime Victims Compensation, "Crime Victim Compensation: Frequently Asked Questions" Dec. 02, 2014

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