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Abuse/assault compensation lawyers

Assault or abuse

If you are the victim of a physical crime in the UK, there are three different ways you can make a personal injury claim for compensation. You can make a claim against the perpetrator directly (though ensuring compensation is paid can be difficult), you can make a claim against your employer or organisation responsible for your care, and finally you can make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

A specialist assault and abuse lawyer will be able to advise you on which options are available to make a compensation claim. There is no need to wait for a successful criminal prosecution in order to make a claim. For Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims you need to claim within two years of the crime being committed, so we recommend you make contact with a lawyer as soon as possible.

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Brain injury lawyer
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Personal injury - Fellow
Tracey Storey is a partner in the personal injury department of Irwin Mitchell’s London office. She heads up the child abuse team at Irwin Mitchell. Whilst undertaking personal injury cases including head injuries, fatal claims and amputations,... Read more
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Malcolm Johnson qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and he is a Senior Associate at BL Claims in London where he undertakes both personal injury and clinical negligence cases. He is a member of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel, the Society... Read more
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Fellow
Alan specialises in serious personal injury cases including head and spinal injury claims, but primarily child abuse casesHe acts for a wide range of individuals in this country and overseas, and these include those who have suffered serious head and... Read more
Mrs Kirstie Louise Devine of IRWIN MITCHELL LLP in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Occupational disease lawyer
Asbestos disease lawyer
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I am a Solicitor within the Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Team. I act for a wide variety of clients who have suffered a work place accident, a work related illness or an asbestos related disease. I also assist in the representation of survivors of... Read more
Personal injury legal practice
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I am the Head of the Personal Injury Department and I hold Senior Litigator accreditation with APIL. I have a background in industrial accident and disease work but now specialise in serious injury work, whether those injuries happen at work,... Read more
Mr James Wood of BLAKE MORGAN LLP in Southampton
Occupational disease lawyer
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
I am a Senior Associate at BL Claims Solicitors with over 20 years' experience in the field of personal injury. I represent clients in claims arising from accidents, injuries at work and occupational disease including serious injury and head injury... Read more
Mrs Liz Hoskin of DALGARNO SOLICITORS in Warrington
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Mr Richard Foyster of ASHTONS LEGAL in Ipswich
Personal injury - Senior Litigator
Richard is Head of Personal Injury at Ashtons Legal and specialises in high value workplace and employer’s liability claims and increasingly on mesothelioma cases. He also represents clients in road traffic accidents, product liability claims and public... Read more

Types of sexual and physical abuse claims

  • Sexual abuse
    • When an adult commits sexual acts upon a child, this form of abuse can be physical or non-physical. It can also include grooming, exposing a child to explicit images or taking part in explicit photographs or films.
  • Child abuse
    • This is abuse which has occurred to any individual when he or she was under 18 years old. It can include neglect, physical or emotional mistreatment or sexual abuse.
    • Claims can be brought against individuals or institutions, such as children’s homes, foster parents, social services, schools, religious institutions or sports clubs for example.
  • Elder abuse
    • As the population ages, the issue of elder abuse has come to the fore. Abuse can include neglect, sexual abuse, physical or emotional mistreatment, or financial mistreatment.
    • Claims can be brought against care homes, hospitals, carers (private or local authority) or family members.

Can I claim compensation for abuse caused by a family member or someone I know?

Yes you can. You should ensure that you instruct a solicitor who is familiar with dealing with these types of claims to ensure that you receive sensitive and appropriate advice.


Are there time limits for making abuse compensation claims?

There are, but in some circumstances, these can be extended. It is sometimes particularly difficult to discuss the abuse which has occurred and it can often take years for those who have suffered to be able to speak about it. The law has adapted to take this into account and a specialist lawyer in this area will be able to advise you, even if a long time has passed since the abuse took place.


Can I claim compensation if my abuser has died?

Yes, although you will need to take legal advice on this because it is not straightforward. When someone dies, their assets form part of what is known as their ‘estate’. If the abuser has died, but had sufficient assets (such as property, investments, insurance proceeds) then it is possible to claim compensation against the abuser’s estate. It the abuser was employed by an insured institution, for example a school or children’s home, then it may be possible to claim compensation from that employer even if the abuser is dead. Again, you should seek legal advice on this.


Other types of abuse and assault claim

  • Sentencing Act compensation order
    If your abuser has been convicted of a criminal offence relating to your abuse, the criminal court may make a compensation order against a convicted person. This order would require him or her to pay compensation to you for the personal injury, loss or damage which has resulted from the offence, or any other related offence. This must be taken into consideration by the court when it is deciding what sort of sentence to impose.
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
    This is a scheme which pays compensation based on a tariff. If you have sustained an injury which is directly attributable to you being a direct victim of a ‘crime of violence’ then it may be possible to apply for compensation from the CICA. The general rule is that an application must be received by the CICA as soon as possible after the criminal injury and in any event within two years after the date of that abuse. The CICA is able to extend this time limit in certain circumstances. The CICA can withhold damages or reduce the amount it pays in compensation for a number of reasons. These include where the abuse has not been reported to the police ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’; where the applicant has not cooperated to bring their assailant to justice or where the applicant has unspent convictions which indicate that their character makes compensation ‘inappropriate’.