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If you were abused as a child, or you're the parent or carer of a child that has been abused, then you could be able to claim compensation.
Over the years, we've helped many people claim compensation for sexual, physical and psychological abuse that took place when they were a child.
Our solicitors have answered some of the most common questions people have before making a child abuse compensation claim. If you can't find the answer to a specific question below, please don't hesitate to contact us online or call 0800 022 3503 for a free consultation.
Yes. While it will help us make a case if abuse was reported to the police and investigated through the criminal process, it's not essential. We may still be able to make a claim, and we do have a proven track record in these circumstances.
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Yes. Compensation claims go through the civil courts, rather than criminal courts, and it may be possible to succeed in one even if your case failed in the other.
In a criminal case, a jury must believe the accused is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. In a civil compensation claim, we have to show that the abuse was more likely than not to have taken place – which may be easier.
If a criminal conviction has already been secured against your opponent, it will make your civil compensation claim stronger – but it's not essential.
In our experience, the vast majority of claims are settled out of court, following a negotiation between us and your opponent.
It's possible that you might have to appear in court as part of your claim. If you do have to appear in court, we'll be there to represent and support you at every step of the way. In cases of this nature it is always possible to keep court proceedings anonymous to protect your identity.
Generally speaking, claims for child abuse should be made by your 21st birthday, but there is often a case for making a claim after this date.
Whether or not you'll be able to claim is judged on a case-by-case basis by the courts, so it's best to get in touch with us for a free initial consultation.
There are many charities and services in the UK supporting with the victims of child abuse. These organisations offer support, therapeutic advice, and counselling to help in a difficult time:
In addition, our Client Liaison Managers can work with you throughout your case to ensure you're getting access to all the services you're entitled to, and will also help you to find any therapy and treatment you need after your claim is finished.
This will depend on the individual, and on the circumstances of your case. As part of every claim, we'll investigate and advise on whether it's possible to make a claim against an abuser, an organisation they worked with, or an organisation that should have done more to protect you from abuse.
We'll need to carefully consider the financial assets and position of an abuser in order to work out who you should claim against. If your abuser has passed away, it may be still be possible to make a claim, and we'll be able to advise you on this if it applies to your case.
It is possible to make a child abuse claim where the abuser was another child. However, in these situations, we have to investigate and establish whether the abuse could have been avoided. It could be that a professional organisation such as social services or a school should have been aware of the risks, and taken steps to protect children in their care.
It may be possible to claim directly against the family member responsible, if they have sufficient financial assets to pay compensation. It may also be possible to bring a claim against a professional organisation, such as social workers or health professionals, if we can establish that they were aware of the risks and failed to protect you from harm.
It may still be possible to make a compensation claim, even after an abuser has died. For example, it may be possible to bring a claim against an organisation they worked for when the abuse took place, against an organisation that failed to protect you, or even against the abuser’s estate.
In these circumstances, it's best to seek legal advice – contact us on 0800 022 3503 for a free consultation and we'll be able to discuss your options.
The work we do is completely confidential between you, us, and the professionals we work with to make your claim. We'll never discuss your claim with a third party without your express permission.
Most child abuse claims are settled out of court, but if we do have to go to court, it's always possible to make proceedings anonymous.
If you have any questions that we've not answered above, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. You can call us on 0800 022 3503 or contact us online and we'll get back to you for a free initial consultation on your case.
All Scottish cases will be handled by the Scottish law firm with which we are associated, Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP. The law relating to funding is different in Scotland and you will receive separate advice about what that means as well as a separate funding agreement.
* Subject to entering into a No Win No Fee agreement in conjunction with our Allianz Litigate insurance policy and complying with your responsibilities under its terms.
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