If you have been abused as a child, or are the parent or guardian of a child that has been abused, it can be extremely difficult to know where to turn to help. There are, however, procedures and support systems available to help you or your child on your journey. Indeed, our child abuse solicitors could help you claim compensation from those responsible for the abuse, to get your life back on track.
The nature of child abuse means that cases need to be handled by those with experience, specialist knowledge and most importantly, in a sensitive manner. That’s why we have a specialist team of lawyers for child abuse, who have been handling child abuse claims for a number of years.
Although Coodes’ child abuse solicitors are based in Cornwall and Devon, they cover the whole of England and Wales and will come and see you wherever you are. We act for clients anywhere in the world so long as they have been injured in England or Wales.
If you were abused as a child, or are the parent or carer of a child who has been abused, our child abuse lawyers could help you could help you seek justice and claim compensation. We’ll work closely with you, in total confidentiality, throughout your case, to get the best result in the most appropriate way. We can also provide advice on Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) applications.
It is perfectly normal to have concerns about making a child abuse compensation claim, with many survivors worrying about coming forward or facing an abuser in court. The large majority of claims, however, are settled out of court and we will work hard to achieve an out-of-court settlement in your case. If you do have to appear in court (which is unlikely) our child abuse lawyers will be there to represent and support you.
Importantly, even if the abuse happened many years ago, you may still be able to make a claim. We’ve helped people to claim sexual abuse compensation for abuse that happened years ago. Whatever the circumstances may be, you’re not alone – Coodes are here to help. Contact us online or call us today for a free initial discussion with one of our child sexual abuse lawyers.
Do You Have A Child Abuse Claim?
There are two main ways to seek compensation: Through the court system or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). In some cases, you can apply to both.
Child abuse compensation claims through the civil courts
In order for a claim to be successful, we must first prove the abuse has in fact occurred and if so, whether this is the cause of your injuries or psychiatric condition. This may involve our child abuse lawyers interviewing witnesses, obtaining expert evidence, and examining a large number of documents (such as your medical records and social services records).
Claims are often defended robustly and the defendant may try and restrict our access to relevant evidence. This is the reason why such cases can take a couple of years to conclude. If the police have not investigated the abuse, it is of course your choice whether or not you tell them now. Our specialist child abuse solicitors can discuss this with you. Some clear advantages are:
- If the abuser is convicted of a criminal offence, it is easier to obtain compensation as the abuse will already have been proved
- The police have the best access to evidence, which can be used in your claim once criminal proceedings are over.
Please note, however, that civil law cannot punish the abuser, as this is carried out in the criminal courts via the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Each case is different and yours will be assessed free of charge by a specialist child abuse solicitor to see if we can help.
Child abuse compensation claims and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government-funded compensation scheme for people who are innocent victims of criminal violence, including sexual violence, in the UK.
Compensation from the CICA can be easier to obtain but could be less than you would get in a civil claim for damages. If at a later date you are also successful in a civil claim, normally any payment received from the CICA must be repaid from the damages received in the successful civil claim.
Our abuse lawyers can guide you through the process of claiming compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, including appeals against the decisions of caseworkers.
Usually, to be successful in making a CICA claim::
- The abuse must have been reported to the police and the person applying through the scheme must have co-operated with any prosecution which arose as a result
- The application must be made within 2 years of the assault or – if later – 2 years from the date when the abuse was first reported to the police
- These rules can be difficult to apply in cases involving allegations of abuse that happened outside of the above time frames, but not impossible if you receive the right legal guidance.
Confidentiality And Child Abuse Claims
Your privacy is of course extremely important to us. Throughout every stage of the legal process, our child abuse lawyers will keep everything confidential, including all sensitive documents. Other ways we endeavour to protect your privacy include:
- You can choose how we communicate with you whether it be by phone, email, post, SMS, in person etc.
- We will always ask your permission to contact others about your case
- We may be able apply to the court to make your details confidential on court documents in connection with your claim
- In our office, any documents we no longer need for your case are treated as ‘sensitive waste’ and confidentially destroyed.
The facts that form the basis of your claim will need to be disclosed at some point to the defendant, their insurers, solicitors, court, and medical experts but our child abuse solicitors are of course happy to discuss any concerns you may have about confidentiality at any point during the case.
Child Abuse Solicitors
We’ve helped people to compensation for abuse, even where the abuse happened years ago. Whatever the circumstances may be, you’re not alone – Coodes are here to help. Contact us online or call us today for a free initial discussion with one of our child abuse solicitors. Or you can book an appointment using the form below: