New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program (IVCP)
In early 2019, the New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program (IVCP) was formed by the Archdiocese of Newark, as well as the Dioceses of Paterson, Camden, Metuchen, and Trenton in New Jersey. Victims of sexual abuse by priests in any of these dioceses can make claims to the IVCP to seek compensation for their mental and physical injuries.
How it Works
The IVCP exists to provide payment to people who were victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy members while they were minor children. The process is intended to be an easier one than filing a lawsuit in civil court, as the dioceses state the IVCP should be a faster and more transparent process with a lower standard of evidence and proof than the court system.
Two carefully chosen administrators who are respected victims’ rights advocates will evaluate each claim filed. Church officials will play no role in the process and have no decision-making authority when it comes to payment decisions. If the administrators determine a claim is valid, payment will come from diocese funds, which will not include public funds or donations to the church.
Filing a claim with the IVCP is voluntary, and priority is given to victims who filed prior claims directly with a diocese. Then, new claims will be reviewed and considered. Victims have the option of whether or not to accept a compensation offer. If a victim accepts payment, they will have to release their ability to take further legal action against the diocese.
The Deadline is Approaching
The IVCP is only accepting claims through the end of 2019. Once December 31 passes, it is likely that no additional new IVCP claims will be considered. Although there may be an extension or a new deadline, it is critical for anyone considering making a claim to speak with an experienced New Jersey sex abuse victims lawyer immediately.
The Importance of Legal Assistance
While the IVCP claims to be focused on the well-being of sex abuse victims, there is no guarantee that all claimants will be offered a fair amount of compensation. It is important to have an experienced injury attorney reviewing any offers and providing advice regarding your rights. If you accept an offer from the IVCP that is much lower than you deserve, you will give up your right to later seek additional payment. For this reason, never accept an offer without having a lawyer evaluate your situation.
Even if you miss the deadline or opt not to file a claim with the IVCP, you still might have important legal rights as a sex abuse victim. There still might be the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit against the diocese where the abuse occurred, and the right attorney can help prepare your claim and pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Contact a New Jersey Sex Abuse Victims Attorney for Help Right Away
If you are interested in making an IVCP claim or filing a lawsuit, contact Leonard Legal Group to protect your rights. We are dedicated to standing up for sex abuse victims, so please call 973-984-1414 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.