If you suffered sexual abuse in a Queensland institution such as a school, church, children's home or an orphanage as a child then you may be able to seek compensation through a civil claim. Much of this abuse took place in the 1970's and 1980's, however, cases have occurred both before after this time period.
Much of the known abuse occurred in Catholic / Christian institutions as well as state institutions.
Historic abuse claims in the Queensland jurisdiction are subject to the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) (“PIPA”) during the pre-court procedure. They are run in the same manner as a public liability claim (such as a slip and fall at a supermarket).
No, this is a civil case for compensation from the insurer of the institution which failed to provide adequate care. This is a not a criminal case directly against the accused abuser such as the highly publicised criminal case against George Pell in which he was sentenced to six years jail for sexually abusing two choirboys in the 1990's.
Whilst a claim may be brought against an abuser directly – we will generally only bring a claim against the organisation who was in control of the abuser or whom placed the child in the care of the abuser. For example, if a child was abused by a teacher, we would bring a claim against the school that was in charge of the teacher. If a child was abused whilst in foster care, we would bring a claim against the organisation for placing the child in the care of that foster home. If a child was abused by a priest/pastor within the confines of a church, we would bring a claim against the church.
This is done for a number of reasons such as the actual abuser may be dead, unable to be located, or not have the financial resources to pay their victims.
No. There is no reason why you will need to face your abuser. In some very rare circumstances, an abuser may be added to the proceedings however, we would take all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure you do not have to face your abuser.
In every compensation matter there is a possibility that you will need to have your matter heard in front of a judge in order to obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
However, in matters of this nature (abuse claims); they are usually settled outside of court with very very few ever having to go to trial. It is in the interests of both parties to settle the matter outside of court.
Each claim is run on a case-by-case basis however; typically these matters settle within 12 to 18 months.
We will meet with you in person to obtain their instructions and go through the abuse suffered. This is handled in a caring and empathetic manner. Typically you will only need to go through the details once with us. There will also be will a psychiatrist appointment to create a legal medical report in which the abuse will be discussed with the psychiatrist.
Choosing the right compensation lawyers will have a major impact when navigating the claim process. We suggest that, depending on your location, you speak to our personal injury lawyers based in Brisbane, Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast to discuss details of the physical abuse.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
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