Few victims still know and benefit from the possibility of obtaining from the Treasury for suffering a crime -related financial benefit called state compensation for crime victims. As we will explain in the further part of the article, the compensation covers the repair of some property damage, does not include compensation for the non-pecuniary damage resulting from the offense.

What aggrieved party can apply for state compensation for a crime victim?

What aggrieved party can apply for state compensation for a crime victim?

The victim or her closest person (victim) is entitled to compensation.

The victim is a natural person who, as a result of crime, has died or suffered a violation of the functions of the body organ or health disorder specified in art. 156 § 1 or art. 157 § 1 of the Criminal Code (victim).

The closest person is the spouse or person remaining with the victim in cohabitation, the initial, descendant, the person remaining in the adoption relationship, if at the time of the crime, these persons were dependent on the victim who died as a result of the crime.

For which offenses can the injured obtain compensation from the Treasury?

For which offenses can the injured obtain compensation from the Treasury?

For the violation of organ functions or health disorder, referred to in art. 156 § 1 and art. 157 § 1 of the Criminal Code or for the so-called severe damage to health (deprivation of sight, hearing, speech, ability to beget, other severe disability, severe or long-term illness, life-threatening disease, permanent mental illness, total or significant permanent incapacity for work or permanent, significant disfigurement or body distortion) or moderate health impairment (other organ dysfunction or health disorder lasting more than 7 days). Often with such a situation – in terms of damage to health – the aggrieved person has to do in the event of a traffic accident and the possibility of compensation for this.

When will the aggrieved party receive compensation from the Treasury for the offense?

State compensation is granted only then and in the amount in which the person entitled (victim) can not get coverage of lost earnings, other means of subsistence or costs related to treatment, rehabilitation and funeral costs, from the perpetrator or perpetrators of crime, insurance, from funds social assistance or from another source or title, regardless of whether the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime have been detected, accused or convicted.

Compensation is granted if criminal proceedings have been instituted or refused to be instituted on the grounds that:

  • the act stipulates that the perpetrator is not punished,
  • the accused died,
  • the perpetrator is not subject to the judgments of Polish criminal courts,
  • lack of the required prosecution permit or request for prosecution from an authorized person (victim),
  • there is another circumstance excluding prosecution.

Compensation is granted if the offense was committed on the territory of Poland to the detriment of a person who has Polish citizenship or citizenship of another EU Member State.

When will the aggrieved party receive no compensation from the Treasury?

Compensation is not granted despite the initiation of criminal proceedings if it was subsequently discontinued for the following reasons:

  • the act has not been committed or there is no data sufficient to justify the suspicion of committing it,
  • the act does not contain the signs of an offense or the act stipulates that the perpetrator does not commit a crime,
  • the social harmfulness of the act is negligible,
  • criminal proceedings regarding the same act of the same person have been validly concluded or previously initiated,
  • no complaint from an authorized prosecutor.

Compensation is also not awarded when the acquittal was passed due to the fact that:

  • the act has not been committed or there is no data sufficient to justify the suspicion of committing it,
  • the deed does not contain the signs of an offense or the act stipulates that the perpetrator does not commit an offense.

In what amount can the aggrieved party receive compensation from the Treasury?

The compensation may be granted in an amount covering only:

  • lost earnings or other means of support,
  • costs related to treatment and rehabilitation,
  • funeral costs,

if the above was the result of committing a crime.

The amount of compensation may not exceed PLN 12,000. zlotys.

How can you get compensation?

How can you get compensation?

The granting of compensation is decided upon by the application of the authorized person or prosecutor as a rule, the district court of the place of residence of the right holder. The application should be submitted to the court within 2 years from the date of committing the offense – on pain of expiry of the right to demand compensation.

What should an application for compensation be included in?

The application for compensation should include in particular:

  • name, surname, citizenship and address of the authorized person,
  • information about the family status of the person entitled,
  • indication of the date and place of committing the offense forming the basis for applying for compensation and its concise description, stating the consequences,
  • information about the type and amount of costs incurred and lost earnings or other means of support,
  • Prejudice of criminal liability for making a false statement on failure to obtain compensation or performance from other sources or titles,
  • statement of the authorized person, made under penalty of perjury, failure to obtain compensation or performance from other sources or titles.

The application for compensation should be accompanied by copies of relevant judgments issued in criminal proceedings, copies of medical certificates or expert opinions regarding the victim’s bodily injury and other documents confirming the information contained in the application.

If the closest person is seeking compensation, the person attaches to the application documents confirming the fact that he / she was staying at the time of committing the offense forming the basis of the application on the victim’s behalf, who died as a result of that crime.

The compensation is paid from the State Treasury by the district court that issued the decision on granting the compensation, within one month from the day the decision becomes final.

When does the aggrieved person have to reckon with the return of the compensation paid?

When does the aggrieved person have to reckon with the return of the compensation paid?

The person entitled (the aggrieved party) must be aware of the obligation to refund the compensation, when – after paying the compensation:

criminal proceedings will be discontinued for the following reasons:

  • the act has not been committed or there is no data sufficient to justify the suspicion of committing it,
  • the act does not contain the signs of an offense or the act stipulates that the perpetrator does not commit a crime,
  • the social harmfulness of the act is negligible,
  • criminal proceedings regarding the same act of the same person have been validly concluded or previously initiated,
  • no complaint from an authorized prosecutor.

an acquittal will be issued due to the fact that:

  • the act has not been committed or there is no data sufficient to justify the suspicion of committing it,
  • the deed does not contain the signs of an offense or the act stipulates that the perpetrator does not commit an offense.