Proving Recoverable Losses

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Proving Recoverable Losses 2016-11-22T15:56:14+00:00

The District Attorney’s Office has Restitution Services Staff available to help victims determine what can and cannot be claimed as restitution, and available to help victims understand what kinds of proof and documents are needed to substantiate their losses in court.

Please keep our Restitution Services Staff informed of your current contact information, and update us about any changes to your loss during the prosecution, such as additional losses, recovered property or payments received.

Only losses that are caused by the defendant’s criminal conduct can be recovered.

In general, the types of losses that may be claimed as restitution include:

  • Monetary losses suffered by a victim
  • Medical bills
  • Counseling or therapy expenses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Anticipated future treatment expenses

The following documents will help prove and establish your losses:

Costs of medical, dental and/or mental health treatment:

Bills or receipts are the best way to prove the cost of treatment;

If bills are currently due, mark the copies provided as “due and owing;”

If insurance is covering some of the costs, include an Explanation of Benefits (EOB); a claim number; and the name and phone number of the insurance company.

Costs to repair damaged property:

Receipts or some other proof of payment detailing the damages repaired;

Estimates may be submitted, but restitution may not be ordered unless you provide subsequent proof that the repairs were actually completed and the final amount paid.

Market value of stolen, damaged or lost property:

Generally, restitution is limited to the market value of stolen, damaged or lost property at the time of the crime;

Original purchase receipts are an important part of proving value;

If you do not have original receipts, look for store advertisements, newspaper advertisements, internet advertisements or information about the same or substantially similar items;

Photographs of the property before the crime occurred can be submitted, but please include the date of the photo and any other helpful descriptive information.

Insurance and Insurance Deductibles:

Your insurance company may also be considered a victim.  If you have any insurance coverage that may apply, please provide the name and phone number of the insurance company.  Make sure you include the claim number if available;

The amount of your insurance deductible may also be ordered as restitution, so please include the amount of your deductible when you return your Victim Impact Statement.

Lost Wages:

You may be able to request lost wages, however proof of loss and the reason for the loss must be substantiated;

Send a copy of a payroll check stub to verify your rate of pay;

Include a written explanation of the reason you lost work because of the crime, including information about the amount of time you were unable to work and the names and phone numbers of persons who can verify the work loss;

If work was missed due to an injury, include a doctor’s note that confirms the injuries and the number of days you were unable to work;

If you were paid sick time or vacation time for the lost wages, you must include this information and should contact our Restitution Services Staff to discuss your circumstances;

If you were self-employed, contact our Restitution Services Staff for assistance in providing proof of pay rate and loss.

Anticipated Future Treatment Expenses:

If you expect to incur on-going expenses for medical treatment or continued mental health counseling, please make sure you note this on your Victim Impact Statement;

Restitution orders can only include the actual costs of specific future treatment, so please contact our Restitution Service Staff to make sure these expenses are properly documented and included in any claim for restitution submitted to the court.

Other Expenses:

Many other expenses may be claimed as restitution.  However, restitution is limited to those losses that can be calculated in monetary terms and were proximately caused by the defendant’s criminal acts.

In addition, the burden is on the District Attorney to provide substantiated information to the court proving your loss.  Without such proof, your losses may not be claimed as restitution.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact our Restitution Services Staff.

LOSSES THAT CANNOT BE CLAIMED

Some losses are not recoverable as restitution in criminal cases.  These include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Punitive damages

You may be able to recover these types of damages and other losses in a civil lawsuit.  You will need to contact a private attorney to help you file a civil action, and should do so promptly so that your claims are not barred by the statute of limitations.