Making a claim for compensation following a sexual assault or abuse
There are specified statutory time limits imposed by law for bringing negligence claims. These limitation periods are contained within the Limitation Act 1980.
Sexual and physical abuse claims involve physical, psychological harm and distress. Therefore typically the law treats these claims as personal injury claims, on this basis a 3 years limitation period will apply. However the court often exercises discretion to extend limitation due to the nature of these type of claims.
All sexual and physical abuse claims/actions are subject to statutory time limits for bringing claims. A high proportion of child abuse claims involve limitation issues as many of the incidents of abuse occurred 20/30/40 years ago. The courts recognise this issue and they have developed the law in recent years to take into consideration statutory time limits on cases involving abuse.
However you must bear in mind that every case is different and it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible if you are thinking of making a claim. The court will have absolute discretion to extend a limitation period, and will decide based on fact and evidence whether each case/claim for abuse can proceed. The claimant must show the court the reasons why there has been a delay in bring a claim against the alleged defendant.
The court will consider these reasons and then attempt to determine whether the claimant (you) has a reasonable prospect of success. However it is often difficult at the preliminary stage to assess prospects.
All initial enquires with our legal team are free, confidential and there’s no obligation to proceed. We can visit your home, you can come and see us at our offices, we can discuss over the telephone and SKYPE. We are willing to make you free as comfortable as possible when making the initial step to tell us what has happened.