Child Abuse Claims

Advice and assistance from Cohen Cramer

Child abuse claims. If you have been a victim of child abuse, either physical or sexual, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Compensation will never undo the hurt and pain you have been through, but it can help you rebuild a new and better life. Your abuser may have been a family member, a friend of the family, a member of the community or a complete stranger. Regardless of who committed the crime, it can never be your fault. So we can help and advise you on the possibility of making a claim.

Here at Cohen Cramer we understand this and will ensure that you are treated with respect, and that your claim is dealt with in absolute confidence. Additionally, we will fight to ensure that you receive every single penny to which you are entitled.

Abuse claims are dealt with by Mike Massen and Emma Mason a. You can reach Mike by email or by telephone on 0113 224 7804. If it helps we can call you straight back and there is no need to give your full name when you call.

We would usually look to claim not only for abuse and the resulting injuries and mental scars, but also for any financial losses that may have occurred as a result of that abuse.

This can include:

  • lost income, both past and future, if you have not been able to work as a result of the impact of the abuse
  • any treatment costs that you may have incurred or will need in the future
  • care provided by family and friends – this is known as ‘gratuitous care’ and can cover help with your day to day life if you are not able to cope
  • all and any other financial losses that have arisen or may arise as a result of the abuse

Claims for abuse can be brought in a number of different categories and we can provide you with comprehensive advice and assistance on the different potential routes to take to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.

In claims for sexual abuse, both historic and recent, there are a number of options to consider.

Claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

This is a government funded organisation that pays compensation to the victims of violent crime including the victims of rape and sexual assault/abuse. Claims should be brought within two years of the incident(s) or two years from the victim’s 18th birthday. However, the CICA do have the discretion to waive this rule and occasionally do so in matters of historic abuse. It will assist in your claim for historic abuse if there has been a conviction of your abuser as this will be evidence of the assault which may have taken place many years before.

The CICA make awards based on a points tariff system so that victims of the same crime receive the same level of damages regardless of their personal circumstances. In addition, a maximum of £500,000 can be claimed for lost income.

We can only really advise you on the merits of your claim by talking with you and going through all the areas of loss that may be relevant to you. We can look at the circumstances of the abuse and give you a full and clear explanation of your options and how we can help.

As we have said, all calls are in complete confidence and you don’t even have to give your name. We can call you back during out of office hours if that helps.

We can deal with your claim on a no win-no fee basis.

To see how we can help get in touch today:

Full and further details on making a claim to the CICA can be found on our dedicated CICA site

Claims made directly against your abuser.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to make a claim directly against the person who abused you. Again, there are various issues to bear in mind, the most important being whether they actually have the funds to satisfy any claim brought against them.

In the past, we have brought such claims and enforced judgments against personal assets such as property, pensions and possessions.

Bringing a claim directly against your attacker is never straight-forward as there are many scenarios and factors that need to be considered. These can include whether there was a conviction or if the perpetrator is still alive. We would, therefore, recommend that you contact us so that we may talk through your situation and advise you on your potential claim.

To see how we can help get in touch today:

If we can help and you wish to instruct us on your behalf, we can deal with your claim on a no win-no fee basis.

Claims against the abuser’s employer.

If your abuser was in a position of trust or what is sometimes referred to as ‘pastoral care’ then you may be able to claim against their employer. This is known as vicarious liability and allows you to recover compensation when your attacker may be dead or not have the funds to satisfy your claim.

Such situations occur when the abuse is carried out by a teacher, scout leader, choirmaster or similar as they have abused their position of trust. In these scenarios, you may be able to bring a claim against their employer. It is worth noting that a volunteer for such an organisation can still be regarded as an employee for the purposes of vicarious liability.

For such a claim to succeed it is necessary to show that the abuse would not have occurred had it not been for that person’s abuse of a position of trust. There have been a number of high profile cases such as abuse within the Catholic Church and children’s homes that have been successful due to the fact that those carrying out the abuse were able to do so due to their position within such organisations.

If you think you may have a claim in such circumstances, please get in touch with us today to see what we can do to be of assistance.

Any such claims can be dealt with on a no win- no fee basis so if you claim is not successful then you won’t have to pay us a penny for the work we have done on your behalf.

Limitation in historic abuse matters

It is worth noting that, in personal injury claims, you have three years from the date of the incident or your 18th birthday whichever is later to bring a claim (2 years from the incident or your 18th birthday for CICA claims). This applies to historic abuse claims also. However, both the courts and the CICA have the discretion to allow claims outside of this period.

The Courts will consider a number of factors, with the most important one being the degree of prejudice the parties may suffer if the matter is allowed to proceed or not. If there is a conviction then there is a strong chance that the courts will exercise their discretion in favour of the claimant. The CICA will make a decision based upon the overall fairness of the situation, and again if there is a conviction this will be of assistance.

Bringing a claim as a victim of historic child abuse is a complex area of law and, if you are thinking of bringing a claim, you should seek qualified and experienced legal advice.

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