Victims of crimes

Many times criminal offences lead to damage for victims. This varies from physical damage (injuries) to property damage (e.g. destroyed or stolen property). The main line is that the person who causes the damage must compensate this. Victims of criminal offences have various options to claim damages from the perpetrators.

Joining the criminal proceeding as injured party

On the grounds of art. 51a DCC (Dutch Criminal Code) a victim can put forward his claim for compensation in a criminal case. This prevents a separate civil procedure. This claim entails a low threshold procedure (because a victim does not have to pay court fees) with a possible compensation as result. The victim can put his claim forward by filling out a form or orally during the court session. Procedurally the prosecutor will put the claim forward on behalf of you and the judge will deal with the claim during the criminal procedure.

The necessary conditions which have to be fulfilled before a claim can be put forward:

  • the damage is caused by the criminal offence;
  • the suspect is known;
  • the damage or a part of it will not be reimbursed via other ways;
  • the suspect must appear in court, there must be a criminal procedure before a judge;
  • the suspect must appear in court for the criminal offence of which you are the victim.

When the judge deems the criminal offence proven and is of the opinion that the victim has the right to the compensation, the judge has two options:

  • Grant the compensation. The victim must collect the sum himself or via a bailiff by presentation of copy of the verdict;
  • Order a compensation measure. The judge orders the perpetrator to compensate the damage of the victim. The public prosecutor will commission the Central Authority of Judicial Collection to collect the sum.

Civil proceedings on the grounds of wrongful act

The criminal offence can be considered under the law as a wrongful act, which is sufficient for a victim to start a civil proceeding. A potential criminal conviction could serve as compelling evidence of the wrongful act. The advantage of this procedure compared to a claim on the Compensation Fund

Violent Assaults is the unlimited height of the claim. The procedure will be completed with due care. A judge will be informed by an expert on the nature and gravity of the damage, so he can determine the height of the claim in good order.

Contradictory to the joining in a criminal proceeding there exist court fees within this procedure. Furthermore the civil proceedings take more time and the victim has to take care of potential bailiff costs when the perpetrator refuses to pay the granted compensation.

Allowance from the Compensation Fund Violent Assaults

The Compensation Fund Violent Assaults offers a financial compensation to victims of violent assaults which caused severe mental or physical damage. To be eligible for this fund one has to fulfil the following criteria:

  • An intentional violent assault, e.g. psychical abuse or threat with violence. It is of importance that the victim can prove what happened. He can do this with a declaration, a criminal conviction or through a witness or medical record;
  • Severe damage, e.g. an unsightly scar in the face;
  • The violent assault has been committed in the Netherlands;
  • The request for a compensation from the fund must be done within three years of the assault;
  • The injured can have had no part in the violent assault.

Injury without a perpetrator: motor vehicle guarantee fund

The motor vehicle guarantee fund is intended for victims of accidents with motor vehicles (scooter, car or tractor). The victim must have suffered damage and cannot go to his insurance with that claim, because e.g. the involved vehicle is unknown or uninsured.

Legal costs

The original party has to compensate the reasonable legal costs of the victim, according to the law. When we assist you as a victim we always keep this in mind. Ask for the possibilities.

More information

As a victim we will not leave you out of the picture. You have various possibilities to reimburse your damage. Even though it is not obligatory to call an attorney, it is wise to do so. Our attorneys possess the correct knowledge and experience in order to assist you with the right proceedings and the creation of a claim.
For more information please contact us.

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