The circumstances of the abuse will depend on who responds to the claim. It is important to seek legal advice regarding who is the appropriate person or organisation to respond to the claim as early as possible so that steps can be taken to protect your entitlement to compensation.
In certain circumstances, the government, a church or other organisation will be responsible for the payment of compensation if an employee sexually abuses a child. In this situation, the compensation will likely be paid under an insurance policy. Given the number of people reporting childhood sexual abuse over the years, various redress schemes have been or are in the process of being set up to respond to compensation claims. If there is not a legal basis for a claim, you may be entitled to compensation under a redress scheme. We have found over the years that even if a church or organisation is not legally liable to pay compensation, they are often still willing to offer compensation or assistance on a moral rather than a legal basis.
It may be possible to bring a claim against the perpetrator directly. Whether it is appropriate to do so will depend on the circumstances of the abuse and whether the perpetrator has sufficient assets to pay any entitlement to compensation. In certain circumstances the amount of compensation you may be entitled to is significant. It is therefore important to know at the start of the claim whether the perpetrator has assets to respond to the claim. If the perpetrator does have assets, steps can be taken to prevent the perpetrator from disposing of their assets so as to avoid the payment of compensation. It is therefore important that you seek legal advice regarding your entitlement to a claim for compensation and what steps should be taken to protect your interests.
Contact Katie Sajatovic or Matt DeGregorio at DBH Lawyers on 8231 3668 to make an appointment to discuss your entitlements to a compensation claim and what steps need to be taken to protect your claim.
Click here to visit the DBH Lawyers Sexual Abuse page for further information.