Section 15-23-14

Award of compensation subrogates commission to rights of claimant as to collateral source; funds recovered from collateral source held in trust for commission; disposition of trust funds; notice of action to recover damages; restitution hearings.

(a) If compensation is awarded, the commission shall be subrogated to all the rights of a claimant to receive or recover from a collateral source to the extent that compensation was awarded.

(b) In the event the claimant recovers compensation, other than under the provisions of this article, for injuries or death resulting from criminally injurious conduct, the claimant shall retain, as trustee for the commission, so much of the recovered funds as necessary to reimburse the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund to the extent that compensation was awarded to the claimant from that fund. The funds retained in trust shall be promptly paid over to the commission and deposited in the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

Whenever the commission shall deem it necessary to protect, maintain or enforce the commission's right to subrogation or to exercise any of its powers or to carry out any of its duties or responsibilities the commission may initiate legal proceedings or intervene in legal proceedings.

(c) If a claimant initiates any legal proceeding to recover restitution or damages related to the criminally injurious conduct upon which compensation is claimed or awarded, the claimant shall give the commission written notice within 15 days of the filing of the action. The commission may intervene in the proceeding as a complainant to recover the compensation awarded. If a claimant fails to give such written notice to the commission within the stated time period, or prior to any attempt by claimant to reach a negotiated settlement of claims for recovery of damages related to the criminally injurious conduct, the commission's right of subrogation to receive or recover funds from claimant, to the extent that compensation was awarded by the commission, shall not be reduced in any amount or percentage by the costs incurred by claimant attributable to such legal proceedings or settlement; including, but not limited to, attorney's fee, expert witness fees, investigative costs or cost of court. If such notice is given, attorney fees may be awarded in an amount not to exceed 15 percent of the amount subrogated to the commission.

(d) Whenever compensation is awarded to a claimant who is entitled to restitution from a criminal defendant, the commission may initiate restitution hearings in such criminal proceedings or intervene in the same. The commission shall be entitled to receive restitution in such proceedings to the extent that compensation was awarded. The commission shall be subrogated to all the rights and remedies of such claimant for the collection of restitution to the extent compensation was awarded; provided however, the commission shall be exempt from the payment of any fees or other charges for the recording of restitution orders in the offices of the judges of probate.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-658, p. 1308, §14; Acts 1986, No. 86-510, p. 993, §4; Acts 1990, No. 90-470, p. 677, §4.)