Several readers, including Justice Department spokesperson Bill Cosh, have contacted Isthmus in response to its report (referenced in the article "Violent punks on the prowl beat UW student for chuckles" 10/3/08) about the 50-year-old Madison man left with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills after being beaten by a gang of young hoodlums in mid-August. They wanted to suggest - and Cosh to confirm - that the man can get help through the state's Crime Victim Compensation Program.
Program claims specialist Tim Greenya, speaking in general, says the per-crime compensation cap is $10,000 a year, or $40,000 overall. If medical expenses exceed these amounts, the program would first reimburse the victim for out-of-pocket costs and lost wages, then pay medical providers whatever remains of the $10,000 annual sum. But, notes Greenya, "If they accept the money, they can't collect any balances from the victim."
So that's good news. The victim will not be socked for these costs. The costs will be absorbed by taxpayers and hospital users.