A few weeks ago I received a phone call, the purpose of which was ultimately to talk about some of the injuries I obtained as a result of the incident in November of 2006. During that call, I was asked if I had ever applied for compensation to the BC Victim’s Assistance Program, which I hadn’t even heard of to be honest.
The BC Victim’s Assistance Program is a government run program meant to help people who were the victims of violent crimes move on with their lives. It provides financial compensation for people due to medical expenses, time off work, counseling services, and lost income potential, amongst other things.
Due to my mother’s insistence, I called and talked to someone in the program and asked if they thought I should apply. They said I should, and mailed me all the documentation to fill out last week.
So a few minutes ago, I sent in my completed application, and it’s now in their hands. I’m not really expecting anything to be honest. I know that had I received the same injuries in a car accident, then ultimately I would have been significantly compensated due to the permanent changes in my vision, especially considering that my day job involves staring at computers all day. It’s fairly hard to put into words what the last year and a half have been like, and I really only think someone who has gone through something similar can relate. It feels like I spent a good deal of that time in doctor’s offices, or in hospital beds, and am obviously glad the worst parts are finally over.
The end result of everything is that I still can’t really feel the left side of my face (including my left teeth or gums), and still have double vision in about 50% of my visual field. While I somehow manage to type on the computer for the most part (even though my left eye is usually fairly exhausted and uncomfortable by the end of the day), photography has become a lot more difficult since it involves actively scanning a scene to try and figure out how to frame it.
I told a few people about this application before hand, and while most people were adamant it’s something I should do, some people actually thought it wasn’t something I should do. I imagine they probably feel a bit as I did at first, that it seems a bit odd that someone who gets hurt should get compensated with tax payer dollars. But after doing some investigation, it appears that most of the money in the fund actually comes from court fees and fines, many of which are collected while prosecuting violent offenders. So in a sense, the compensation to the victims comes from some of the people who inflicted the harm.
This could be a long process, so I’m just going to put it out of my mind for now.