October 12, 2018 - 1:00pm
Family members may be eligible for OVS assistance
A police investigation into a fatal limousine crash in Schoharie County on Oct. 6 has determined that a crime occurred, which allows the Office of Victim Services to extend its assistance to family members of the men and women who died. Under state law, an incident must be classified as a crime before the Office of Victim Services can assist. While State Police have charged the owner of the limousine company in connect with the crash, an individual’s eligibility is not dependent upon an arrest or conviction in connection with the crime.
The agency is payer of last resort, meaning all other sources of assistance, such as medical or automobile insurance and workers' compensation, must be exhausted before the agency can reimburse victims or their family members for out-of-pocket losses related to the crime. New York is the only state in the nation that has no cap on counseling or medical expenses, which means crime victims and family members can receive help as along as it is necessary. Reimbursement for other expenses, such as loss of support, is capped under the law.
The State Police also have a dedicated phone line to assist family members of the victims. Family members are encouraged to call 1-877-672-4911.