Right of family members or close friends of the deceased to state compensation for criminal damage

Stipulations on compensation for criminal damage from state funds are laid down in the Act on Compensation for Criminal Damage (1204/2005, no translation in English).

In order for any pre-trial expenses to be eligible for state compensation, they must first have been demanded from the offender through legal proceedings. If the crime causes additional expenses after the trial, compensation for them can be applied for from the State. However, the State Treasury’s compensation is a secondary measure, meaning that compensations received by virtue of other laws and insurance arrangements take precedence in terms of the State’s liability. Any such compensations that family members or close friends may receive from other sources will be deducted from the compensations provided by the State Treasury.

Damages for distress

This form of State-provided compensation was expunged from the Act on Compensation for Criminal Damage on 1 January 2006. Compensation can be sought from the accused through legal proceedings, but if the person in question is unable to pay the compensation, the 2006 amendment prevents applying for relevant indemnification from the State.

Legal costs

Compensation for legal costs can be provided in the event that other compensations are paid to family members or close friends under the Act on Compensation for Criminal Damage. Family members or close friends will not be provided compensation for legal costs, if other expenses, such as burial or therapy costs, are not paid from state funds.

If the court has ruled that the offender must pay legal costs to the family members or close friends of the victim and the home insurance policy of the recipients also includes legal expenses insurance, the costs will first be covered through the insurance, after which the State may cover the excess payable by the policy holder, as well as any costs exceeding the insured amount, to a reasonable extent.

Other costs, such as medical expenses, therapy costs and loss of income

Those who are entitled to compensation include the parents, children and/or spouse of the deceased person and any persons who were particularly close to the deceased, in the event that the death was caused intentionally or through gross negligence. In these cases, any necessary medical costs and other requisite costs, loss of income and rehabilitation directly related to the medical treatment will be covered.

Medical costs and loss of income can be compensated to family members and close friends up to a total sum of €6,000, from which compensations from other sources are deducted. No more than €150 per day can be paid for loss of income; compensations received from other sources are also deducted from this total sum.

Regarding other compensations

Funeral costs are compensated to a reasonable extent. Such costs include, but are not limited to, the coffin, burial place, gravestone, memorial service and obituary. On the other hand, estate inventory costs or other expenses resulting from estate administration are not eligible for compensation as funeral costs.

Costs related to the funeral arrangements are compensated to a reasonable degree to the parents, children and spouse of the deceased and to other comparable persons who were very close to the deceased. The compensations can cover travel expenses to the funeral, floral arrangements and mourning clothes, for example. Income losses resulting from attending the funeral are never compensated.

Any persons eligible for maintenance or maintenance allowance (children, spouse) or who have been otherwise dependent on maintenance provided by the deceased are entitled to compensation for the loss of maintenance.

Published 2018-11-06 at  15:52 , updated 2018-11-06 at  15:52
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