Our claims process
Abuse Claim Line can help you pursue a case with our No Win, No Fee policy. Your claim will be handled by a specialist solicitor, who will deal with your case with the utmost sensitivity, care and confidentiality.
After an initial consultation, we will be able to identify whether you have a case for compensation. If we believe your case will be successful, we will start to investigate the claim, which will involve:
- Requesting copies of police documents, including witness statements, which should provide all details of the abuse suffered;
- Requesting court documents relating to the abuser’s conviction, which will be used as evidence that the abuse took place;
- Taking a statement from you about the effects the abuse has had on your life;
- Requesting any further documentation relevant to your case, such as medical records, social services records and/or education records;
Our team will collect all the available evidence, handle all the negotiations and will meet with you to discuss the potential legal action, time limits, and strategy necessary for seeking the compensation that you deserve.
Once we have received the necessary information, we will write to the defendant or their representatives to inform them of the claim.
We will instruct a medical expert to prepare a report on your case and advise you of the contents.
If necessary, we will issue court proceedings – with your personal details anonymised, if that is your wish – and we will handle any court hearings.
The vast majority of cases are settled out of court before a trial is needed, so there is usually no need for you to attend court.
In all personal injury cases, including child abuse cases, there are time limits in bringing a claim, although the law allows the courts discretion in applying or dis-applying the time limit.
The law states that a prospective claimant must commence proceedings at court within three years of an injury or, where that person is a child, within three years of their 18th birthday. Therefore, for child abuse cases, a claimant must commence court proceedings before their 21st birthday.
However, the courts have discretion to allow a claim to proceed “out of time” where, amongst other things, the delay in bringing the claim has not caused prejudice to the parties in the claim (for example, by affecting the quality of the evidence) and the reasons for the delay are reasonable.
Recent court judgments relating to child abuse claims have supported claimants who have taken their claims to court many years after their 21st birthdays. It is recognised that the reason abuse survivors often do not make a claim in time is a direct result of the feelings they have about their abuse.
For example, they may not have reported the abuse for fear of not being believed; they may worry about a stigma being attached to child abuse; they may simply not be ready to speak out about their ordeals. The courts have found these delays to have been is reasonable and have allowed the claims to proceed after the “limitation period” has expired.
However, although the courts have discretion to allow claims to proceed out of time, it can never be guaranteed that it will do so in every case. The longer the delay in making a claim, the less likely a court will allow the case to proceed as the delays can negatively affect the availability of evidence.
It is important that a claimant can show that he or she has acted swiftly and he or she should not, therefore, delay in making contact with a solicitor.
Every case is different and the courts will have different views on whether a claim should be allowed to proceed out of time. Abuse Claim Line can advise you on the merits of your case regardless of the time that has passed since the abuse took place.
Reach out to us
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised, please reach out to our specially trained solicitors. They are ready to help and support you.