Compassionate Representation When You Need It Most
Massachusetts’s criminal justice system can bring swift and harsh penalties upon anyone who commits a violent crime, but victims are often left wondering how to move on after an injury. Violent crimes can result in deep physical and emotional wounds that take years to heal from, all the while impacting a victim’s ability to work and enjoy life. If you were injured in a violent crime in Burlington, you may be able to pursue a civil claim against the person who wronged you or against a party who had a duty to protect you from harm.
Our legal team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. brings compassion to every case we take on. We believe that individuals who were injured due to criminal behavior or negligence deserve proper compensation for all the damages they have suffered. If you contact us, we will sit down with you in a free, confidential consultation and listen to what happened to you. We will go over the details of your case, from the police report to witness statements, to determine if you can recover compensation in a civil case. If you choose us to represent you in a civil claim or lawsuit, we will use all of our knowledge and expertise to give you the best shot at compensation.
Call us today at (781) 262-3338 to talk about your injuries in a free consultation.
Our Burlington personal injury attorney can explain your rights to compensation after being a victim of:
- Sexual abuse
- Assault and battery
- Police misconduct
- Vehicular assault/drunk driving accident
- Elder neglect and nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
The Limits of a Criminal Court
Following a police investigation and arrest, you may hope that the courts will provide proper justice for your injuries. While a prosecutor may advocate for harsh penalties for violent crimes, the prosecutor’s goal is to convict a defendant of a crime, not award a victim compensation. A court may consider how a victim’s life has been affected by a crime when administering penalties and may include restitution and punitive damages to compensate a victim. However, these penalties may be appealed or dismissed during plea deals, and many defendants do not have the available capital to pay compensation directly to victims.
After a violent crime, it is important to contact an experienced Burlington personal injury law firm to discuss all of your options. Your attorney may be able to discuss punitive damages with the prosecution, but you may also have civil options for receiving compensation.
What Are Your Options After Being the Victim of a Violent Crime in Burlington?
Civil lawsuits are designed to provide compensation to individuals who suffered personal injuries due to someone else’s actions. In a civil claim, you do not need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant injured you, only that there is a “preponderance of the evidence.” Civil claims have a lower standard of proof, and you only need to convince a judge or jury that you deserve compensation for the defendant’s actions, even if the defendant was declared not guilty in a criminal case.
Civil lawsuits also allow you to hold third-party’s accountable if they facilitated the crime, such as with nursing home abuse cases where a long-term care facility failed to protect the safety and well-being of residents from physical or sexual abuse. However, like punitive damages and restitution, civil lawsuits are limited on the ability of a defendant to pay compensation. By speaking to an experienced attorney, you may be to determine if you can pursue a civil lawsuit and who you can hold liable for your injuries.
Negligent Security Claim
Under Massachusetts’s premises liability laws, a victim of a violent crime may have a claim against a property owner for failing to prevent criminal activity. This is referred to as a negligent security claim, which argues that a property owner should have been aware that a violent crime could have occurred on a property and failed to take steps to prevent injuries to guests or tenants. Property owners who manage buildings in violent neighborhoods should pay close attention to crime report and criminal activity and use this information to implement the necessary security measure to keep guests and tenants safe.
Examples of negligent security include:
- Failing to fix or replace broken locks on windows, doors, and gates
- Not hiring enough security to patrol a property
- Failing to train security guards
- Poor lighting at stairways, entrances, and exits
- Lack of security cameras or alarms
A negligent security claim can apply to an apartment landlord, mall owner, parking garage manager, or any other property where a violent crime could take place. This type of claim is focused on providing compensation from property owners rather than punishing criminal behavior and can be an important source of compensation after a violent crime.
Victims’ Compensation Fund
The Massachusetts’s Victims’ Compensation Fund is a state-funded program that provides financial compensation to victims of violent crimes. This program is open to anyone who was a victim of a violent crime in Massachusetts, as well as dependents and family members who lost loved ones to homicide crimes who need financial support and compensation for funeral expenses.
In order to be eligible for compensation, you must:
- Have reported the crime to the police within five days unless there was good reason for a delay
- Have cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of the crime unless there was a reasonable reason to not cooperate
- Applied for compensation within three years of the crime
Victims under the age of 18-years-old have until they are 21 to apply for compensation.
Through this program, you can recover up to $25,000 in compensation for damages like:
- Medical and dental expenses, including equipment, supplies and medications
- Counseling expenses
- Lost wages
- Homemaker expenses
- Replacement bedding/clothing
- Crime scene cleanup
- Forensic Sexual Assault Exam
- Security measures
- Counseling for non-offending parents of a child victim
In addition, family members who have lost loved ones to violent crimes may be able to recover funeral and burial expenses, while dependents of homicide victims can recover lost financial support.
The Compensation Fund is considered a last resort that should only be applied for when a victim has exhausted all other options for receiving compensation. If you recover compensation from a civil claim or punitive damages and received funds from the Victims’ Compensation Fund, you may need to reimburse the department.
We've offered crucial support and guidance to individuals who have suffered injuries, ensuring their financial and emotional well-being.
Free Consultations for Victims of Criminal Behavior
If you have been a victim of violent crime, we encourage you to reach out to our Burlington personal injury attorney at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. We know how difficult it is to seek justice in a criminal court and the lack of resources available to victims. We can go over the details of your case in a free consultation and help you understand your options to get compensation. If you have a civil case against a criminal, property owner, or third-party, we can guide you through the process of getting compensation for your injuries.
Call us today at (781) 262-3338. We offer free case evaluations and work on a contingency fee basis – we do not get paid unless you do.