One of the most overwhelming incidents that occur during the course of an otherwise generally pleasant life is the occurrence of a crime in a person’s home. The challenges associated with being the victim of a crime in your home extends to what can be a daunting crime scene cleanup that follows the commission of a criminal offense in your home. Like many people, you naturally may wonder who is responsible for undertaking crime scene cleanup. Also, as is the case with most folks, you likely have some misconceptions about who bears responsibility for crime scene cleanup in your home.

Role of Emergency Responders, Law Enforcement, and Crime Scene Investigators

Confusion surrounding who bears responsibility for crime scene cleanup oftentimes starts with a misunderstanding of the roles played by emergency responders, law enforcement, and crime scene investigators that may come to the scene of a criminal offense at your home. A pervasive misconception is that officials involved in the crime committed at your home in some manner bear responsibility for crime scene cleanup. In Southern California, as is the case across the United States, officials like emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, and crime scene investigators are not responsible for crime scene cleanup.

As an aside, crime scene cleanup cannot commence until law enforcement, crime scene investigators, or even the coroner (depending on the nature of a crime) release the property back to the owner. This process can take a relatively short period of time or can continue on for a couple of days, depending on the type of crime and nature of the crime scene itself.

Your Role in Crime Scene Cleanup

If you are the owner of a home, or a person who leases a residence, and a crime occurs in the house, you are the person who bears responsibility for crime scene cleanup. For example, if a member of your household was the victim of some type of violent crime that necessitates crime scene cleanup, as a homeowner you are the individual with the responsibility to see that this remediation work is properly undertaken. A landlord may become responsible for crime scene cleanup in rental property if the crime involved the taking of the life of a tenant and no other tenants remain on the lease.

You bear responsibility for crime scene cleanup at your home. However, that does not mean that you should undertake crime scene cleanup on your own. In fact, the exact opposite is true. In the aftermath of a criminal incident in your home requiring crime scene cleanup, the recommended course is for you to hire a reputable, experienced crime scene cleanup company.

If a violent crime occurs in your home, the aftermath is technically considered a biohazardous situation. Human blood and other bodily fluids can carry bacteria and viruses that are capable of infecting other people that come into contact with them. In order to safely undertake this type of crime scene cleanup, a person must have proper personal protective equipment of the kind available to biohazard remediation professionals.

In addition, you and your family have already suffered a truly emotionally challenging event when a crime occurred in your home, particularly a violent offense. You do not – must not – further aggravate the very real, intense emotions you’re already experiencing by unnecessarily undertaking crime scene cleanup on your own.

Paying for Crime Scene Cleanup

Even though you may bear responsibility for crime scene cleanup, you may be able to minimize the amount of money you spend out of pocket for professional crime scene cleanup. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may provide at least some coverage for crime scene cleanup in your home. As a consequence, you need to hire a reputable crime scene cleanup company that accepts insurance and has experience assisting homeowner’s in preparing and filing a claim for compensation.

In California, the California Victim Compensation Board provide funds to assist in paying for crime scene cleanup. Among other types of compensation that may be available, the Board pays up to $1,000 for crime scene cleanup.  Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company will clean any crime scene in Southern California for a flat rate of $1000 which is fully reimbursable by the California Victim Compensation Board.  

In seeking a crime scene cleanup company, you need to select a professional that provides a reliable cost estimate upfront. You need to pick a company that doesn’t require payment until the job is done and you’ve had the opportunity to fully inspect and approve the work. You also want to make certain you select a company that provides transparent pricing and doesn’t hit you with a bunch of additional costs and fees.

Author

Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services like biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.