Court Process for Child Abuse Claims | Child Abuse | Bolt Burdon Kemp Court Process for Child Abuse Claims | Child Abuse | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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The Process for Child Abuse Claims

It can be overwhelming making a compensation claim because you have been abused as a child. We’ve outlined the process so you can prepare for what’s to come.

An initial chat

Once you get in touch, one of our team will assess your case free of charge. Our solicitors offer full, confidential consultations on the telephone, but can also see you at home, or at a place of your choosing, if you have a potential claim.

Arranging funding

If we establish that you have the basis of a case, the next thing we’ll do is discuss legal fees with you. We offer “no win no fee” agreements and more information about how they work can be found on the who will pay my legal costs page.

Investigating your case

We’ll then carry out initial enquiries including doing the following:-

  • If there has been a police investigation, we will ask for copies of your statements
  • If your abuser has been prosecuted, we will ask the Crown Prosecution Service and the Crown Court for relevant documents
  • If the claim is for negligence against social services, we may need to review your social services records to assess the possibility of success
  • Obtain and review any other relevant documents
  • Speak to witnesses if necessary once agreed with you

Progressing your case

Once the initial enquiries are done, we’ll meet with you (in person if you wish) to discuss your claim and agree a plan. We’ll:-

  • Advise you in more detail about how strong your claim is.
  • If necessary, discuss further funding options.
  • Advise you about time limits.
  • We may instruct a barrister (sometimes known as ‘counsel’) at this point. We work regularly with specialist abuse barristers and can instruct them on favourable terms.
  • Undertake further investigations including applying for your medical and educational records, as well as any other relevant documents.
  • Instruct a psychiatrist to interview you and provide a report for the case.
  • Formulate a strategy to progress your case.

Setting out the details of your claim

At this point, we’ll make the claim to the defendant or defendants, who may be the abuser and/or an institution such as The Catholic Church or the Scouts Association, or a Local Authority. This will typically mean drafting a formal letter to the defendant setting out the detail of your claim.

Response from the defendant

When we have the reports from the experts and psychiatrist, we’ll discuss them with you in detail, and at this point we should be in a position to value your claim accurately. From there we’ll draft the details of your financial losses.

By this time, we should have had a formal response from the defendants. If they admit responsibility, we may send them the evidence obtained and attempt to negotiate a settlement of your claim. If they don’t admit that they’re responsible, we’ll issue court proceedings and pursue the case to a trial if necessary. It’s important to note that the vast majority of cases (98%) don’t go to trial but are settled through negotiation.

Practice Areas

Do I have a claim?

There are a few specific steps we follow to determine if your compensation claim for child abuse will be successful:

Find out now

Some of Our Accreditations

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We’re here to help you.

Want to talk to one of our experienced lawyers? We can call when it suits you for a no-obligation, strictly confidential chat.

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