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  • Crime Victim Losses

  • Crime Victim Losses


    Victims of crime suffer tremendous losses as a result of criminal victimization. As noted above, annual losses of $450 million are associated with major violent crime victimizations, and approximately $40 billion is attributed to monetary losses from fraud and other economic crimes. Financial measures of losses attributed to crime victimization are only crude tools used to assess the true damages suffered by victims in the hope of somehow lessening the impact of the crime. The contribution of such a financial analysis aids in both impressing upon the criminal justice system the severity of the victimization and gauging what measure of financial recovery might help victims in addressing their losses resulting from crime. It must be emphasized, however, that money damages alone are never a complete measure of the harm caused by crime, but just a useful tool in addressing certain aspects of the aftermath of criminal victimization.

    The losses suffered by victims range from direct out-of-pocket expenses, such as unreimbursed medical costs and lost wages, to costs incidental to the crime and the victim's participation inthe criminal justice system, such as travel and related expenses. In addition to these more immediate and short-term costs of crime, victims often incur long-term costs due to the need for ongoing mental health support and/or support as a result of permanent disabilities. In addition to these more tangible types of losses, victims' losses can also be in areas termed "intangible" such as pain and suffering or the loss of the enjoyment of life and other such losses.

    Accurate and complete documentation of financial losses are required in the pursuit of financial remedies for victims to ensure valid recoveries for victim losses. This is true regardless of the form or forms of financial recovery victims will seek or be eligible to obtain (i.e., any combination of civil litigation recovery, restitution, or compensation). Service providers can provide critical assistance to victims in helping them acquire and maintain these records, or, at least, by providing victims with guidelines about the types of documentation that are needed to depict their out-of-pocket and projected expenses for the future.

    This information came from a
    US DOJ online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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