Child Abuse Compensation Claims
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Often people who have been abused or neglected wonder who they can turn to for advice. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping survivors of abuse, whether it has taken place in schools, the church, at home or in foster care. If the abuse was recent or historic, our specialist abuse claims lawyers can help.
In England and Wales, the civil courts operate in a different way to the criminal courts. The civil courts cannot punish someone who has abused or neglected another; it can only mean a sum of compensation is paid out if successful.
There are clear advantages to reporting your abuse to the police and this should be your first consideration. The police will have the best access to evidence available to support either a criminal prosecution, or a civil claim. Furthermore, if an individual is convicted of a criminal offence, the civil process if often more straightforward, and quicker. However, if you do not feel able to report the matter to the police, a civil claim is still possible.
Abuse in Sports Clubs
Sports are considered a vital part of a child’s development and sports clubs can be enormously positive environments. We place a great deal of trust in those that work and volunteer with children.
A club has a responsibility to keep the children safe and make sure that those people working with children pose no danger. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not the case. As we have seen in the recent high-profile issues surrounding abuse in football clubs and the ongoing FA investigation children have been targeted and abused in sports clubs. This is not just limited to football and there have been cases of abuse in swimming, gymnastic and tennis clubs.
WE WORKED CLOSELY WITH ARTHUR AND PAUL ON WHAT WERE VERY DIFFICULT CASES TO ACHIEVE DAMAGES FOR THEM.
Arthur and Paul’s Story
Arthur and Paul were brothers who were sexually abused when children by a member of their church.
The abuse took place at an important time in their schooling and meant they significantly underachieved academically and therefore struggled to find and hold down work. We worked closely with them on what were difficult cases. We worked out what they would probably have done with their lives if the abuse had not happened.
How did we help?
We achieved damages of more than £100,000 each. This enabled them to attend college and get started in careers which would help them support their families.
All names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals
Church and Clergy Abuse Claims
If you or your child has been abused by someone working for the church then we could help you claim compensation from those responsible.
We have a dedicated team of child abuse lawyers with experience of claims involving sexual and physical abuse by priests, vicars, curates, ministers and volunteers and others in positions of authority within various religious orders.
Abuse in a Children's Home or Residential Institution
Children can be placed in a children’s home or other residential institution (e.g. a clinical treatment centre or specialist residential school) by Social Services for a variety of reasons, however the purpose is always to ensure that child’s safety, well-being and development. Unfortunately, sometimes a child may suffer abuse and neglect by staff, volunteers or other residents.
In such circumstances it may be possible to bring a claim for compensation for the damage caused by the abuse and neglect.
Abuse in Foster Care
Many children may find themselves in Local Authority care and may spend time in foster care. Unfortunately, even though social services should be checking on the child, abuse or neglect in foster carer does happen. A Local Authority will be responsible for any abuse or neglect by a foster carer and if you or someone you know has experienced abuse or neglect in foster care we may be able to help.
Success in a civil claim
In order for a civil claim to be successful, we must first prove the abuse or neglect has in fact occurred and been the cause of your injuries or psychiatric condition. This may involve examining a large number of documents (such as police files, social services files, your education records and health records), interviewing witnesses and obtaining specialist expert reports. If our initial investigations identify that there is merit in your claim, we will enter into early discussions, before court proceedings are issued, with the proposed defendant by way of sending a letter of claim and awaiting a letter of response.
Will I have to talk about what happened to me?
We understand and appreciate that you are probably not going to want to repeat what happened to you to a series of professionals. Whilst we do not need you to tell us in detail what happened to you initially, of course, we need to have some information as to what happened so that we can advise you as to whether you are likely to have a claim or not.
As investigations continue, we are likely to have to prepare a witness statement for you and so we will need you to be as open as you feel you can be about what happened so that the court understands what happened. You will also probably need to meet with a medical expert, perhaps a psychiatrist or a psychologist, and you will need to be open with them about what happened so that they can properly assess how you have been affected, although they are likely to have a copy of your statement if already prepared so this will help limit the number of times you need to repeat yourself. On some occasions, the defendant might also instruct its own medical expert to assess how you have been affected.
We keep your details and the details of your claim confidential and treat all documents in connection with your case as confidential. We will always ask your permission to contact others about your case, including social services and the police.
If you wish, we can apply to the court to make your details confidential on court documents in connection with your claim. However, the facts that form the basis of your claim will need to be disclosed at some point to the defendant, their insurers, solicitors, court, medical experts and organisations funding your case (such as the Legal Aid Agency).
We are happy to discuss any concerns you may have about confidentiality at any point during the case.
Speak to a Solicitor Who Specialises in Abuse Claims
We understand the sensitive nature of abuse claims brought by victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. We work closely with our clients to make sure we fully understand what they want to achieve and are able to sensitively and discreetly offer the support they need at a difficult time in their lives.0800 044 8488