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Introduced Version House Bill 3219 History

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hb3219 intr
H. B.3219


(By Delegates Amores, Webster, Caputo, Brown,

Hatfield & Marshall)

[Introduced March 24, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend § 14-2A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to compensation awards to victims of crimes, patient; amending the definition of claimant so as to include persons who are assignees of a crime victim, hold power of attorney with respect to the crime victim, or otherwise have been authorized to act on a victim's behalf.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §14-2A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§14-2A-3. Definitions.
As used in this article, the term:
(a) "Claimant" means any of the following persons, whether residents or nonresidents of this state, who claim an award of compensation under this article:
(1) A victim: Provided, That the term victim does not include a nonresident of this state where the criminally injurious act did not occur in this state;
(2) A dependent, spouse or minor child of a deceased victim; or in the event that the deceased victim is a minor, the parents, legal guardians and siblings of the victim;
(3) A third person other than a collateral source, who legally assumes or voluntarily pays the obligations of a victim, or of a dependent of a victim, which obligations are incurred as a result of the criminally injurious conduct that is the subject of the claim;
(4) A person who is authorized to act on behalf of a victim, dependent or a third person who is not a collateral source, including ,but not limited to, assignees, persons holding power of attorney or other persons who hold authority to make or submit claims in place of or on behalf of a victim, a dependent or third person who is not a collateral source; and, in the event that the victim, dependent or third person who is not a collateral source is a minor or other legally incompetent person, the duly qualified fiduciary of the minor; and
(5) A person who is a secondary victim in need of mental health counseling due to the person's exposure to the crime committed. An award to a secondary victim may not exceed one thousand dollars.
(b) "Collateral source" means a source of benefits or advantages for economic loss otherwise compensable that the victim or claimant has received, or that is readily available to him or her, from any of the following sources:
(1) The offender, including any restitution received from the offender pursuant to an order by a court of law sentencing the offender or placing him or her on probation following a conviction in a criminal case arising from the criminally injurious act for which a claim for compensation is made;
(2) The government of the United States or any of its agencies, a state or any of its political subdivisions or an instrumentality of two or more states;
(3) Social security, medicare and medicaid;
(4) State-required, temporary, nonoccupational disability insurance; other disability insurance;
(5) Workers' compensation;
(6) Wage continuation programs of any employer;
(7) Proceeds of a contract of insurance payable to the victim or claimant for loss that was sustained because of the criminally injurious conduct;
(8) A contract providing prepaid hospital and other health care services or benefits for disability; and
(9) That portion of the proceeds of all contracts of insurance payable to the claimant on account of the death of the victim which exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars.
(c) "Criminally injurious conduct" means conduct that occurs or is attempted in this state or in any state not having a victim compensation program which by its nature poses a substantial threat of personal injury or death and is punishable by fine or imprisonment or death or would be so punishable but for the fact that the person engaging in the conduct lacked capacity to commit the crime under the laws of this state. Criminally injurious conduct also includes an act of terrorism, as defined in 18 U.S.C. §2331, committed outside of the United States against a resident of this state. Criminally injurious conduct does not include conduct arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, except when the person engaging in the conduct intended to cause personal injury or death, or except when the person engaging in the conduct committed negligent homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs or reckless driving.
(d) "Dependent" means an individual who received over half of his or her support from the victim. For the purpose of determining whether an individual received over half of his or her support from the victim, there shall be taken into account the amount of support received from the victim as compared to the entire amount of support which the individual received from all sources, including support which the individual himself or herself supplied. The term "support" includes, but is not limited to, food, shelter, clothing, medical and dental care and education. The term "dependent" includes a child of the victim born after his or her death.
(e) "Economic loss" means economic detriment consisting only of allowable expense, work loss and replacement services loss. If criminally injurious conduct causes death, economic loss includes a dependent's economic loss and a dependent's replacement services loss. Noneconomic detriment is not economic loss; however, economic loss may be caused by pain and suffering or physical impairment. For purposes of this article, the term "economic loss" includes a lost scholarship as defined in this section.
(f)(1) "Allowable expense" means reasonable charges incurred or to be incurred for reasonably needed products, services and accommodations, including those for medical care, mental health counseling, prosthetic devices, eye glasses, dentures, rehabilitation and other remedial treatment and care.
(2) Allowable expense includes a total charge not in excess of six thousand dollars for expenses in any way related to funeral, cremation and burial. It does not include that portion of a charge for a room in a hospital, clinic, convalescent home, nursing home or any other institution engaged in providing nursing care and related services in excess of a reasonable and customary charge for semiprivate accommodations, unless accommodations other than semiprivate accommodations are medically required.
(3) Allowable expense also includes:
(A) A charge, not to exceed one thousand dollars, for crime scene cleanup;
(B) Victim relocation costs, not to exceed one thousand dollars; and
(C) Reasonable travel expenses, not to exceed one thousand dollars, for a claimant to attend court proceedings that are conducted for the prosecution of the offender.
(g) "Work loss" means loss of income from work that the injured person would have performed if he or she had not been injured and expenses reasonably incurred or to be incurred by him or her to obtain services in lieu of those he or she would have performed for income, reduced by any income from substitute work actually performed or to be performed by him or her, or by income he or she would have earned in available appropriate substitute work that he or she was capable of performing but unreasonably failed to undertake.
(h) "Replacement services loss" means expenses reasonably incurred or to be incurred in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those the injured person would have performed, not for income but for the benefit of himself or herself or his or her family, if he or she had not been injured.
(i) "Dependent's economic loss" means loss after a victim's death of contributions or things of economic value to his or her dependents, not including services they would have received from the victim if he or she had not suffered the fatal injury, less expenses of the dependents avoided by reason of the victim's death.
(j) "Dependent's replacement service loss" means loss reasonably incurred or to be incurred by dependents after a victim's death in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those the victim would have performed for their benefit if he or she had not suffered the fatal injury, less expenses of the dependents avoided by reason of the victim's death and not subtracted in calculating dependent's economic loss.
(k) "Victim" means a person who suffers personal injury or death as a result of any one of the following: (1) Criminally injurious conduct; (2) the good faith effort of the person to prevent criminally injurious conduct; or (3) the good faith effort of the person to apprehend a person that the injured person has observed engaging in criminally injurious conduct or who the injured person has reasonable cause to believe has engaged in criminally injurious conduct immediately prior to the attempted apprehension.
(l) "Contributory misconduct" means any conduct of the claimant, or of the victim through whom the claimant claims an award, that is unlawful or intentionally tortious and that, without regard to the conduct's proximity in time or space to the criminally injurious conduct, has causal relationship to the criminally injurious conduct that is the basis of the claim and shall also include the voluntary intoxication of the claimant, either by the consumption of alcohol or the use of any controlled substance when the intoxication has a causal connection or relationship to the injury sustained. The voluntary intoxication of a victim is not a defense against the estate of a deceased victim.
(m) "Lost scholarship" means a scholarship, academic award, stipend or other monetary scholastic assistance which had been awarded or conferred upon a victim in conjunction with a postsecondary school educational program and, which the victim is unable to receive or use, in whole or in part, due to injuries received from criminally injurious conduct.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to amend the provisions of the West Virginia Victims of Crime Compensation Act to make it clear that persons holding authority with respect to the victim by power of attorney, as an assignee of the victim or who hold other authority to act on behalf of the victim or to assert the rights which are extended to victims have the authority to assert claims under the provisions of the act.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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