Very little in life can prove more daunting than being the victim of a violent crime or having to deal with its aftermath. In last year a full set of statistical data is available, 178,553 violent crimes were reported throughout the state, the highest concentration being in Southern California, according to the state Attorney General. The intricate challenges associated with California crime cleanup can seem virtually overwhelming to a victim or family members of a violent incident.
Overview of Crime Scene Cleanup
In the aftermath of a violent incident, a crime scene typically is contaminated with blood, bodily fluids, and other types of biological materials. This is the case for violent crimes of different types, including:
- Assaults and batteries
- Rape and other sexual assaults
- Domestic violence
Any time blood or other bodily fluids are part of a cleanup endeavor, health risks exist. Blood and bodily fluids can harbor what medically is known as dangerous pathogens. These are disease-causing viruses and bacteria that can infect a person who comes into contact with blood and other bodily fluids containing these pathogens. Examples of pathogens that are spread by contact with infected blood include:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Using universal blood safety precautions must be followed when undertaking biohazard cleanup of a crime scene, including the utilization of appropriate personal protective equipment that must include:
- Face mask
- Smock, apron, or similar clothing covering
These items must specifically be approved for use in biohazard cleanup. Indeed, a major lawsuit was filed by people who worked in a medical setting who were provided these items, but not ones specifically designed to protect against biohazardous materials.
As a matter of proper routine, comprehensive California crime scene cleanup comprises four steps in order to be thorough:
- Cleanup of biological and contaminated material
- Sanitization of the crime scene
- Deodorization of the premises
- Restoration of the premises to full habitability or usability
The Importance of Engaging a California Crime Scene Cleanup Professional
If you are seriously ill, you go to the doctor. If you are serious about making investment decisions, you engage the services of a financial planner. In the aftermath of a violent crime like a homicide, you should use the same mindset. You’ve many skills, talents, and abilities. However, among them is not likely to be the ability to safely and effectively undertake biohazard remediation or crime scene cleanup. Indeed, you are not likely to have the equipment, supplies, and materials necessary to undertake this type of endeavor, nor do you have ready access to these items.
These limitations necessarily impact a California crime scene cleanup. Because of the risks associated with biohazard remediation, a layperson can be exposed to dangerous and even life-threatening pathogens. In addition, lacking what a professional has – from equipment to supplies – a layperson may be unable to undertake a thorough, comprehensive crime scene cleanup.
If you’ve been the victim of a violent crime, or if you have a loved one seriously injured or even killed in a violent crime, you already face tremendous emotional consequences. For example, grieving the loss of a loved one by homicide is nearly always an immensely challenging process. You and your family simply do not need to further aggravate the profound emotions you already face by taking on the horrific task of crime scene cleanup on your own.
Paying for California Crime Scene Cleanup
In addition to the elementary challenges associated with a violent crime, another difficult component people face is figuring out a way to pay the costs associated with crime scene cleanup in California. A skilled, experienced crime scene remediation professional can assist people in identifying solutions to paying the expenses associated with crime scene cleanup.
The state has created the California Crime Victim Compensation Board. Through this entity, a person or family dealing with the aftermath of a violent incident may be able to obtain financial assistance for crime scene cleanup in California. Indeed, the Board may be able to provide a homeowner up to $1,000 to assist in defraying the costs of crime scene remediation.
Beyond aiding in paying for the crime scene cleanup, the Board provides other resources as well. These include financial assistance for medical bills, including mental health. This assistance extends not only to a direct victim of a violent crime but to family members as well who have been negatively impacted y the criminal misconduct.
An experienced, compassionate California crime scene cleanup specialist can also assist in pursuing an insurance claim. For example, if a violent crime occurred in a residence, a homeowner’s insurance policy may provide coverage to remediate or clean up the aftermath. Similarly, if a motor vehicle was the scene of a violent crime, an automobile insurance policy may provide such coverage. Finally, if a violent crime occurs at a business, what is known as a casualty insurance policy may include a provision that would encompass the crime scene or biohazard cleanup.