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What is abuse?

Abuse can take many forms, with the distressing nature of the experiences being particularly difficult to talk about. From sexual abuse to physical, emotional or financial abuse , coming forward can be extremely difficult and take a considerable amount of courage, so we’re here to listen and support you in every way we can. There is now more willingness to engage in discourse surrounding abuse allegations as the public mindset has shifted. It’s important to remember that these harmful acts can happen to anyone; from children and teenagers right through to adults – male and female.

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Making an Abuse Claim

Our highly-trained team of abuse solicitors understand the difficulties you may have discussing the topic and appreciate why you may be fearful of making a claim. We strive to treat every single one of our clients with the care, respect and compassion they deserve, putting your needs first every step of the way.

The abuse claims team at Hudgell Solicitors understands that complete trust and confidence between ourselves and those we represent is one of the most important aspects of the support we can provide. They also have considerable experience and knowledge of the emotional and psychological impact that abuse and assault can have on those who have suffered, so we’ll ensure you feel reassured throughout the claims process.

Changes in the law have also made bringing abuse claims more straightforward, so if you’re a survivor of abuse experienced at any stage in life, you may be eligible to make an abuse compensation claim.

How to claim for abuse

If you’ve previously experienced abuse and feel ready to bring a claim forward, then we can sit down with you one-to-one and figure out the best way forward. Alternatively, you can submit an online claims form if you’d feel more comfortable contacting us this way, with one of our team giving you a callback at your discretion.

Once we have an understanding of your situation and agree a viable route to take your claim forward, we can set the claims process in motion. Due to the difficult subjects discussed within abuse compensation claims, your solicitor will move at a pace which you’re comfortable with and remain patient as you gather all the required information to progress your claim.

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 as much at ease as possible as we seek to achieve justice and a satisfactory outcome on your behalf.

At the initial consultation, we will confidentially discuss the events and seek to obtain just enough details about your experience to determine whether your case is likely to proceed. We will also 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.

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.

Do I qualify for an abuse claim?

If you’ve been a victim of any form of abuse – whether that’s physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or otherwise – then you can bring these allegations forward to us. Provided you are comfortable discussing the finer details of your experience, we can engage in a conversation around building an abuse claim around the type or types of abuse you experienced.

We’d encourage anyone considering an abuse compensation claim to get in touch so we can support you and provide expert advice of how to proceed. Time limits do apply to abuse claims, but you may still be able to claim compensation for historical abuse from earlier points in your life. You can arrange a free consultation with one of our specialist abuse claims solicitors, or you can fill out an online claims form if you would prefer for your initial assessment to be conducted at a distance.

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.

For claims brought in the courts for child abuse, generally speaking a claim needs to be made within 3 years of the child’s 18th birthday. However, there are exceptions to that rule which we can advise you about.

For instance, 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.

We are Specialists in Abuse Claims

Our lawyers regularly handle sensitive cases and can offer immediate legal representation across England and Wales. When seeking compensation for victims of abuse, we do all that we can to ensure they feel safe and assured throughout the process. If you prefer to talk face to face rather than on the phone, we will gladly meet at a place which is convenient and comfortable for you.

  • Compassionate team who understand what you are going through and can help you access specialist support services.
  • Experienced in all types of abuse claims and ensuring clients are fully compensated for their unnecessary pain and loss.
  • We campaign for greater regulation of abuse and work hard to ensure the victims of are properly represented.

 

 

 

The Hudgell Promise

When we take on any case, we want you to feel reassured and confident in every aspect of your claim. That’s why we offer a service that puts your needs over and above anything else.

Schedule our first meeting within 24 hours
Return your phone call or email the very same day
Reply to any letter you send us within 2 days
Write to you every 4 weeks with updates on your case

Types of Abuse

There are many ways a person might suffer from abuse. You can find out more detailed information about the different areas of abuse claims we support by clicking below.

How much will my claim cost?

We want to provide as much support as possible for those who bring abuse claims to our attention, meaning that all abuse cases we take on are supported by ‘no win no fee’ agreements. Our aim is to remove as many obstacles between you and justice as possible, as this means you won’t need to pay anything up from and any financial risks surrounding your claim are removed.

Although legal aid is rarely available for abuse cases, when it is possible to acquire, we have an Actions against Public Authorities licence from the Legal Aid Agency.

If your case is successful, you will only need to pay a contribution that covers your solicitor’s fees, which will be a percentage of the compensation awarded and will be agreed before your case is carried out

Find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 in:

  • 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)

Will I need to go to court when making an abuse claim?

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.

How much compensation is expected from an abuse claim?

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.

Get in touch

Feel free to give us a call, or begin your claim online

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