We are continuing to service the community during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic . Read more >>
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Sexual Abuse

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.

Sexual Harassment

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.

FAQs

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?
  1. The conduct is sexual in nature
  2. The conduct is unwelcome
  3. The conduct is done either:
    1. With the intention of offending, humiliating or intimidating the target.
    2. 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.

Managing Director

Sean Delpopolo

Sean Delpopolo

Sean is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

Sean specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, brain and head injury claims, spinal injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

He has been running personal injury claims in Queensland for over 25 years. Sean founded our firm in 2004 and the firm has grown and gone from strength to strength on the background of outstanding service, incredible results and charging really fair fees.

With an innate sense of fairness and justice, this motivates Sean and his team to do everything they can to ensure that the results they achieve for their clients are something that they can all be proud of. In Sean’s mind, the interests of the firm’s clients come first, before anything else, and this value has flowed on through to the entire team.

As a father of two daughters, Sean understands that his clients’ personal injury claims can make a huge difference to their lives and the lives of those around them. This is why he has made it his life’s work to fight for the “little guy” to obtain the compensation they deserve.

* To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

Director

Helen Ashton

Helen Ashton

Helen is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

As an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, having been awarded the highest achiever award for the course in 2015, Helen has a high level of knowledge and technical expertise. Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2001, she also has extensive experience in running all types of personal injury claims.

Helen specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, medical negligence claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Helen has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to ensure that her clients are kept well informed and are provided with quality and practical legal advice.

As a mother of three young children, Helen understands the impact events can have on a family unit and works proactively to achieve the right result for her clients in the shortest possible timeframe. Helen has the ability and the experience to assist clients with a wide variety of claims, including any personal injury claims with a high level of complexity and those that have had catastrophic consequences.

* To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

Special Counsel

Nickelle Morris

Nickelle Morris

Nickelle is an expert in personal injury claims and has been recognised by the Queensland Law Society as an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.* She was awarded the highest achiever award for the accreditation course which she completed in 2022. Nickelle was also a finalist in the Special Counsel of the Year category in the Australian Law Awards in 2019.

Nickelle has been practising exclusively in personal injury litigation for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in catastrophic claims and fatality claims across all practice areas.

Nickelle specialises in catastrophic injury claims (including traumatic brain injuries, acquired brain injuries and other head injuries, amputations, severe burns and spinal cord injuries resulting in tetraplegia, paraplegia and the like), National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, medical negligence claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Nickelle prides herself on being a technical, yet practical and compassionate lawyer. She takes her time to understand her client’s situation and to ensure that they have an understanding of their rights and entitlements. Nickelle is a tenacious and passionate advocate for her clients and is dedicated to being proactive in ensuring her client’s needs are met and achieving the best outcome for her clients.

Outside of work, Nickelle is a mother of two children and is a member of a number of committees both within the legal industry and community.

* To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

Special Counsel

Barry Mcgee

Barry has always loved a spirited debate, and, with over 20 years specialising exclusively in personal injury litigation, his passion, skill and ability to assist his clients is well known throughout the Queensland profession.

Barry specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Barry’s legal career began in his native Scotland, where he qualified as a Solicitor in 1998. Upon qualifying, he worked for a boutique practice, and then a top-tier national firm, representing a number of different insurers across a variety of industries. With years of working for insurers under his belt, Barry is able to see matters through the eyes of his legal opponents. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say!

He was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2007. In Australia, he commenced working for a large national firm, where he spent 15 years practicing in personal injury litigation. He was made a Partner of the firm in 2011 and spent 11 years as the firm’s dedicated in-house Special Counsel. As Special Counsel, Barry provided expert advocacy and strategical advice and assistance to the firm’s personal injury lawyers and clients of the firm alike.

Barry has significant and extensive experience across a wide variety of personal injury claims. He is compassionate, personable and straightforward, with a keen sense of what is fair and just and a reputation for not settling for anything less than his client deserves.

Outside of work he enjoys surfing, the outdoors, music and spending time with his wife and 3 young children.

Special Counsel

Charlotte Evans

Charlotte has practised exclusively in personal injury compensation litigation for over 20 years.

Charlotte specialises in sexual abuse claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

She is committed to fighting for the rights of plaintiffs and helping her clients through the legal maze, to achieve outcomes that put people back in control of their lives. She has had experience in taking a number of personal injury cases to Trial and winning hard fought cases for her clients and she does not shy away from a challenge.

Charlotte has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to cut through the legal jargon to make the personal injury claim process understandable for her clients whilst ensuring that her clients are also kept well informed throughout their claim.

Out of the office Charlotte is a busy Mum, who now enjoys the privileges of living in beautiful Queensland and making the most of all it has to offer.

Special Counsel

Prue Prescott

Prue has been running personal injury claims for nearly 20 years. This has involved acting for injured claimants in most areas of personal injury law including workers’ compensation injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatality claims, psychiatric injury claims, National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims and total and permanent disability claims.

Prue enjoys handling the more complex claims, such as traumatic brain injury, fatal injury and nervous shock claims, as well as claims involving complex legal principles. Prue seeks to use her Masters qualification in writing and literature to tell each and every client’s individual story, ensuring they are treated fairly by insurers and that they obtain the compensation they deserve.

In 2019, Prue was nominated by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland Inc as an Inspirational Lawyer.

Outside of work, Prue is a busy mum of boys but also tries to find the time to read, write and explore nature.

Office Manager

Julie Hollonds

Julie is a highly dedicated and experienced office manager who has been an integral part of our team for the past 14 years. Bringing a wealth of knowledge with over 35 years of experience in administration, Julie keeps our office running smoothly and efficiently.

Outside of work, Julie loves to walk, snorkel, spend time with friends and explore the beautiful Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

Legal Assistant

Aleisha Harrigan

Having worked as a legal assistant for over five years, Aleisha has a wealth of experience in the field of personal injury. Since joining East Coast Lawyers, she has been an essential part of providing invaluable support to solicitors and our clients. Her abilities extend beyond legal matters with Aleisha providing training to our assistants and administrative team, and streamlining processes and procedures, ensuring that the workflows operate smoothly and effectively.

Outside of work, Aleisha has a passion for reading and music. She can often be found immersed in a good book or a live concert. She values spending quality time with her family, friends and her beloved dog, Kevin.

Legal Assistant

Kym Arrowsmith

Kym is a knowledgeable legal assistant with fifteen years of expertise in the field of personal injury law. She is passionate about supporting clients through the process and obtaining the best possible outcome for them. As a valued member of our team, Kym takes pride in her work and is committed to sharing her extensive experience and knowledge with our other team members.

When Kym is not busy with work, she loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoys discovering new places, whether it be through the pages of a biography or on her push bike.

Legal Assistant

Alece Turner

Alece is a law student who is extremely motivated and passionate about personal injury law. She is hardworking, and always strives to produce the best possible results for our clients.

Her dedication and eagerness to learn more about the law makes Alece a great addition to our team.

When not working or studying, she loves spending time with her son at the beach or at one of our amazing theme parks.

Legal Assistant

Georgia Ryan

Georgia recently joined the team in February 2023 and has been working within the industry for the last three years. She is enthusiastic about helping new and existing clients, and with her bubbly personality and can-do approach makes her an excellent addition to our team.

Raised in Tasmania, Georgia moved to Queensland in early 2017 and hasn’t regretted it since. She loves the warm weather and lifestyle. Outside of work, Georgia loves travelling, dining out and spending time with family and friends.

Legal Assistant

Claire Rezny

Claire is one of our hard working and devoted Legal Assistants. With over 25 years’ administrative experience, her attention to detail, willingness to help others, and calm demeanour makes her a real asset to our team.

Claire is well travelled and, during her time in the USA, Claire discovered a newfound love for reading, which led her to become a proofreader for several published novels. Claire also enjoys landscape and wildlife photography and spending time with her family and puppy.

Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Ella Donnelly

Meet Ella, our receptionist and administrative assistant, with a passion for law and criminology. She is currently working towards a career in the police force. Ella is always eager to help others and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service to our clients.

Ella’s bubbly and outgoing personality shines, making her a perfect receptionist. Despite her busy timetable with working and studying, Ella finds time to pursue her love of acting. Being a performer at heart, Ella has had a chance to showcase her natural flair for the arts in theatre productions.

RECEPTIONIST AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Shayla Riley

Shayla joined our team in September 2023, coming from an extensive background in customer service.

Shayla is a law student who is very passionate about personal injury law. With her bubbly personality and can-do attitude this makes her the perfect person for her administration support role.

When Shayla is not in the office you can find her enjoying all things outdoors, getting lost in a good book or spending time with her two rescue dogs Bear and Ella. 

RECEPTIONIST AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Brooke

Meet Brooke, our receptionist and administration assistant. Brooke has over 3 years’ administration experience in personal injury law and is eager to provide high quality customer service to our clients.

Brooke finds joy in helping others and is extremely hard working making her a real asset to our team.

Out of the office you may find Brooke at a racetrack as she has a passion for fast cars. Brooke also likes spending her time enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking but will never pass up the opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy.