What is the process for claiming damages from the offender? (e.g. court case, civil claim, adhesion procedure)
Under specific regulations, victims of crimes punishable by imprisonment of five or more years, who have suffered severe psychophysical trauma or have been seriously affected by the crime, have the right to a counsellor before giving testimony in criminal proceedings or filing a claim for damages; the counsellor's fees are to be borne by the government.
Claims for damages in criminal proceedings may be filed by persons authorised to pursue such claims in civil actions.
Crime victims filing a claim for damages must indicate whether they have obtained compensation or filed a claim for damages.
The court ordered the offender to pay me damages/compensation. How do I make sure the offender pays?
Once the decision on a claim for damages becomes final and enforceable, the injured party may request the court that issued the decision in first-instance proceedings to provide issue him/her with a certified copy of that decision, with an indication that the latter is enforceable.
If the decision does not lay down a deadline for compliance, the obligation imposed by the decision must be fulfilled within 15 days of the decision becoming final. After this deadline the fulfilment of the obligation becomes subject to enforcement.
If the offender does not pay, can the state pay me an advance? Under what conditions?
A victim of an intentional crime may be compensated from the State budget under a specific act. Where the victim has won a claim for damages, the amount of compensation depends on the amount awarded; the court deciding on the claim for damages will take the same action where the victim has already been compensated from the State budget, the court.
Am I entitled to compensation from the state?
Victims of intentional violent crimes committed in Croatia after 1 July 2013 are eligible for compensation:
- if they are citizens or residents of Croatia or another EU Member State;
- if they have suffered grievous bodily harm or serious deterioration of health as a result of the crime;
- if the crime is reported to or filed by the police or the public prosecutor's office within six months from the date on which it was committed, regardless of whether or not the offender is known;
- if they have submitted a request on an official form, along with the requisite documentation (the form can be obtained at any police station, public prosecutor’s office or municipal or county court; it is also available online, on the websites of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior, the Public Prosecutor and municipal and county courts.
The victim has the right to be compensated:
- the costs of medical treatment in accordance with the national ceilings; this compensation is only granted where the victim cannot be compensated under a health insurance cover;
- up to HRK 35 000 for lost earnings.
Am I entitled to compensation if the offender is not convicted?
The victim may be awarded compensation even if the perpetrator is unknown or if criminal proceedings have not been initiated.
Am I entitled to an emergency payment while I wait for the decision on my compensation claim?
Emergency payments are not provided for by Croatian law.
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