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abuse services faq's:

Funding a Claim

At the free and confidential initial consultation appointment with a member of our Abuse team, we will discuss options for the funding of your claim.

There are two main ways in which to pay for your claim:

  • The first option to exhaust is Legal Aid, here we check if you are eligible and if you are, our team will submit an application to the Legal Aid Agency for approval.
  • If Legal Aid is not applicable, we will assess whether your claim can be funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a 'No Win, No Fee' Agreement.

Will I be able to claim compensation on behalf of another?

Claiming for compensation can be an emotionally upsetting process, and especially if you don't know your eligibility to act on behalf of another person. There are circumstances when clients cannot act in their own right, for example if they are a child (under the age of 18 years), or where they have sustained injuries or other health issues that inhibit them from being able to communicate effectively and manage their financial affairs, meaning they are considered a Protected Party. At Ramsdens we will assess each survivor as an individual and ensure, where they cannot conduct their own claim, that they have an appointed person to act on their behalf. In every case, we also ensure a Survivor is fully supported through the legal process.

Will my details be kept confidential and anonymous?

Our team at Ramsdens act in total confidence on each and every case, as we are professionally obliged to. During every stage of the legal process, we will endeavour to protect your privacy.

We may instruct other professionals to assist, including Barristers and other experts, for example medical professionals, they are bound by the same obligations.

There are certain cases when anonymity can be applied for, and these include cases that involve sexual offences. Anonymity can be granted, putting restrictions on what the media can and cannot publish, including any details that could identify.

What happens to my benefits if I make a claim for compensation?

At the end of your claim for compensation, you can be eligible to receive a lump sum payment. Depending on the amount, this can have an effect on your receipt of benefits.

A Personal Injury Trust can be arranged for the payment to be made into. Trustees appointed to administer the trust will appoint the money to you when needed, meaning that there is no impact on the benefit that you are already in receipt of.

What if I am not happy with the compensation settlement I received years ago?

There are times when a client feels that the settlement they received was not what they had expected, and therefore they feel that their case was under settled. Here, Ramsdens can support you in obtaining the true value of the compensation that you are entitled to. We will review the papers from your previous Solicitor and advise if we feel under settlement has occurred, and then as to the next steps in the legal process.

Will I have to go to court to give evidence?

The thought of having to go to court and speaking out about the trauma you have suffered can be a huge barrier to seeking compensation. However, the majority of child abuse claims are settled outside of court.

Should your case be one of the few that is heard at court, we will ensure that we are with you throughout this process, discussing with you what happens at court and the timetable of events taking place. We understand how difficult it can be to appear in a courtroom, and we make every effort to relieve anxiety that this can cause by keeping you informed and supported throughout the court process.

How do you define physical abuse?

Physical abuse is the most tangible form of abuse, as there tends to be physical evidence of injuries. It can range in the severity of injuries caused, and this can often have a long-term detrimental emotional impact.

Physical abuse can go hand in hand with other forms of abuse, such as emotional and psychological abuse.

How do I know I was abused sexually?

Written in the law, there are many different offences of a sexual nature. It is not relevant for you to know which offence has taken place, just that a sexual act was committed against you or another person, and they did not want this act to happen.

Do I have to make a claim within a time limit?

The Limitation Act 1980, indicates that a claim made, save for Criminal Injuries or a breach of Human Rights (detailed below), must be made within three years from the act committed or, if a child, within three years from that child turning 18 years of age.

The time limits differ for claims under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) here the limitation period for this is within two years of the offence being committed, or if the victim was a child, within two years of them turning 18 years old. A claim made for breach of Human Rights can also be made within one year of that breach (whether an adult or child).

Even though these time limitations apply due to the complex and sensitive nature of sexual and physical abuse claims, they can be challenged and set aside. Ramsdens have a wealth of knowledge in ensuring that this occurs.

What is the Legal process?

Following your initial consultation, we will arrange funding of your claim through either Legal Aid or a Conditional Fee (No Win No Fee) Agreement. A letter of claim will be drafted to the Defendant party, and we will then consider evidence including any Social Care, medical or other relevant records. At this stage we will be able to advise you fully on the prospects of success and as to any medical or other evidence that will be required to proceed further to settlement. A valuation can be placed on your case once this evidence is finalised.