Victims of Abuse

There are many different situations in which abuse can occur. For example, a child could be abused by physical or sexual harm or neglect could be an act of abuse against the child. Claims can be made against the person instigating the abuse, those employing them or social services. You may also be able to make a claim against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Generally, in order to pursue a successful claim, you will need to be able to prove that:

  • The abuse occurred
  • The abuse led to your injuries and/or mental health condition

In order to prove this, we look at every case on an individual basis. We will examine your records that social services and other organisations hold about you. We will investigate what other evidence may be available and take statements from witnesses.

The abuse or neglect of a child, whenever it occurred, should be reported to the Police so that they can investigate. You should talk to the police as soon as you feel able. The police have specially trained officers who are specialists in investigating cases of child abuse. There is no time limit on reporting incidents to the police. However, the more time that goes by, the more difficult it may then be for the police to investigate the matter and for their investigation to lead to a successful prosecution.

To pursue a civil claim, there are time limits that are imposed by law in order to pursue a claim. The Courts do have a discretion to disapply these time limits in certain circumstances i.e. where you can prove with medical evidence that the effect of the abuse has meant that you have not been able to deal with your case until now. The law is complex in this area and this is a reason why you should consult a specialist abuse solicitor who has experience in this area.

Understandably, many of our clients are worried about the thought of having to go to court. However, you should be aware that the vast majority of child abuse compensation claims do settle out of court. In these circumstances, we can assist you in achieving justice with a settlement that is fair and just.

What we can offer

We can offer specialist legal advice on claims arising from the following situations:

  • Abuse in Homes, Institutions and Schools
  • Abuse in elderly care homes
  • Claims via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
  • Claims against Social Services arising from a variation of situations.
  • Claims against family members / individuals
  • Claims against Churches including the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.

We offer proactive and dynamic representation where proceeding to trial and winning is always our primary goal but is also the way in which your claim can achieve a settlement out of Court that truly reflects the seriousness of the case.

What we’ve done for others

Our Head of Department, Lisa Verro has significant experience of Abuse Cases. She acted for one of the lead claimants in Various Claimants v 1) Bryn Alyn Community (Holdings) Limited 2) Royal and Sun Alliance Plc (2003) in which the Court of Appeal extended the scope of the Limitation Act 1980. Lisa has been responsible for the generic work and for overseeing individual claims on the St Williams multi party action which comprises the largest single group action in an abuse action against a single home in the UK. Additionally, Lisa advised on a multi party action against the MOJ arising from historical abuse suffered at Medomsley Detention Centre.

We are always happy to do a free initial assessment on any potential cases. Our initial advice is free and without obligation. If you do have a case that we can then assist you with, we can usually offer legal aid funding. If you are not eligible for legal aid for any reason, we can consider to offer to assist you on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win no fee). In these circumstances, you normally have nothing or very little to pay to pursue the matter and take action to achieve justice.

If you live in the Yorkshire area, we offer a free legal advice clinic on Wednesday mornings from 10 -12 am at our offices. Alternatively, please do give us a call on 0113 2224888 or send an email to Lisa Verro, Head of Department at: l.verro@gtstewart.co.uk