§ 12-25-19. Awarding compensation.
(a) In any case in which a person is injured or killed by any act of a person or persons that is within the description of the offenses listed in § 12-25-20, the victim, his or her guardian, the child advocate as provided in § 42-73-9.1, or in the case of his or her death, a legal representative, may apply to the office for compensation. Additionally, a secondary victim or their guardian, the child advocate as provided in § 42-73-9.1 or a legal representative on behalf of a secondary victim, may apply to the office for compensation. The office shall provide notice of the application to the attorney general. The office may award compensation in accordance with the provisions of this chapter if the act occurs:
(1) Within the physical confines of the state of Rhode Island;
(2) Within the maritime jurisdiction of the state of Rhode Island;
(3) Outside the state of Rhode Island to any victim who has his or her residence in the state of Rhode Island and had the residence in the state at the time that the offense occurred, and is not entitled to compensation of any kind from the state, possession, or territory or district of the United States in which the offense occurred; or
(4) Outside the state of Rhode Island to any victim, who had his or her residence in the state of Rhode Island at the time the offense occurred, who is injured or killed by an act of terrorism occurring either outside of the United States, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2331, or within the United States as referred to in 34 U.S.C. § 20105.
(b) The office may award compensation as described in this section:
(1) To or on behalf of the injured person, or his or her guardian;
(2) In the case of the personal injury of the victim where the compensation is for pecuniary loss suffered or expenses incurred by any person responsible for the maintenance of the victim, to that person; or
(3) In the case of the death of the victim, to or for the benefit of the dependents or closest relative of the deceased victim, or any one or more of the dependents or to the legal representative of the victim.
(c) For the purposes of this chapter, a person shall be deemed to have intended an act notwithstanding that, by reason of age, insanity, drunkenness, or otherwise, he or she was legally incapable of forming a criminal intent.
(d)(1) In determining whether to award compensation as described in this section and the amount of compensation, the office shall consider any circumstances it determines to be relevant, including, but not limited to:
(i) Compliance by the victim with the reasonable requests of law enforcement agencies and personnel;
(ii) Violent felonious criminal conduct of the victim committed within the past five (5) years or subsequent to his or her injury;
(iii) Any conviction of a crime of violence by the victim; and
(iv) The behavior of the victim, including past behavior, that directly or indirectly contributed to his or her injury or death, unless the injury or death resulted from the victim's lawful attempt to prevent the commission of a crime or to apprehend an offender. The office may reduce or deny an award based on these circumstances.
(2) Any individual who is incarcerated at any criminal institutional facility at the time of his or her injury shall be deemed ineligible to receive an award of compensation as described in this section.
(e) No compensation may be awarded unless the office so directs upon a finding that:
(1) The act did occur; and
(2) The injury or death resulted from the act.
(f) An award may be made under this section whether or not any person is prosecuted or convicted of any offense arising out of the act, or if the act is the subject of any other legal action. Upon application from the attorney general, the office shall suspend proceedings under this chapter until the application is withdrawn or until a prosecution for an offense arising out of the act is no longer pending or imminent. The office may suspend proceedings in the interest of justice if a criminal or civil action arising from the act is pending or imminent.
(g) The office shall pay to the person named in the award of compensation, and the payments shall be made from the violent crimes indemnity account and from any federal moneys available as coordinated by the office.
(h) Where compensable medical services have been rendered, any award made payable to a medical provider shall be based on the current final adjustment to charge ratio approved by the department of labor and training pursuant to chapter 33 of title 28 and applied by the Rhode Island workers' compensation unit in establishing payout ratios for inpatient charges, emergency room charges, and ambulatory surgery charges. Amounts awarded for all other medical services shall be based on the current Rhode Island workers' compensation medical fee schedule. If the provider employs a sliding scale fee structure for any category of patient or service, the award shall not exceed the amount the applicant would be charged if he or she qualified under the provider's sliding scale fee structure. Medical service providers shall be required to accept these awards as full payment for services rendered and shall be prohibited from assessing any additional charges against the victim or secondary victim.
(P.L. 1996, ch. 434, § 3; P.L. 1997, ch. 183, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 317, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 125, § 2; P.L. 1999, ch. 128, § 2; P.L. 2017, ch. 110, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 174, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 341, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 350, § 1.)