The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s Redress and Civil Litigation report was released in 2015, which made a number of recommendations to make civil litigation a more effective way for survivors of abuse to obtain justice.
Changes in the law relating to the timeframe that survivors could bring civil claims followed, meaning many survivors who had previously been prevented from seeking compensation were able to do so.
A national redress scheme was also created.
Our trauma informed lawyers can help guide and support you through the process, giving realistic advice on your options regarding redress vs civil, and supporting your journey to achieve the outcomes that you seek.
New statistics show that one in three people have experienced sexual harassment at work in the last five years. For many that experience is repeated and has been ongoing for more than six months.
The situation can feel overwhelming and there are overlapping legal options to pursue.
Our trauma informed lawyers can help guide and support you through the process and will give realistic advice on how to achieve the best outcome for you.
How can we help?
Your claim will be assessed by one of our expert personal injury lawyers. If we are of the view that your claim is likely to succeed and that it is economically viable, then we will agree to act on your behalf on a “no win no fee” basis. Click here for more information on how we charge.
What is the difference between Redress and a civil claim?
- There is no cap on compensation payments in a civil claim. The amount of compensation will be based on the severity of the injury and the impact it has had on the survivor’s life. The process is more complex and requires consideration of whether the claim can be successful against the perpetrator or institution.
- The National Redress scheme seeks to provide survivors recognition of institutional childhood sexual abuse. The scheme remains open until 30 June 2027. The amount paid out by the scheme is based upon the abuse and the maximum payment is $150,000. A personal response or apology from the institution can be sought. Counselling and psychological support can be obtained through the scheme. There is no court process. A decision will be made within 6-12 months, although can take longer depending on whether the institution is part of the scheme, or if serious criminal convictions are involved.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
There is no time limit for bringing a civil claim for childhood sexual abuse.
How long does a claim take?
It usually takes between 12 months to 24 months to negotiate a settlement but can take longer if court proceedings are required.
Who do I have to tell my story to?
Your lawyer will help you tell your story in a trauma informed way in your own time. You will be required to obtain medical evidence to set out details of your injury so that the value of your claim can be assessed.
Can I get support from others with my claim?
We encourage you to have others to support you through the claim process and can discuss that with you to provide the best approach tailored to your needs.
Can I bring a claim if I am in prison or was in prison when the sexual abuse occurred?
Yes you can. Some special procedures can apply involving the public trustee but that does not prevent you from bringing a claim.
What if the perpetrator has died?
It can still be possible to bring a claim. This is a complex area where consideration has to be given as to whether the respondent could seek to apply for a ‘Stay’ of proceedings, which is where it is argued that the claim cannot be fairly defended because the perpetrator is deceased or incapacitated.
What if the perpetrator is not part of an institution?
Claims can be brought against individuals. Consideration is given to whether the individual has assets to pay out compensation.
What if I can’t remember everything clearly?
It is common for survivors to have gaps in memory. This does not mean that a successful claim cannot be made. There may be other evidence available.
Do I have to pay the insurer’s costs if I lose?
Yes. In Queensland the law has also been changed so that claims for serious physical abuse may be brought at any time.
What constitutes sexual harassment?
- The conduct is sexual in nature
- The conduct is unwelcome
- The conduct is done either:
- With the intention of offending, humiliating or intimidating the target.
- In circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the target would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.
It includes uninvited physical intimacy such as touching in a sexual way, uninvited sexual propositions, and remarks with sexual connotations. Examples are sexual or suggestive comments, jokes or innuendo, intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body, staring or leering, sex-based insults or taunts. We can discuss with you whether the conduct would be considered to be sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment does not have to be repeated it can be a single act.
Can I make a workers compensation claim for harassment that happens in the workplace?
Yes, if the harassment causes an injury (which includes psychiatric injury) to a worker and employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury then a claim may be made under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. Claims for statutory benefits need to be made to the workplace insurer within 6 months of the date of injury. Civil claims are to be brought within 3 years of the date of the injury.
What if I am not diagnosed with a psychiatric injury?
A claim can be made to the Queensland Human Rights Commission. You have 12 months from the date the harassment started to make a claim. There can be some exceptions so please discuss with a lawyer further if you are outside this timeframe.
During your free initial consultation, we will:
- Determine exactly what injury you have suffered;
- Work out precisely how the injury occurred;
- Decide whether someone else caused or significantly contributed to your injury;
- Decide whether your claim is likely to be economically viable;
- Provide you with our advice on whether we believe you will win and whether your claim will be viable;
- Discuss the claims process and what will be required of you;
- Discuss what costs will be involved and how we charge; and
- Respond to any questions that you might have in relation to your claim.
*East Coast Injury Lawyers is led by Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law: Sean Delpopolo, Helen Ashton, Nickelle Morris.
- No Win No Fee
- No upfront payments
- Free initial consultation
- Home visits
- Hospital visits
- Videoconference meetings (via Zoom or Microsoft Teams) where preferred
- After Hours Visits
- 30% cap on legal fees
- No uplift fees charged
- No litigation lenders or interest charges on outlays / disbursements
- Complete confidentiality
- Immediate assessment of your claim
*Strict time limits apply when making a claim. Do not delay.