|Reference: From the European e-Justice Portal (re Spain)|
What is the process for claiming damages from the offender? (e.g. independent lawsuit, civil claim, joint civil and criminal proceedings)
As private prosecutor, you can claim compensation for damages by means of a civil action within the same criminal proceedings or defer this claim until the criminal proceedings have ended. If the two actions are separate, the civil action must wait until the criminal proceedings have ended.
You can also only appear in the proceedings as civil party that will not have any capacity in the proceedings. If you do not appear as civil party to seek the compensation, the public prosecutor will claim the civil action on your behalf. If the court declares the accused not guilty or does not award you the compensation, you can always claim damages through a civil procedure.
The civil liability of the accused covers the restitution of the property, the making good of the damage and the compensation for damages, including those caused to your partner and children.
You can also obtain compensation from the State.
The Crime Victim Support Offices are the crime victim assistance authority in cross-border situations, in cases where the crime you have suffered was committed in a European Union Member State other than Spain and you are ordinarily resident in Spain. In cases of crimes of terrorism in cross-border situations, the Ministry of the Interior is the assistance authority, via the Directorate-General for the Support of Victims of Terrorism.
In general, except for crimes of terrorism, the assistance authority will cooperate in initiating and handling the procedures for the award of aid by the European Union Member State where the crime was committed, so that you, as claimant, can access, from Spain, the compensation from the State in whose territory the crime was committed.
To this end, the Crime Victim Support Offices will provide you, as aid claimant, with the following information:
information about the possibilities of claiming financial aid or compensation, the procedures or forms required, including the way in which these must be completed, and the supporting documentation that may be necessary;
general guidance about how to fill out requests for additional information.
Moreover, as assistance authority, the Crime Victim Support Offices must do the following:
forward your claim and supporting documentation, as well as any documentation that may be required subsequently, where applicable, to the decision-making authority appointed by the State in whose territory the crime was committed;
cooperate with the decision-making authority where, in accordance with its national legislation, this authority decides to hear the claimant or any other person.
The decision-making authority is the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s Directorate-General of Personnel Costs and State Pensions when the claim for the legally established State aid is dealt with via the assistance authority of the State where the claimant is ordinarily resident.
The decision-making authority must communicate the following both to you as aid claimant as well as to the assistance authority:
receipt of the State aid claim, the body that opens the proceedings, the timeframe for handing down a decision and, if possible, the anticipated date when the decision will be taken;
the decision closing the proceedings.
For crimes of terrorism, the Ministry of the Interior (Directorate-General for the Support of Terrorism Victims) will act as the assistance authority in cases in which the place where the crime is committed is a European Union Member State other than Spain and you as aid claimant are ordinarily resident in Spain, so that you can access, from Spain, the appropriate compensation, where applicable, from the State in whose territory the crime was committed. The actions that must be undertaken by the Directorate-General of Support for Victims as the assistance or decision-making authority are equivalent to those pertaining to the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s Directorate-General of Personnel Costs and State Pensions.
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