I was a victim of a sexual assault incident happened many years ago in SA, the case was finalised a while back, the offender was not convicted eventually; but I have since received some compensation from a victim of crime claim, arranged by a lawyer specialised in that field.
I was reviewing emails recently and saw her wrote the following quite a while back, before the claim was settled. I did not pay much attention to this email at the time, but am bit confused about it now.
"If the offender is known then in due course I shall be required to attempt to serve a copy of the application for compensation and any relevant medical reports on the offender. If the offender cannot be served then it is usual that the requirement to serve is dispensed with.
If the offender is known then you have the right to issue court proceedings to claim damages from the offender. The time within which court proceedings must be issued for damages expires at the end of three years from the date of the incident.
If court proceedings are not issued by the end of three years from the date of the incident then any claim for damages will be out of time. I note that it is now more than three years since the date of the incident and therefore the claim is out of time. However in some circumstances it may be possible to obtain an extension of time. For instance, there may be grounds to extend the time limit, depending on the contents of any medical reports that are obtained.
Proceedings for damages would only be appropriate if the offender has property from which a judgment against him or her could be paid. Any claim for damages is separate from a victim of crime claim.
I will not be acting for you or issuing proceedings on your behalf to claim damages but will only be acting for you in relation to the victims of crime claim.
Therefore, if you intend making a damages claim, even if the time limit has expired, then you should consult another solicitor to act for you in that claim and issue the court proceedings."
My question is what court proceeding does she mean, civil or criminal? What damage is this, eg. psychological damages or only financial? I have already received some compensation from victims of crime claim, is it possible to claim compensation from the offender again even though he was not convicted? Also, will it involve me going to court?
Thank you for any input.