Which type of crime can I get compensation for?
The law provides for one-off financial compensation for people who have suffered a personal injury as a result of premeditated violent crimes; other crimes are not subject to compensation. Compensation for personal injury attaches in particular to the crimes of murder and bodily harm. The law considers the crimes of human trafficking, sexual abuse, sexual violence and rape as a separate category of offence, for which compensation for moral injury is awarded.
Which type of injury can I get compensation for?
Victims of violent crime are compensated only to the extent of the damages sustained (compensation for pain and diminished social function). For the offences of human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence, the law provides for compensation for moral damages.
Can I get compensation if I’m a relative or dependant of a victim who has died as a result of a crime? Which relatives or dependants can get compensation?
When a person dies as a result of a violent crime, the law also gives the option of claiming compensation to their relatives – in particular to any surviving spouse and surviving children of the deceased; if there are no children, to the surviving parents of the deceased; and if there are no parents, to any person to whom the deceased had a maintenance obligation.
Can I get compensation if I’m a relative or dependant of a victim who has survived? Which relatives or dependants can get compensation in this case?
No, in these cases the law does not allow compensation for the relatives of the crime victim.
Can I get compensation if I’m not a national of an EU country?
Compensation may be claimed by a victim of violent crime who is a citizen of the Slovak Republic or a citizen of another Member State or a stateless person having permanent residence in the Slovak Republic or in another Member State, or a foreign national under the conditions and to the extent stipulated by an international treaty ratified and promulgated in the manner provided for by law, if the injury occurred in the Slovak Republic. Compensation may be claimed by a victim of violent crime who has been granted asylum, subsidiary protection, temporary refuge, leave to remain or exceptional leave to remain in the Slovak Republic, if the injury occurred in the Slovak Republic.
Can I claim compensation from this country if I live here or am from here (this is country of my residence or nationality) even if the crime was committed in another EU country? Could I do this instead of claiming compensation in the country where the crime took place? If so, under what conditions?
No, Slovak law does not allow for such a procedure. Compensation may be claimed only if the injury occurred on the territory of the Slovak Republic.
Do I have to have reported the crime to the police first, to be able to claim compensation?
Compensation may be claimed only if the outcome of the investigation indicates that a crime has been committed and that it was the cause of the injury. Compensation can therefore be provided only if a criminal prosecution has first taken place; however, it does not matter whether this prosecution was prompted by the victim’s report or by other means.
Do I have to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can claim?
Yes, submitting a claim for compensation is conditional on the existence of a final judgment or penalty order in criminal proceedings by which the offender has been found guilty of committing a crime that caused injury to the victim, or of a judgment by which the defendant has been acquitted because he/she was not criminally responsible on the grounds of insanity or of being underage, and the victim has not been compensated otherwise for the injury. If criminal prosecution is stayed or terminated (or postponed) under the relevant provisions of Act 301/2005 (the Criminal Code), the victim may seek compensation on the basis of a decision by the competent authority that set out the facts detailed above. However, in such cases the outcome of investigation or summary investigation by criminal-prosecution bodies must not give rise to reasonable doubts as to whether the crime by which injury was caused to the victim occurred.
Do I have to first seek compensation from the offender – if they have been identified?
For there to be a right to compensation under this law, the victim of a violent crime must have lodged a claim in criminal proceedings for damages arising from the injury. This does not apply if the criminal act caused death, or in the case of injury caused by the criminal offence of human trafficking, rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse.
If the offender has not been identified or convicted, can I still qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to present to support my claim?
If the identity of the offender whose crime caused the injury to the victim is not known, if his/her whereabouts are unknown, or if a lawful impediment prevents him/her from undergoing criminal prosecution and the injury to the victim has not otherwise been fully compensated, the victim may claim compensation only if the outcome of investigation or summary investigation by criminal-prosecution authorities does not raise justified doubts as to whether the crime through which the victim suffered injury actually occurred. The claim must be supported by the final decision of the criminal prosecution authority or court that last considered the matter, in order to prove the facts detailed above.
Is there a time limit within which I have to claim compensation?
The claim must be filed within one year of the date on which the judgment finding the offender guilty of the crime becomes final. If the identity of the offender is not known or if a lawful impediment prevents him/her from undergoing criminal prosecution, the claim must be filed within 6 months of the date on which decision by the criminal prosecution authority, or by the court that last considered the matter, becomes final.
Where a court in criminal proceedings has referred a victim of a violent crime, and his/her claim for compensation for damages resulting from injury, for civil proceedings or for proceedings before another body, an application must be submitted within one year of the date on which the decision concerning victim’s entitlement to civil proceedings or other proceedings becomes final. When this period elapses the right to compensation under this law expires.
Which losses and expenses are covered by the compensation?
For example, the compensation will cover the following:
Compensation is paid solely in respect of bodily injury suffered (compensation for pain and diminished social function) and, in the cases defined by law, in respect of moral injury. Compensation does not cover other losses or expenses.
a) for the victim of the criminal offence:
– Physical (non-psychological) damage:
- costs of medical care (medical treatment: outpatient and hospital treatment, recuperation);
- additional needs or costs arising from injury (i.e. care and assistance, temporary and permanent treatment, extended study period, physiotherapy, adaptation of domestic environment, special aids, etc.);
- permanent effects of injury (e.g. disability or other permanent handicap);
- loss of earnings during and after medical treatment (including lost earnings and loss of earning power or diminished ability to earn a living, etc.);
- loss of opportunity;
- expenses associated with legal proceedings in connection with the incident causing the damage, such as legal fees, court costs);
- compensation for stolen or damaged personal property;
– not applicable
– Psychological (non-material) damage:
- pain and suffering of the victim – compensation for moral injury caused by the crimes of human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence
b) for eligible persons or relatives of a victim:
– Physical (non-psychological) damage:
- funeral costs;
- costs of medical care (e.g. therapy for a family member, outpatient and hospital treatment, recuperation);
- loss of ability to earn a living or of opportunity.
– not applicable
– Psychological damage:
- pain and suffering of relatives and eligible persons/compensation for survivors, if the victim has died - survivors of a deceased victim of a violent crime are paid compensation at a statutory maximum of 50 times the minimum wage at the time when the offence was committed. This claim is distributed proportionately amongst all eligible survivors.
Is the compensation paid out in a single payment or monthly instalments?
Compensation is paid out in a single payment.
In what way could my own behaviour in relation to the crime, my criminal record or failure to cooperate during the compensation proceedings affect my chance of receiving compensation, and/or the amount I receive?
Criminal records have no effect on the receipt of compensation from the Slovak Republic. The deciding authority may reduce the compensation if the victim is jointly culpable for the injury or did not enforce his/her right to receive compensation from the perpetrator of the crime which caused the injury.
In what way could my financial situation affect my chance of receiving compensation and/or the amount?
The financial situation of the victim has no effect on the compensation decision.
Are there any other criteria that could affect my chance of receiving compensation and/or the amount?
The amount of compensation may be affected by the extent of the victim’s culpability for the injury or if the victim has not exercised his/her right to receive compensation directly from the perpetrator of the crime.
How will the compensation be calculated?
If the injury has been recognised by a court judgment, compensation is based on the extent of the injury detailed in the judgment; in other cases of injury, specific legislation governing the awarding of compensation for pain and for diminished social function, applies as appropriate. Compensation for moral injury in the case of the crimes of human trafficking, rape, sexual violence or sexual abuse is ten times the minimum wage (at the time when the harm occurred) and compensation for moral injury to survivors if the criminal offence caused the victim’s death is fifty times the minimum wage (at the time of the injury).
Is there a minimum/maximum amount that can be awarded?
The law does not stipulate a minimum amount of compensation. The maximum amount of compensation is set at 50 times the minimum wage at the time when the offence was committed (note: this is currently EUR 29 000).
Am I expected to quote the amount in the claim form? If so, do I get any instructions on how to calculate it or on other aspects?
If the damages for personal injury have been recognised by a final judgment or penalty order in criminal proceedings, compensation in the case of injury is calculated and awarded on the basis of the extent of the injury stated in the judgment or penalty order. If the victim and the claim they made in criminal proceedings are referred to civil proceedings, the calculation and awarding of compensation in the event of injury is based on the extent of the injury as detailed in the decision of the civil court. . Otherwise a medical opinion containing information needed for the purpose of determining the specific amount of compensation must be submitted in order to enable that amount to be calculated. The rules for determining the amount of compensation are specified by legislation laying down the rules for calculating personal damages in general, not only for the purpose of compensating the victims of violent crimes.
Will any compensation I receive for my loss from other sources (such as my employer’s or a private insurance scheme) be deducted from compensation paid by the authority/body?
Yes, compensation is provided only on condition that the damage has not been otherwise compensated (through a private insurance scheme or directly by the perpetrator of the violent crime, for example).
Can I get an advance on the compensation? If so, under what conditions?
Advances on compensation are not available.
Can I get complementary or additional compensation (following e.g. a change in circumstances or worsening health etc.) after the main decision?
This is possible; the victim may apply for compensation more than once (in the event of a change in situation or worsening health, for example), but the application must still be submitted within the basic period (i.e. within one year of the date on which a criminal judgement finding the perpetrator guilty becomes final, or – if the identity of the perpetrator is not known, or if criminal prosecution is prevented by a lawful impediment – within one year of the decision of the criminal prosecution authority, or the court that last considered the matter, becoming final). However, the total amount of compensation for the same case may not exceed 50 times the minimum wage.
What supporting documents do I need to include with my claim?
- the final judgment or decision of the criminal prosecution authority that last considered the matter; if the victim is unable to produce the decision, he/she should indicate the criminal-prosecution authority or court which last considered the crime and which provided information about the person suspected of committing the offence that caused injury to the victim, if that person is known to the victim;
- details of the measures that the victim has taken in order to obtain compensation from the perpetrator of the crime which caused personal injury (unless the criminal offence led to death or the personal injury was caused by the crimes of human trafficking, rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse);
- a document evidencing the family relationship and the list of eligible persons, if the crime caused the victim’s death.
Are there administrative or other charges to be paid when the claim is received and processed?
Compensation proceedings are not subject to charges.
Which authority decides on compensation claims (in national cases)?
The Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic decides on compensation claims.
Where do I send the claim (in national cases)?
The request must be sent to the following address: Ministerstvo spravodlivosti Slovenskej republiky [Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic], Račianska ul. 71, 813 11 Bratislava
Do I need to be present during the procedure and/or when my claim is being decided?
The victim is not required to be present.
How long does it take (approximately) to receive a decision on a claim for compensation from the authority?
The Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic must decide on the claim for compensation within 6 months.
If I’m not satisfied with the authority’s decision, how can I challenge it?
If the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic does not accept the claim or upholds it only in part, the victim of a violent crime has the right claim the protection of their subjective rights by an administrative complaint under the relevant provisions of Act No 162/2015 (the Code of Administrative Court Procedure). Where can I get the necessary forms and other information on how to claim?
During the criminal proceedings victims are kept informed by the investigating authorities of the possibilities of and conditions for obtaining compensation from the Slovak Republic.
Is there a special helpline or website I can use?
Information on compensation for crime victims is published on the Ministry of Justice website. For the link click HERE. In addition, a victim being interviewed in criminal proceedings receives information (including contact details) about organisations that offer aid and support to victims.
Can I get legal aid (help from a lawyer) when preparing the claim?
There is no legal aid specifically for the purpose of claiming compensation. It is possible to use general legal aid provided by the State through the Legal Aid Centre. In addition, the Ministry of Justice itself provides basic guidance for claiming compensation.
Are there any victim support organisations that can help me claim compensation?
Yes, there are organisations that offer assistance and support to victims of violent crimes, but these currently operate independently of the State.
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