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Oakwood Solicitors
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Historic Abuse Claims

Are you entitled to make a claim?

Our specialist department consists of an in-house team of Solicitors

and legal professionals dedicated solely to this area of law.

The experts in Historic Abuse claims

Oakwood Solicitors has a dedicated team of Solicitors and legal professionals, specialising in historic abuse claims. With a strong reputation for being tough on defendants, we’re sure to recover the compensation you deserve.

What is an historic abuse claim?

If you are a survivor of abuse in the past, whether that be sexual abuse or physical assault, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the impact it had upon your health.

A claim can be made for the physical impact to your health but also, an often more importantly, it can also be made for any damage it may have caused to your mental health. Compensation can be claimed for personal injury and also any financial losses you may have suffered as a result of your ill health.

Where might historic abuse occur?

Historic abuse is also known as “non-recent abuse” or “non-accidental abuse” and relates to any physical, sexual or emotional attack inflicted on a person. These attacks may have taken place in a single incident or be repeated over some time.

Historic abuse commonly occurs when the attacker holds a position of power over the victim.

 

Institutional child sexual abuse

In some cases, if the abuse has occurred within an organisational setting, for example, an after-school club or within a religious setting, this might be referred to as Institutional child sexual abuse.

Some examples of this include the following (however, this list is not exhaustive).

  • School staff attacking pupils
  • Young people abused in children’s homes
  • Football coaches preying on children in their coaching teams
  • Youth group leaders singling out children (often on trips away from home)
  • Religious staff attacking children
  • Doctors or hospital staff

Who is responsible?

The perpetrators of abuse are usually individuals who have no financial means, and, by the time a claim is made, may have died or are difficult to trace. It is therefore common practice to look at whether there are any organisations or companies who could be held responsible for the perpetrators’ acts.

For example, there have been many cases where the Court has accepted that sexual abuse could be an act carried out during the course of employment meaning that the employer of the perpetrator would be responsible for the conduct in question.

It is a legal obligation on an employer to hold liability insurance which would cover any claims for personal injury made against them. It is a claim made against such insurance which we would recommend as the best option for any historic abuse claim which you may wish to make.

Do I have a claim?

We have a specialist team of Solicitors who can help discuss with you if you may have a claim. All advice is confidential and we are happy to discuss any legal options with you as part of a free assessment.

Our team understand that it is a daunting step to come forward as a survivor of abuse but we are here to try and help where we can. Our Solicitors are all experienced in dealing with clients who have suffered with trauma and mental health illness so you will be well supported throughout.

Should I make a claim?

Before deciding on whether making a claim is the best option for you, it’s important to seek some initial legal advice about the merits. Here at Oakwood Solicitors, we offer a free assessment and would be happy to discuss this with you and no charge.

If you find a Solicitor who is of the view that your claim does have merits, then it is important to also consider the impact to your health that taking a claim forward may have.

Litigation can be a stressful process and may have an adverse impact on your health. We are not doctors, so we cannot give you medical advice, but are under a duty to advise you that pursuing a claim will be a reminder of the trauma of the abuse whilst the claim is ongoing and this may have an negative impact on your mental health.

Please also note that the only outcome to a successful claim is financial compensation. You may see the litigation as a mechanism for obtaining answers but the majority of cases settle out of Court, which may result in many of your questions remaining unanswered.

You may be advised by your doctors that by revisiting the trauma of the abuse you suffered may set you back in your recovery. The decision to proceed must be your own, in conjunction with your medical advisors.

If you agree to proceed forward with a claim, then our team will support you as best as they can and try and make the process as stressful as possible.

How do I make a claim?

At Oakwood Solicitors, we make claims of this nature through the CICA.

There are strict eligibility criteria to qualify for CICA awards. However – for historic abuse cases, there can be exceptions.

For example, one of the criteria is that you must have reported the incident to the police as soon as possible. But, if you were a child at the time of the abuse and you did not have the means to contact the police, or if you did not realise what was happening was wrong at the time, the CICA may make exceptions.

By using a solicitor to make your claim, you will have a higher chance of a successful outcome with the CICA.

How the CICA works, and compensation guidelines

In Historic Abuse cases, the CICA pay out compensation for injuries based on their tariff of injuries. You can only receive compensation for 3 injuries from this tariff, and only the highest valued will be paid the full amount. The second and third highest-valued injuries will be paid at 30% and 15% of the tariff amount respectively.

In addition to this, the CICA can give awards for special expenses that directly relate to the abuse. They must be reasonable, necessary and a direct result of the crime you’re claiming for.

In order to claim special expenses, you will need to have experienced a loss of earnings for at least 28 full weeks after the incident. There are a range of special expenses that will be backdated; however, if you wish to claim loss of earnings, this will only be paid from the 29th week onwards.

For more information on the process of claiming for historical abuse, speak to a member of our team.

 

Compensation guidelines

The CICA uses guidelines to establish how much compensation to issue for historic abuse claims. They pay out compensation for injuries based on their tariff and you can only receive compensation for 3 injuries from this tariff, and only the highest valued will be paid at the full amount. The second and third highest-valued injuries will be paid at 30% and 15% of the tariff amount respectively.

In addition to this, the CICA can give awards for special expenses that directly relate to the abuse. They must be reasonable, necessary and a direct result of the crime you’re claiming for.

To claim special expenses, you will need to have experienced a loss of earnings for at least 28 full weeks after the incident.

There are a range of special expenses that will be backdated; however, if you wish to claim loss of earnings, this will only be paid from the 29th week onwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my case take to run?

In theory, the case could settle any day from day one, but on average, cases are usually resolved within 24 months from when we are first instructed.

Would I have to go to court?

If the case did not settle, then ultimately the matter would proceed to Court where a Judge would make a determination. Most cases, however, do settle out of Court, so although this is an unlikely eventuality, we cannot rule it out as an impossibility.

If you do have any concerns about this during the process of your claim, then we would be happy to discuss this with you and address any concerns you may have.

How is my case funded?

There can be a number of ways to fund your legal fees. Subject to individual assessment, the most common method to fund a claim of this nature is by way of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is often referred to as a ‘No-Win, No-Fee’ Agreement.

This means that if the claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay us anything towards our costs, subject to compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement in place.

Why should I choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to make my claim?

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd agrees to work on your historical abuse claim on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be expected to pay us a penny.

If you are successful in your claim, we take a percentage of the compensation meaning that the only time we will receive money is if we have brought your claim to a fruitful conclusion.

You will have a dedicated advisor who will see your claim through from start to finish, assisting you in the event of any queries or issues you may have. If it is preferable to you, we can assign you one of our female advisors to carry out your claim.

Your case handler will also continue to provide regular updates until the conclusion of your claim, ensuring the process is as stress-free and effortless as possible.

Welcomed and at ease

I was made to feel welcomed and at ease. Details taken swiftly and sympathetically. Then was given a positive response within a very short space of time.

- Satisfied Client

Quick and professional

Response was quick, and professional.

- Satisfied Client

Carol Cook
Carol Cook - Head of Department
Carol Cook has been helping victims of negligence for over a decade. Helping her clients and their families in their fight for justice, in receiving the maximum compensation for the pain and hurt they have been through, and in many cases are still suffering from. Carol prides herself on her approachable nature, empathy and understanding. She genuinely cares about all her clients and goes the extra mile for them, assisting where she can in ensuring that they receive the best possible community care, therapies and financial support available.
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