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Last update: 10-05-2005
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Compensation to crime victims - Sweden

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Compensation in the form of damages from the offender. 1.
1.1. Under which circumstances can I put in a claim for damages by taking criminal proceedings against the offender? 1.1.
1.2. When should I put in the claim? 1.2.
1.3. How should I put in the claim, and to whom? 1.3.
1.4. How should I present my claim (state a total amount and/or specify the various damages) ? 1.4.
1.5. Can I get legal aid both before and after the court proceedings? 1.5.
1.6. What proof will I need to present to support my claim? 1.6.
1.7. If my claim is granted by the court, can I get any special help as a victim of a crime to recover the debt from the offender? 1.7.
2. Compensation from the Government or a governmental authority. 2.
2.1. Is it possible to get compensation from the Government or a governmental authority? 2.1.
2.2. Is the option limited to victims of crimes who have been subjected to particular types of crimes? 2.2.
2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims of crimes who have suffered particular types of damages? 2.3.
2.4. Can relatives or other related parties to the victim of a crime who has died as the result of the crime get compensation? 2.4.
2.5. Is the possibility of getting compensation limited to persons of certain nationalities or persons who live in a certain area? 2.5.
2.6. Can I apply for compensation from Sweden if the crime has been committed in another country? If yes, under which circumstances? 2.6.
2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police? 2.7.
2.8. Must I await the result of the police investigation or the criminal proceedings before I apply? 2.8.
2.9. If the offender is identified, is it necessary to first try to get compensation from the offender? 2.9.
2.10. If the offender is not identified or convicted, is it still possible to get compensation? If this is the case, what proof must I attach to my application? 2.10.
2.11. Is there any time limit within which I must make the application? If there are exceptional reasons, will an application be looked at even if it has come in too late? 2.11.
2.12. What damages can I get compensation for? 2.12.
2.13. How will the compensation be calculated? 2.13.
2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be paid out? 2.14.
2.15. Will the compensation that I get, or can get for the same damages but from other sources (e.g. insurance) , be deducted from the state compensation? 2.15.
2.16. Are there other criteria that could affect my possibility of getting compensation or the calculation of the compensation, e.g. my own behaviour in connection with the event that caused the damage? 2.16.
2.17. Can I get compensation in advance? 2.17.
2.18. Where can I get the necessary application documents and further information on how I apply? Is there any special help line or website that I can use? 2.18.
2.19. Can I get legal aid to make the application? 2.19.
2.20. Where do I send the application? 2.20.
2.21. Are there other organisations that support victims of crimes and which can give more information? 2.21.

 

1. Compensation in the form of damages from the offender.

1.1. Under which circumstances can I put in a claim for damages by taking criminal proceedings against the offender?

A claim for damages due to a crime can be submitted in connection with charges being brought. If the court considers it appropriate, the claim for damages will be tried in connection with the court case.

1.2. When should I put in the claim?

The claim should, if possible, be made as early as during the preliminary investigations since the prosecutor has, in most case, an obligation to bring an action for damages in connection with bringing charges. (If the prosecutor, or the leader of a preliminary criminal investigation, finds that a request for damages could be justified due to the crime, he or she is liable to inform the injured party of this in good time before the prosecution.)

1.3. How should I put in the claim, and to whom?

Claims for damages should be submitted in writing to the prosecutor or, once the prosecution has begun, to the court.

1.4. How should I present my claim (state a total amount and/or specify the various damages) ?

If possible, you should specify the various damages.

1.5. Can I get legal aid both before and after the court proceedings?

Yes, you can if the general conditions for legal aid are met. If you have or ought to have legal expenses insurance then you cannot, on the other hand, get legal aid. You can, under certain conditions, be given a plaintiff’s assistant who will help you to take action to get damages.

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1.6. What proof will I need to present to support my claim?

If you have, for example, a medical certificate covering the injuries, receipts for outgoings etc. then these should, as a rule, be attached to the claim. It is not, however, possible to state what proof is required in general.

1.7. If my claim is granted by the court, can I get any special help as a victim of a crime to recover the debt from the offender?

When the court ruling has come into force it is sent by the court to the Enforcement Service. You are then asked in writing by the Enforcement Service whether you would like help with collecting the debt. If you answer yes, the Enforcement Service will contact the offender and help you to collect the debt. You do not, therefore, need to contact the offender.

2. Compensation from the Government or a governmental authority.

2.1. Is it possible to get compensation from the Government or a governmental authority?

It is possible to get so-called criminal compensation from the Government. Claims for such compensation are determined by the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority.

2.2. Is the option limited to victims of crimes who have been subjected to particular types of crimes?

No

2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims of crimes who have suffered particular types of damages?

No

2.4. Can relatives or other related parties to the victim of a crime who has died as the result of the crime get compensation?

Yes, compensation is paid for personal injuries as the result of the death affecting someone particularly close to the deceased. Compensation for the loss of maintenance is payable to survivors who, according to the law, are entitled to maintenance from the deceased or dependent on him in some other way for their support if maintenance was being paid at the time of death or if it can be assumed that maintenance would have been paid shortly after.

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2.5. Is the possibility of getting compensation limited to persons of certain nationalities or persons who live in a certain area?

No, the option of getting compensation only exists if the crime was committed in Sweden. In the event of personal injury and violations (cf. point 2. 12) the option also exists if the crime has been committed abroad against someone who lives in Sweden.

2.6. Can I apply for compensation from Sweden if the crime has been committed in another country? If yes, under which circumstances?

Yes, if you lived in Sweden at the time of the crime (c.f. point 2. 5).

2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police?

The application will be examined only if the crime has been reported to the prosecutor or police authority or if the applicant can demonstrate a valid reason for not having made a report.

2.8. Must I await the result of the police investigation or the criminal proceedings before I apply?

Yes, in the vast majority of cases.

2.9. If the offender is identified, is it necessary to first try to get compensation from the offender?

In principle, you do not have any liability to bring an action for damages against the party causing the damages. But if an action for damages has been brought, it is required in practice that this has been tried through an unappealable judgement and you have tried to get compensation from the offender. In all circumstances, you must be able to show that the offender does not have the ability to compensate the damage.

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2.10. If the offender is not identified or convicted, is it still possible to get compensation? If this is the case, what proof must I attach to my application?

Yes, it is possible to get compensation even if the offender is not identified or convicted. You must, however, present reports that indicate that you have been the victim of a crime, e.g. notes from the police investigation or a doctor’s certificate.

2.11. Is there any time limit within which I must make the application? If there are exceptional reasons, will an application be looked at even if it has come in too late?

If a public prosecution has been started, the application for criminal injury compensation is to be made within two years of the judgment or final decision entering into force. If a public prosecution has not been started but a preliminary investigation has been initiated, the application is to be made within two years of the preliminary investigation being closed down or concluded. Otherwise the application is to be made within two years of the crime being committed.

If there are exceptional reasons, will an application be looked at even if it has come in too late?

2.12. What damages can I get compensation for?

Criminal injury compensation is paid for personal injuries. Both physical and mental defective conditions are counted as personal injuries. In order for mental complaints to be considered to be personal injuries it is required that there is an impact that can be demonstrated medically. Damage to clothes, spectacles and similar objects that the injured party was wearing at the time of the injury are also compensated as personal injuries.

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If a person has seriously violated another person through a crime that involves an attack on the latter’s person’s freedom or tranquillity, compensation is paid for the damage that the violation causes. Examples of crimes that usually give entitlement to compensation for violation are attempted murder and other crimes against life and health as well as rape and other sexual offences.

Compensation for material damage and pure economic loss is only paid out to a limited extent, for instance if the crime has been committed by someone who was an inmate at a prison establishment, if the injured party’s ability to support themselves has been seriously jeopardized through the damage or if compensation otherwise stands out as particularly important.

2.13. How will the compensation be calculated?

Compensation is calculated in principle in accordance with the Law of Damages (1972:207). This means, among other things, that in the event of personal injury, you can get compensation for

1. medical costs and other costs for yourself, including reasonable compensation for someone particularly close to you,

2. loss of income,

3. physical and mental suffering of a temporary nature (pain and suffering) , or of a permanent nature (disability and permanent disfigurement) and particular inconvenience as a result of the injury.

Compensation for loss of income is equivalent to the difference between the income that the injured party would have been able to earn if he had not been injured, and the income that, despite the injury, he should have achieved or that he could be expected to achieve from work that matches his strengths and skills and that could reasonable be requested of him taking into account previous training and activity, re-training or other similar measures as well as age, household relationships and similar circumstances.

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Compensation for violation is determined in accordance with what is reasonable with regard to the nature and duration of the event. Account is to be taken of whether the action

1. had humiliating or infamous elements,

2. was likely to arouse serious fear for life or health,

3. was directed at someone with special difficulties in defending their personal integrity,

4. involved abuse of a state of dependence or a position of trust, or

5. was likely to attract public attention.

Damages for material damages includes compensation for

1. the value of the item or cost of repair or reduction in value,

2. other costs as a result of the damage,

3. loss of income or encroachment on business activity.

2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be paid out?

If the total compensation after deductions for excesses is less than SEK 10, no compensation is payable. The excess is presently SEK 1,200.

Compensation for personal injuries that are fixed in the form of lump sum payments are paid at a maximum of twenty times the price base unit that applies when the compensation is determined in accordance with the Social Insurance Act (1968:381). Compensation that is set in the form of a so-called annuity is paid each year at a maximum of three times the price base unit that applies when the compensation is determined. Compensation for violation or for material damage and pure economic loss is paid at a maximum of ten times the price base amount that applies when the compensation is determined. The price base amount for 2003 is SEK 38,600.

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2.15. Will the compensation that I get, or can get for the same damages but from other sources (e.g. insurance) , be deducted from the state compensation?

When determining compensation for personal injury then, in addition to damages, other insurance that the injured party is entitled to due to the claim and which has not been deducted during the calculation of the damages is deducted. The deduction only occurs, however, to the extent that the compensation is equivalent to a saving on the injured party’s part.

When determining compensation for violation or for material damage or pure economic loss then, in addition to damages, any other insurance that the injured party is entitled to due to the damage is deducted.

When determining compensation for damage to property that was not insured against property damage and which the injured party must be assumed to have refrained from insuring due to the scope of his assets and spreading of risk in his business, the insurance compensation that would have been payable if insurance had existed is deducted. When determining compensation for damage to property that should, in accordance with convention, have been kept insured against the risk of damage but which the injured party has neglected to insure, the insurance compensation that would have been payable if the insurance had existed is deducted.

2.16. Are there other criteria that could affect my possibility of getting compensation or the calculation of the compensation, e.g. my own behaviour in connection with the event that caused the damage?

Compensation for personal injury may be adjusted if the injured person themselves intentionally or through gross negligence contributed to the injury. Compensation to drivers of motor-driven vehicles who have been guilty of drink-driving or serious drink-driving may also be adjusted if the driver contributed to the injury through carelessness. If the personal injury led to death, compensation to related persons may also be adjusted if the deceased person intentionally contributed towards the death.

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Compensation for material damage or pure economic loss may be adjusted if negligence on the part of the injured party has contributed to the damage.

Compensation may also be reduced or not payable if it is probable that the injured party or, if the injury has led to death, the deceased person, intentionally or negligently increased the risk of injury through their behaviour at the time of the crime or in another manner. In the case of material damage or pure economic loss, the compensation may also be reduced or not payable if it is probable that, through failure to take the customary safety measures intentionally or through negligence, the injured party has increased the risk of damage.

2.17. Can I get compensation in advance?

If the investigation regarding certain damages takes a long time, e.g. due to ongoing medical examinations, the compensation for other clear damages may in certain cases be paid in advance.

2.18. Where can I get the necessary application documents and further information on how I apply? Is there any special help line or website that I can use?

Information may be obtained from

The Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority, Box 470, S 901 09 UMEÅ

Telephone: + 46 90 57 10, Fax + 46 90 17 83 53

E-mail: registrator@brottsoffermyndigheten.se

Information is available on the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority website.

2.19. Can I get legal aid to make the application?

In the vast majority of cases you can make the application yourself and get the help you need from the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority. The costs of assistance or reports in criminal injury cases may be compensated from public funds if there are particular grounds taking into account the applicant’s financial position and other circumstances.

2.20. Where do I send the application?

To the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority.

2.21. Are there other organisations that support victims of crimes and which can give more information?


« Compensation to crime victims - General information | Sweden - General information »

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Last update: 10-05-2005

 
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