Becoming a victim of violence or sexual crime – penal offences – has severe effects. You may have been assaulted for instance, or injured by another person. Apart from physical injury you may also suffer mental injury as a result of the violence or sexual crime. Liability on the part of the perpetrator is determined as soon as this person has been convicted. Still it is for you to claim compensation in that case.

You may claim compensation by joining as an injured party in the criminal proceedings. In that case it is for the criminal court to judge your claim. The advantage of joining in that you have the possibility of imposing an order for damages. In that case the perpetrator must pay the compensation to the State. The State will in that case have the risk of reclaiming the amount from the perpetrator instead of the victim.

The suspect must have been given a penalty before the admissibility of the claim of the victim can be assessed. In addition, the damage suffered by the victim must have been caused by the punishable act of the suspect.

As a victim you may also invoke the Dutch Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven). This must be done within ten years from the date of the crime of violence. A victim may also bring civil proceedings with a view to compensation of damage.

Elfi Letselschade Advocaat is specialised in crimes of violence and sexual crime and would be happy to counsel you.