Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault can cause life-changing damage to survivors. Compensation claims arising out of such events are subject to the statutory time limit that applies to all personal injury claims in that they are required to be commenced in court within three years of the date of the cause of action arising or three years from the date a child survivor becomes an adult at age 18.
As a result of recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse to abolish time limits, all states and territories have removed time limits for child sex abuse cases. In some states, e.g. NSW, the time limit change applies more broadly, namely to child abuse that is not sexual.
In the case of people who were children at the time of the sexual contact, there is no time limitation for the commencement of an injury compensation lawsuit by a defendant may apply for a stay of proceedings on the ground of “prejudice”. Thus it is important not to delay your claim for compensation. For prompt, accurate advice, speak to one of our Sexual Abuse Lawyers today.
In the case of institutional abuse, victims can seek compensation under the National Redress Scheme which grants payouts depending on the nature of their particular circumstances. The maximum payout for the worst possible case is $150,000. Alternatively, victims have the right to apply for substantial common-law compensation including damages for loss of earning capacity, but in those cases, must prove “liability” on the part of the institution, and they must successfully set aside – on the grounds that it is just and reasonable to do so – any earlier settlement deed that they may have entered into.
Individuals in a sexually abusive situation or who have been sexually assaulted face the practical hurdle of whether or not the perpetrator has sufficient assets warranting the risk and expense of legal proceedings.
Those placed in an institutional setting where they were the victim of such conduct can bring a claim against the institution or, in the case of a government residence, against the State.
Sexual misconduct in a professional setting also often breaches the rights of the patient or client if the professional misuses their position of influence or power in providing guidance.
An investigation is always required to verify the circumstances and extent of the events at the particular location where the events occurred. Enquiries regarding medical and hospital treatment are also required as is at your places of education and employment so as to verify your occupational performance since the occurrence of the events.
Anyone who has been put in such a situation should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our Sexual Assault & Sexual Abuse Lawyers will be able to advise you whether or not your circumstances warrant a claim and what are your prospects of success in a claim for injury compensation arising out of such events.