The Crime Victim Compensation Program is a victim-based program. We take your needs into consideration as they relate to payment of benefits.
You need to use all available insurance or other sources, including from any settlement, before getting benefits from the program. There are also cases where a reimbursement to the program may need to be paid.
Planning on filing a lawsuit?
- If yes, please tell us the name and contact information of your attorney. Under law, if you are represented we should be communicating with your attorney. CrimeVictimsProgramM@Lni.wa.gov
- If no, you may decide to file a lawsuit later. You will then need to provide us your attorney’s name and contact information.
Ways our program may be reimbursed
When you receive benefits from us then later obtain a judgment, award, or settlement related to the crime, we may seek reimbursement. The amount of repayment we receive will never exceed the amount of compensation a victim receives. Money reimbursed to the program helps support the claims of future victims.
Here’s how we may get reimbursed:
- Civil lawsuits
If you or your attorney files a civil lawsuit, by law one of you must notify us.
Once we know, we may file a notice with the court about our interest in recovery.
- Insurance settlements
We may seek recovery from other available insurance. Examples of insurance include: business liability, life, homeowners, and auto/boat Insurance.
Restitution is a court-ordered payment in a criminal case. The convicted offender pays for your injuries and other damages as a result of the crime.
You have the right to request restitution from the offender, through the prosecuting attorney, for damages you suffered.
For benefits we have paid on your claim, we may seek our own restitution. We can make this request up to one year after the date of sentencing. The restitution funds collected go to the state, and not directly to the program.
Notes for attorneys
- Any recovery we receive follows a formula. See RCW 7.68.050(7)
- We may stop payment of benefits once a settlement is reached. We may also continue the payment of benefits depending upon the amount of the settlement. For example:
- A client receives a settlement of $25,000. They received $50,000 in crime victim benefits. Under the formula, we would continue payment of benefits.
- In the case of life insurance, the first $40,000 on a policy will not be considered for recovery. However, we may consider recovering any money over that amount.
- We do not have statutory authority to waive our lien. However, under law, we can compromise on the amount.
- We take into account any other parties’ liens against any judgment, award, or settlement, provided these liens are related to the crime.
- Attorneys who distribute crime-related settlement proceeds, without first giving us notice and reasonable opportunity to satisfy our lien, may be held liable for the loss.
- Whether a civil or a criminal case, attorneys should ask their clients if they have received benefits from us.