Articles Posted in Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

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If you have been injured as the result of a crime in Ontario, you may be entitled to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB).

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board you ask? Good question!

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is a government body which assesses and awards financial compensation to victims of crime in Ontario. This is a nice thing that the Ontario Government has been doing for the public since around 1967 under the Law Enforcement Compensation Act (LECA) came in to force.

The law and compensation structure of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board has changed a lot since 1967. But, the premise remains the same. The Ontario Government has set aside a pool of money in order to compensate injured victims of crime, for up to $25,000 per claim. This is a nice public service.

Our lawyers are asked why it’s important for the Ontario Government to do this. The answer is that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is often the only real method for innocent victims of crime to recover financial compensation for their injuries (not a piece of paper Judgment which is unenforceable).

Earlier this week, the @GoldfingerLaw Twitter Account tweeted out a CBC article regarding Judgment Proof Defendants. The article highlighted a Plaintiff who sued an immigration consultant for having done a poor job. The Plaintiff was successful at trial, and secured a Judgment against the Defendant. But, as it turned out, the Defendant legal consultant was judgment proof.

Being Judgment proof means that the Defendant does not have the money, assets or resources to pay for the Judgment. That’s not fair. I agree. The saying “You can’t get blood from a stone” applies here.

People often wrongly think that an inability to pay a Judgment will result in automatic jail time, or even worse.

That’s simply not true. If you can’t pay a Judgment because you don’t have the money, assets, or resources to do so, you don’t go to jail. You simply have a Judgment clouding your conscious and credit rating until it has been extinguished.

A judgment against a Defendant without money, resources, or any tangible assets is only just a piece of paper, as documented in the CBC article from earlier this week. But Plaintiff lawyers across Canada are taught this early in their law school careers. This is also a handy piece of business advice as well.

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The front page of today’s Toronto Star is a feature article and photo of Mandi Gray. The headline reads “Putting A Price on Rape..Mandi Gray could have shared her trauma with the court. She opted to share her bills instead“.

Kudos to Mandi Gray for eliminating the publication ban and coming out so courageously. This is a huge step forward in rape and sexual assault cases. Fantastic display of strength which we certainly admire.

In case you don’t know much about this case, Mandi Gray is a PhD student at York University. The accused, Mustafa Uruyar was in her program as well. At a party/get together at a bar on Bloor St. in Toronto, both Gray and Uruyar left the bar and headed back to Uruyar’s place.

The Court found that Mandi Gray was raped by Mustafa Ururyar. Mr. Ururyar was convicted and sentenced to the maximum for a summary crime of 18 months in prison, plus up to three years parole. It’s customary in these types for the victim to prepare a Victim Impact Statement to be read aloud in the Courtroom, just before sentencing.

We see these Victim Impact Statements whenever there is a victim of a crime who we can identify and who agrees to share their/thoughts/feelings with the Court. Not all victims have the courage to share Victim Impact Statements. Personal Injury Lawyers see these Victim Impact Statements frequently in drunk driving, violent assault and sexual assault cases. These statements can be relied upon later in the course of the civil proceeding/personal injury case.

Victim Impact Statements can be very emotional. For some, it’s a chance to have their voice heard, unfettered by the Court and cross examination from another lawyer. You can say what you want. But for others, it’s a wasted exercise. The damage is already done. There is no use in speaking or providing a statement. It will only re-hash bad memories. What good will come of it.

Mandi Gray’s Victim Impact Statement was short and to the point. It contained three bills. The first was for 36 psychotherapy sessions totalling $3,770. The second was a bill for $3,453 for legal work paid by Legal Aid to defend her in a Pre-Trial Application. The third was for $10,735 for legal fees which Ms. Gray paid out of her own pocket.

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The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) is a government body which awards compensation to victims of crime and their families following a criminal act.

It’s an important tribunal because for many victims of crime, it’s the only way they can recover compensation for their injuries.

The first rule of personal injury law (or litigation for that matter) is to sue a party with deep pockets. You can’t get blood from a stone in the Courtroom. So, if you sue, and get a Judgment against a party who can never pay the value of the Judgment; then the Judgment itself is without any value. The only value that the Judgment has is knowing that you won in Court. But winning in Court where the only award is damages is a hollow award.Imagine paying a lawyer $20,000 in legal fees, and the lawyer wins a Judgment for you at trial. But after trial, when the lawyer seeks to recover payment on that $20,000 and cannot deliver because the Defendant is broke without assets, then what value is that $20,000 Judgment to you? It’s essentially worthless.

In a car accident or slip and fall case, there is generally some form of insurance behind the at fault party. In Ontario, driving with insurance is mandatory.

But there is no every day insurance to protect you from an act of criminal violence. The same way that an insurer will not insure people for committing criminal acts.

Unless the at fault criminal is a multi millionaire with debt free real estate holdings, your chances of recover against the at fault party in Court are slim. Keep in mind that the wealthiest of people are normally very good at hiding their assets to make sure that they’re judgment proof.

This is where the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board comes in to play. The Ontario Government has set aside a pool of money to compensate victims of crime and their loved ones following a criminal act. This ensure that innocent victims of crime are properly compensated.

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