Crime victims compensation
The victim of an intentional violent crime has the right to financial compensation from the state budget in accordance with the Crime Victims Compensation Act.
A victim is eligible for the compensation if:
- the violent criminal offence was committed with intent on the territory of Croatia and resulted in a grave bodily injury, serious health effects or death,
- they are a national or a permanent resident of Croatia or other EU Member State, and
- the crime was reported to or recorded by the police or state attorney’s office, whereby the offender can be identified or unidentified.
- medical expenses, and
- lost earnings, up to EUR 4,645.30 (HRK 35,000), and
- the loss of legal maintenance, up to EUR 9,290.60 (HRK 70,000), and
- funeral expenses, up to EUR 663.61 (HRK 5,000).
The police, state attorney's offices and courts are obligated to:
- inform victims on their right to financial compensation,
- provide them with necessary application forms, and
- at the victim’s request, to provide general instructions and information on how to fill out the application form and the required accompanying documentation.
The accompanying documentation to be enclosed with the application form:
- is stated in the official application form.
- The application form should be accompanied by: proof of citizenship, certificate of domicile, victim’s death certificate, confirmation that the criminal offence has been reported, applicant’s notarised statement that they have not received compensation under the Crime Victims Compensation Act on another legal basis, victim’s medical documentation as a basis for compensation (hospital registration form, medical findings and certificates, discharge summary, medical certificate of illness, medical invoices, invoices for usual funeral expenses, other relevant certificates or documents which could be important for making a decision on compensation.
- The above documents submitted should be originals or notarised copies.
- A confirmation that the criminal offence has been reported is issued by the police at the victim’s request.
Under the Crime Victims Compensation Act, effective as of 1 July 2013, the Crime Victims Compensation Committee decides on the applications of crime victims for financial compensation.
Victim compensation claims are handled by the Service for Victim and Witness Support of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration, which:
- receives applications for compensation by crime victims,
- gives instructions and information to the applicants,
- drafts decisions, and
- handles all administrative and technical matters for the Committee.
The application for compensation must be submitted to the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration within 6 months of the crime, and respecting other time limits laid down by the Act with respect to specific legal requirements.
For more details on the procedure of asserting claims to compensation see:
- the Victims' Rights under Crime Victims Compensation Act leaflet and
- the Application Form for Crime Victim Compensation (EN)
or contact the free helpline of the National Call Centre for Victims of Crime 116 006.
Types of compensation victims are entitled to under the requirements and conditions stipulated in the Act:
- A direct victim is entitled to compensation of lost earnings up to HRK 35,000 if a violent criminal offence was committed which resulted in a grave bodily injury or serious health effects, and it is proven that the victim lost some earnings because of this.
- A direct victim is entitled to compensation of medical expenses if a violent criminal offence was committed which resulted in a grave bodily injury or serious health effects, and it is proven that the victim underwent medical treatment because of this and had to pay for medical expenses.
A victim's medical expenses can be covered up to the level of the healthcare standard stipulated in regulations on mandatory health insurance in Croatia.
- An indirect victim is entitled to compensation for the loss of legal maintenance, if a direct victim died as a consequence of the violent crime, and if the loss of legal maintenance is proven.
Compensation for the loss of legal maintenance is limited to a total of HRK 70,000 for all the indirect victims of a crime.
- A person who pays for the funeral of a direct victim who died from the consequences of an intentional violent crime is entitled to compensation for the funeral costs if they can prove payment of the costs.
Should a victim be present during the procedure and/or the decision-making on their application for compensation?
A crime victim, as a rule, does NOT have to be present during the procedure i.e. decision-making on their application for compensation, but the Compensation Committee may, by way of exception and depending on the specific case, request to question a party, witness or expert as the evidence required for the final decision.
The Crime Victims Compensation Act specifies the competent authorities and procedure applied in cross-border cases.
Cross-border cases can be domestic and foreign.
- Domestic cross-border case (EU residents or citizens who are victims of crimes committed in Croatia)
Applications for compensation in such cases are also decided on by the Crime Victims Compensation Committee.
The application has to be submitted to the competent authority (assisting authority) in another EU Member State in which the victim has a domicile, and the competent authority of that state will transmit the application to the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration of the Republic of Croatia.
The list of assisting authorities is available on the European e-Justice Portal.
- Foreign cross-border case (Croatian citizens who are victims of crimes committed in other EU countries)
The right to compensation in such cases is decided on by the competent authority of the country where the crime was committed.
A victim may submit the application for compensation to the Croatian Ministry of Justice and Public Administration, which, as the assisting authority, is competent to receive and transmit applications in cross-border cases. At the victim’s request, the Ministry can provide general instructions and information on how to fill out the application form and the accompanying documentation required in accordance with the manual developed by the European Commission.
The Ministry will transmit the application form with accompanying documentation without undue delay to the competent authority of the country from which the applicant is seeking compensation, in the official language of that country or another language accepted by that country.
Application forms of other EU countries for compensation in cross-border cases are available on the the European e-Justice Portal.