St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Insurance Companies Increasingly Seeking Victim Restitution

Crime Victims’ Rights Act

According to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, criminal defendants can be made responsible for financial harm caused to their victims in the commission of the crime convicted. This responsibility is known as “restitution;” if your car is stolen and then damaged in the ensuing joyride, the car thief is responsible for the repair costs in the form of victim’s restitution. What many defendants do not realize, however, is that the term “victim” isn’t limited to individuals, but can also apply to insurance companies that pay out claims as a result of a defendant’s actions.

In the aforementioned example, an insurance company might pick up the tab on car repairs as part of the victim’s policy. However, it would be within that insurance company’s rights to push for victim’s restitution — the defendant would be on the hook for paying back the insurance company for its expenditures honoring the victim’s policy. Insurers are taking increasing advantage of this option thanks to advances in technology and increased attention from state regulators. Some have been critical of insurance companies seeking restitution, claiming they’re “double-dipping” by accepting premium payments from clients while demanding restitution from those convicted of a crime.

If you’re facing prosecution for a crime that has the potential for restitution, it’s important to work with a reputable criminal attorney in Michigan such as the professionals at Peter J. Johnson Law Office, whom understand the restitution process and the parties to which you may be responsible. Restitution can place a significant financial burden on those convicted of crimes; a criminal attorney is a critical ally in ensuring your case reaches a fair conclusion.

Restitution law is complex and court decisions continually make it more convoluted and set new precedents. Insurance companies may seek civil judgments in addition to criminal judgments from which costs can quickly add up. Thus, it is of utmost importance to protect oneself with a competent criminal attorney. For more information or inquiries about restitution please visit www.attorneypeterjohnson.com or contact us at 269.982.1100.

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