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How Much Can I Claim If I Have Suffered Child Abuse?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 8th November 2023. If you have been the victim of child abuse, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Alternatively, you may be able to start a claim on behalf of your child if they’ve experienced such abuse.

In this guide, we look at how to make a child abuse compensation claim. We’ll explain how you may be able to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Other aspects of making a claim, including time limits and potential amounts of compensation for victims of abuse are also covered.

Child Abuse Claims and child abuse compensation

Child Abuse Claims

If you have any questions about child abuse claims, get in touch with our advisors. To speak to us:

  • Call on 0800 073 8804.
  • Start your claim online.
  • Use the live chat at the bottom of the screen.
  • You can also watch our video below which explains the key takeaways from our guide:

Select a section:

  1. How To Begin A Child Abuse Compensation Claim
  2. How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation For Abuse?
  3. Do I Need Evidence To Claim Compensation For Abuse?
  4. Can I Claim If My Child Has Been Sexually Abused?
  5. Sexual Abuse Compensation Payouts
  6. No Win No Fee Child Abuse Solicitors

How To Begin A Child Abuse Compensation Claim

There are several different ways to seek compensation for abuse. You could make a claim directly against the perpetrator or a vicariously liable party. However, if neither of these avenues are viable, you could make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) if you have proof that you meet the eligibility criteria.

The criteria that must be meet to claim compensation for victims of abuse through the CICA includes:

  • The incident must have been reported to the police. You will need your police reference number to show this has been done.
  • You will need to adhere to the time limits. 
  • The incident must have taken place in England, Wales, Scotland or another relevant place. 
  • You must have suffered a mental or physical injury in a crime of violence. The CICA’s definition of a crime of violence includes sexual assault.

Although you require your police reference number to start a claim, you do not need to wait for a conviction, or for the assailant to be caught. The CICA will liaise with the police to help assess your claim. 

To find out if you meet the eligibility criteria to claim for a criminal injury, speak with one of our advisors for a free case assessment.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation For Abuse?

If it’s known who the abuser is, it can sometimes be possible to make a claim directly against them. However, this depends on factors such as whether the assailant:

  • Is identified and caught
  • Has the funds to pay the compensation

If a claim is made directly against the assailant, then the time limit is generally 3 years from the date the child turns 18. This means that the claim must be started within this period of time. However, there can be exceptions.

Prior to the child reaching adulthood, the time limit is suspended. For child claims during this suspended period, a litigation friend must be appointed to claim on behalf of the child.

If the above is not applicable, a claim could still potentially be made through the CICA. The CICA is funded by the government and pays compensation according to a fixed tariff in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

If you wish to claim compensation for abuse through the CICA, you generally have a 2-year time limit from the date of the abuse. However, each case is judged on a case-by-case basis. In other words, this time limit is not necessarily absolute. For instance, you may have felt emotionally overwhelmed or unsafe due to the thought of coming forward. Historical abuse claims can sometimes be made outside the 2-year window.

If you’d like the assistance of our child abuse solicitors in making a historical abuse claim, get in touch today.

Do I Need Evidence To Claim Compensation For Abuse?

If you are seeking abuse compensation through the CICA, you will need to provide specific forms of evidence. These are:

  • A police reference number, to prove that the incident was reported.
  • Proof that you meet the residency requirements.
  • Medical evidence regarding your injuries.

It is important to note that when you are making a claim through the CICA, they will be able to liaise with the police for any additional information they may need regarding the incident.

If you are seeking compensation for abuse from a vicariously liable party, the evidence you may need to submit could differ. If you need more information about claiming criminal injuries compensation for physical violence, you can contact an advisor from our team who can help.

Can I Claim If My Child Has Been Sexually Abused?

You may be wondering who can claim child abuse. Not only can the survivor of the abuse claim, but if you are a guardian or parent of a child that has been abused, you can also make a claim. If a loved one has died due to abuse or does not have the mental capacity to make their own legal decisions, you may also be able to claim on their behalf.

It does not matter who the abuser was, even if it was an organisation that was responsible for the safety of your child yet failed to protect them.

It may have been someone in a position of authority of trust who took advantage of this. All that matters is being able to show that someone else abused you, your child, or a loved one. Adults could make child abuse claims on behalf of children affected by sexual abuse.

Call our advisors to learn more about child abuse settlements.

Sexual Abuse Compensation Payouts

If you are eligible to claim you may like to how know compensation for sexual abuse could be awarded. Each criminal injury claim is different. Therefore, we cannot give you exact figures, but we can provide you with examples and explain how sexual abuse compensation could be awarded. For example, special expenses might be included with some claims made through the CICA. Special expenses are covered in the next section.

If you are claiming through the CICA, criminal injuries are compensated in accordance with the tariff found in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. When claiming for more than one injury, injuries from the main tariff will be subject to the multiple injury formula.

This is as follows:

  • 100% of the listed tariff amount for the injury with the highest value.
  • 30% is awarded for the second-highest valued injury.
  • 15% of the tariff amount for the third-highest valued injury.

There are some injuries that are exempt from the multiple injury formula because they come from a distinct tariff. These include injuries that result in pregnancy, the loss of a pregnancy or in the victim contracting an STI.

Our table below contains examples of the tariffs. As we stated above, each claim is different. Therefore, we cannot give you an exact amount of what you receive.

We should also not that the top entry of this table has not been taken from the CICA tariff.

Reason for compensation
*as a minor
Typical compensation amount Comments
Abuse Plus Special Damages Up to £500,000 Compensation awarded for your criminal injuries and financial losses such as care costs.
Sexual Assault of Children £30,000 As a result of the incident a severe mental illness occurs.
Sexual Assault of Children £22,000 A disabling mental illness occurs as a result. It is permanent in nature.
Sexual Assault of Children £4,400 Two or more non-penetrative incidents.
Sexual Assault of Children £3,300 One incident of non-penile sexual assault that is non-penetrative.
Sexual Assault of Children £1,500 Sexual assault over clothing that is non-penetrative.
Physical Abuse of Children £13,500 Severe Abuse – A persistent pattern of repetitive violence that results in multiple severe injuries.
Physical Abuse of Children £8,200 Severe Abuse – A persistent pattern of repetitive violence that results in multiple significant injuries.
Physical Abuse of Children £5,500 Severe Abuse – A persistent pattern of repetitive violence that results in multiple moderate injuries.
Physical Abuse of Children £2,000 Serious Abuse – Physical assaults resulting in healed wounds, scalds and burns.
Physical Abuse of Children £1,000 An isolated assault resulting in weals, and hair pulled from the scalp.

Call our advisors to learn more about how compensation for being attacked could be awarded. In addition, they can provide you with a free claim valuation.

Special Expenses

When making child abuse claims through the CICA, there can be figures other than payments for the injuries to consider. They’re known as special expenses. However, you should know that you are only eligible to receive special expenses payments if you have been off work for more than 28 weeks.

Special expenses are for certain costs and losses that have taken place due to the abuse you have experienced. You’ll need access to sufficient evidence to prove the financial impact the abuse has had on you. Here are some examples of costs you could claim for as part of child abuse settlements:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical costs
  • Care costs that arise from you being unable to care for yourself

However, it’s important to note that the CICA will only provide special expenses for costs that were necessary and reasonable.

If you want to know more about special expenses and child abuse settlements, then get in touch with us.

No Win No Fee Child Abuse Solicitors

When making a claim through the CICA for the abuse you suffered as a child, then you could choose to contact us about getting support from a solicitor. We can review your case, and if we determine you have a strong claim and you’re happy to go forward with it, we could then connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Our No Win No Fee solicitors can support child abuse compensation claims under what’s called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under such an agreement, you will not have to pay for their services upfront or while your claim is being processed. Another benefit is that you won’t need to pay your solicitor for the work they have provided if your claim proves unsuccessful.

If your claim is a success, then your solicitor usually takes a small and legally capped percentage of the compensation awarded to you to cover their payment. This is known as a success fee.

You are welcome to contact our advisors on the phone or online at any time if you would like to learn more about claiming with a No Win No Fee solicitor. To reach our team, you can:

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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