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Home | Compensation & Personal Injury Lawyers | Church and School Abuse

Compensation for Victims of Institutional Abuse

If you are a victim of childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse suffered as a result of an institution like a church or school, Turner Freeman can provide you with advice as to possible avenues for compensation. Claims can be made for both physical and psychiatric injuries suffered as a result of childhood abuse.  The abuse may have occurred at church, school, an orphanage or whilst in foster care.

Our experienced team of lawyers will advise you about your legal options and entitlements on a confidential basis.

The Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was instituted in 2013 by the Commonwealth Government in order to investigate the responses of institutions to child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission has investigated numerous institutions including churches, schools, hospitals, orphanages and foster carers. Thousands of victims have given evidence to the Royal Commission.

The purpose of the Royal Commission is to investigate the responses to the instances of child sexual abuse, how child sexual abuse can be prevented in the future and how institutions can better respond to allegations of child sexual abuse. This includes examining how victims are compensated.

knowmore

Legal advice is available to victims who wish to become involved in the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse. The Commonwealth Government has funded a legal service, knowmore, to assist victims through the process.

By contacting knowmore, assistance can be given to victims to help tell their story to the Royal Commission and also to understand how the Royal Commission works, its powers and functions. knowmore also provides information as to other legal avenues that may be available for redress and compensation.

Our South Australian offices are in Adelaide CBD and Whyalla.

FAQ

What are my options for seeking compensation?

What are my options for seeking compensation?

A civil claim is for compensation for the damage that results from the abuse. Our expert lawyers will be able to advise you about available compensation once we have talked to you about the circumstances of the abuse.

If the national redress scheme recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is established, you may be able to claim a lump sum payment for the abuse. We will keep you advised about a national redress scheme.

You may also be able to apply for a recognition payment and the costs of counselling from Victims Services NSW.

Our lawyers will discuss the best option for you once we have investigated your claim.

Who is the claim against?

Who is the claim against?

Claims can be made against an individual perpetrator where they are still alive, and the institution where the abuse occurred. This will depend on the circumstances of the abuse and the institution responsible.

What am I entitled to claim?

What am I entitled to claim?

A civil claim is for a lump sum payment that aims to compensate you for the effects of the abuse. This can include the costs of counselling and other medical treatment, financial loss as well as compensation for pain and suffering.

Are there time limits to make a claim?

Are there time limits to make a claim?

Claims for personal injury in SA are usually made within three to six years. For most survivors of childhood sexual abuse it can be decades before the abuse is disclosed and a claim considered. Some institutions settle claims made outside normal time limits. The Government intends to introduce legislation to remove the usual time limits for childhood sexual abuse claims. We will be able to advise you more about time limits when we meet with you.

Will I have to give evidence in court?

Will I have to give evidence in court?

Most claims are settled outside of court proceedings. You should not usually need to give evidence about the abuse in court. Our expert lawyers will discuss this with you in more detail when we meet with you.

How long will my claim take?

How long will my claim take?

Each claim is unique. We will ask you to assist us to obtain all medical and related records relevant to your claim. Investigating a claim can take some time and a claim may take six to 12 months or more to finalise. Our expert lawyers will be in a better position to advise you of our time estimation after an initial consultation with you.

What are the legal costs involved?

What are the legal costs involved?

We recognise that funding a civil claim is beyond the reach of many people who have suffered abuse. We will act for you on a No Win-No Fee basis.

This means we will fund disbursements and expenses and wait for payment of our professional fees or costs and the reimbursement by you of our disbursements or expenses until the successful conclusion of the claim by way of settlement or verdict.

In the event that a barrister is briefed, the barrister will act for you in the claim on the same basis.

Feel free to ask us about the No Win-No Fee policy.

For a more in-depth explanation of our No Win-No Fee system feel free to call us on 13 43 63 or complete our online contact form.

What should I do next?

What should I do next?

Contact Turner Freeman Lawyers on 13 43 63 to arrange a consultation in an office near you or by telephone to discuss your claim.

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