Civil Compensation Claims for abuse.

A civil compensation claim is one of two ways of proceeding to obtain compensation for abuse.

The process of making a civil compensation claim for abuse

The purpose of civil claims is to recognise a wrong by awarding 'damages', or compensation. It aims to put you (the claimant) back into the financial position you would have been in had you not been wronged or harmed, in so far as it is reasonably possible. 

You may have options as to who you can claim compensation from (the defendant). You can bring a legal action against the person who abused you, or their employer, or the organisation for which they were working at the time. Most employers and organisations have insurance which means that if you are successful, compensation will be paid by their insurance company.

The choice of defendant in your case will be determined by a number of factors, which we can explain fully during initial discussions.

Examples of organisations that can be pursued include:

  • Religious organisations.
  • Charitable organisations.
  • Local authorities.
  • Care homes.
  • Schools.
  • Community groups e.g. The Scout Association.
  • Ministry of Defence.

Reporting to the police and gathering evidence

If you have not reported your abuse to the police, it is likely we will recommend you do this as soon as possible. We can assist you in making initial contact with the right police station. And we will support you in your complaint and any subsequent criminal proceedings.

We will also need to gather as much evidence as possible. This may involve asking for a copy of all relevant police statements, your social services records, your GP and counselling records, and interviewing any witnesses.

This evidence will inform our 'letter of claim' which is the first notification to any potential defendant of the nature of and reasons for your claim, explaining why they are responsible.

If your opponent is not willing to resolve your claim, it may be necessary to register your claim at court. However most abuse claims settle 'out of court' and it is fairly unusual for claims to go all the way to a full trial before a judge.

How much compensation will you get?

If you win your case, you will be awarded compensation. You will be awarded a lump sum to represent your pain and suffering, and ‘loss of amenity’ (i.e. the extent to which the abuse has affected your capacity to do the things you used to do, or should have been able to do had you not been abused).

In addition, you can recover any out-of-pocket expenses directly related to your abuse. Some financial losses can be easily valued, such as traveling expenses to medical appointments and the cost of treatment, whilst others are more complicated.

A lost earnings claim can be made if you can prove that your abuse has resulted in your not being able to work.

Time limits on registering your claim

Ideally you must register your compensation claim at court within three years of your abuse occurring, or if you were abused when you were a child, by your 21st birthday.

However the courts are increasingly recognising that it is many years before survivors are able to disclose their abuse. You may therefore be allowed to pursue your claim even when the abuse happened many years ago, so long as this is fair to both you and any potential defendant.

Read more about Civil Compensation Claims
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The abuse Survivor's guide to making a claim for compensation

If you're considering pursuing compensation for abuse you've suffered, our guide will tell you what you need and what to expect.

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Compensation claims through the courts

"Emmott Snell were very accommodating, reassuring me in every move. I’d like to thank Jacqui and co for their hard work in winning my case, I didn’t think I had a case but she made me feel there was. Thank you once again." - Mr SJ

How can we help you with a compensation claim?

We have considerable experience in dealing with compensation claims based on historic sexual abuse, child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence.

We can help you pursue a civil claim through the courts or complete your application to the CICA. 

What do I do next?

Contact us for a free, informal initial consultation by using the 'Contact me' buttons below or by calling us at 01234 360140.

During this consultation, we will discuss the circumstances surrounding your situation, answer any questions you may have, and advise whether, in our opinion, you have a legitimate claim with reasonable prospects of success.

Unlike some lawyers, we are willing to take on claims that are not straightforward and may carry some risks. If we accept your case, we will quickly start the process and endeavour to expedite your claim, seeking maximum compensation.

To arrange a friendly discussion with one of our helpful experts, click on the "Contact me" buttons below.

Tracey Emmott

Tracey Emmott

Tracey Emmott is a solicitor with over 25 years’ experience in personal injury law. Previously she was a partner of a regional firm in the Home Counties.

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Jacqui Morton

Jacqui Morton

Jacqui is known for her hardworking and careful approach to any legal problem, her excellent rapport with clients and professionals.

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Megan Hickey

Megan is our paralegal and holds a first-class honours degree in Law from the University of Kent. She assists on all our cases and is incredibly enthusiastic about advocating for our clients.

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