Abuse Claims FAQs

Who will I speak to about making an abuse claim?

We know complete trust and confidence between ourselves and those we represent is one of the most important aspects of the support we provide. That is why we have a dedicated team of specialist abuse lawyers supporting those who bravely come forward to discuss the trauma they’ve suffered, at any time in their lives.

Our abuse claims team is led by Renu Daly and Victoria Neale, lawyers with an expert understanding of the law around abuse claims. They also have considerable experience and knowledge of the emotional and psychological impact that abuse and assault can have on those who have suffered. Renu and Victoria are involved in every abuse case we handle, ensuring every person who turns to us receives confidential, sensitive and sympathetic support.

Can I claim compensation for historical abuse?

Time limits do apply to abuse claims, but you may be able to claim compensation even if the abuse occurred many years ago. If you have suffered abuse at any time in your life, call our team for advice on whether you are able to make a legal claim.

My abuser has died, can I still pursue an abuse compensation claim?

Yes. At Hudgell Solicitors we handle many cases where the alleged abuser has died, even though the issue was never subject to a police investigation when the alleged abuser was alive. Cases of this nature can still be successful, particularly if the allegations are made independently by more than one individual against the same person, and are similar in nature.

Who will my abuse case be brought against?

Survivors of abuse are often able to seek compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve experienced from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – a Government-run body. The role of CICA is to manage a compensation scheme which makes financial payments to victims of crime. Criminal injuries claims can be pursued if there is evidence from other potential victims who independently make similar allegations which are consistent in terms of the kind of abuse and motivation.

You may want to use civil law to hold your abuser to account. You might want to do the same if an individual or organisation facilitated the abuse you suffered by abusing your trust. Claims can be made against employers by holding them vicariously liable if the abuse took place through their job, such as a teacher, medical professional, carers or sports coach for example.

If the alleged abuser has died, claims can be made against their estate.

How long will an abuse claim take?

The process of making a claim can vary in length. In the early stages we will only ask for enough details about your experience to determine whether your claim is likely to proceed, and from whom you should claim damages.

To gather evidence to support your claim, and to build a strong case, you will need to disclose more details about the nature of the abuse. Obviously, this is something which will only be done when you feel ready to discuss. We will always try to work at a pace that’s comfortable for you and are committed to giving you the time you need, whenever and wherever you want to talk.

How much compensation am I likely to receive?

We understand that, for most people, financial compensation is not at the forefront of their mind when they contact us about starting a legal case. Our team will, of course, discuss the possible compensation outcomes with you in relation to the physical or psychological injuries you have suffered, but each case is completely different.

Whether you were abused as a child or an adult, medical evidence is often required so that any compensation that is agreed properly reflects the physical or psychological damage caused.  Claims can be made through a civil claims procedure, or as part of a criminal injuries claim.

Whilst compensation will never help you to overcome your trauma, it can allow you to access professional medication, therapy or counselling to make coping with what happened more manageable.

What kind of abuse claims can Hudgell Solicitors handle?

Established in 1997, we have gained extensive experience in the specialist field of abuse claims and our expert solicitors can provide you with unrivalled compassion, knowledge and expertise.

Whether you were abused as a child or an adult, you could make an abuse compensation claim against the perpetrator or an organisation for failing to protect you.

Having successfully won many cases for victims of abuse, we can represent groups or individuals who’ve suffered all forms abuse, including:

  • Child Abuse
  • Elder Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse, rape and pregnancy from rape claims
  • Neglect

Our solicitors have experience

  • Medical and Hospital Abuse Claims (consultants, nurses and GPs)
  • Care & Nursing Home Abuse Claims
  • Abuse At Sports Clubs
  • Children’s Home Abuse Claims
  • Church and Religious Organisation Abuse Claims
  • Claims Against Social Services
  • School Abuse Claims (Public, private and boarding schools)
  • Children’s clubs Abuse Claims (Scouts, Brownies, Cubs)

What can I claim compensation for?

Whether the abuse you suffered happened during childhood or as an adult, you may be able to secure compensation from the organisation or individual responsible.

Our experienced team of abuse solicitors could help you to claim for:

  • Current and future care requirements
  • General damages
  • Past or current loss of earnings
  • Medication
  • Physical injuries
  • Psychological damage & trauma
  • Rehabilitation & treatment costs

What does the abuse claims process involve?

Once you’ve decided to get in touch with us, our team of compassionate experts will be on hand to guide you through the process and explain how it works. We will always endeavour to work at a pace that’s suitable for you to ensure you’re comfortable and as much at ease as possible we seek to achieve justice and a satisfactory outcome on your behalf.

At the initial consultation, we will confidentially discuss what happened and seek to obtain just enough details about your experience to determine whether your case is likely to proceed. We will also seek to establish who you could seek to claim damages from, and provide you with some free advice about your case.

The next step is to explain the legal process surrounding your abuse compensation claim so that you have a realistic expectation about the most likely outcome. Once we have determined what you wish to do next, we will explain all options open to you. If necessary, our abuse solicitors will explain the various ways to fund your case.

You may want to use civil law to hold your abuser to account, uncover answers about what happened and seek an apology. You may wish to do the same if an individual or organisation abused your trust to facilitate the abuse you suffered.

If you want to seek compensation for the wrong you’ve suffered, we will gather evidence to support your claim and build the strongest case possible. If necessary, we will gather medical evidence to confirm the nature and extent of the physical or psychological injuries that you suffered from as a result of the abuse.

Will I need to go to court?

Understandably, many survivors of abuse are concerned and anxious about having to attend if the case goes to court. However, the majority of civil claims are successfully concluded before the trial process.

If it did become necessary to issue court proceedings, an application can be made anonymously to protect your identity. But even if the case did proceed to court, it’s very unlikely that you will need to appear.

If you were to bring a child abuse or sexual abuse compensation claim against a local authority or organisation, it is also extremely unlikely the abuser would be present at the hearing – even if the matter did proceed to a trial.

Abusers often target more than one person and, even if only one of them is prepared to stand up and give evidence, we can take action on behalf of all the survivors as a group.

Although we treat any information we receive with complete confidentiality, we would encourage you to report any abuse you’ve suffered to the police if you wish to pursue a sexual abuse claim. If necessary, we can make the initial contact on your behalf.

Every police force in England and Wales has a specialist unit to deal with complaints of abuse. Obviously, the outcome of any criminal proceedings will assist you with your claim. But even if there is not a criminal conviction, an unsuccessful prosecution will not necessarily prevent you from bringing an abuse claim.

What time limits apply to making an abuse claim?

Historically, claims needed to be made within 2 years of the crime or within 2 years from the date when the incident was first reported to the police. If you were under 18 at the time of the abuse, you have until your 20th birthday to start a claim.

However, due to the highly-sensitive nature surrounding cases of abuse, it is now possible to launch a case even if the offence was carried out many years ago. Depending on the circumstances, exceptions to the time limit can exceed 20 years or more for some cases.

So, whilst time limits do still apply to all claims for abuse compensation, we encourage survivors to come forward whenever they feel comfortable doing so.

Taking the decision to sue an abuser can often be the first step to taking back control of your life and emotions. We promise to do all we can to support and help you in the hunt for the justice you deserve.

What funding options are available?

Survivors of abuse, sexual abuse or assault are often eligible to seek compensation for their pain and suffering from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – a Government-run body that manages a scheme which makes financial payments to victims.

In some circumstances, legal aid will be available to pursue a claim but this type of funding has been drastically reduced in recent years and we will advise you whether you’ll qualify or not.

At Hudgell Solicitors, we take on cases on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis subject to terms and conditions being met.

In this situation, whatever the outcome of your abuse case or sexual abuse compensation claim, you won’t have to pay a penny, other than an agreed percentage of your damages.

If we take on your claim, we will always explain all the options open to you and advise you on the best way to fund for your case. But aside from any monetary gain, we will hopefully help you to achieve some closure.

For free, confidential and expert advice with a solicitor that specialises in abuse compensation claims, please get in touch today.

Our experts

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor

Steven Walster


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