Ohio Crime Victim Compensation Program only foots the bill if you are physically injured

Posted at 8:45 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 20:48:19-04

The visible damage to Kanwal Khurana's new Hyundai has since been repaired.

"Somebody had tried to hit or jumped on it" explained Khurana. But the emotional wounds he suffered, have yet to heal.

"I want the safety, I want to feel safe," said Khurana.

Khurana says shortly after moving downtown in February, he and his wife were walking back to their apartment, speaking Punjabi, when a stranger addressed them.

"We heard something like 'Go back to where you come from,'" recalled Khurana. Shaken up and shocked, the couple kept walking. But when they returned to their car, they noticed all four tires slashed and the hood damaged.

Khurana filed a police report and a claim with his insurance, but some of the costs plus car rental fees came out of his pocket. So he turned to the Ohio Attorney General's Office for help.

"They said are you physically hurt?" said Khurana. That's because a main criterion for the Victim's Compensation Program is to be physically injured.

"So, unfortunately, someone who is subjected to property damage is not going to fit that," said Eric Long, an attorney with Friedman and Nemecek.

Long says there aren't many options for victims of non-violent crimes seeking compensation. "If the offender is charged with a crime, I'd talk to the prosecutor about restitution," suggested Long.

Long says pursuing a civil case is far more challenging and can end up costing you more in the end.

"There are certainly cases where it becomes cost prohibitive for an attorney to get involved," said Long.