If you or your child has experienced abuse in a sports environment, our specialist Abuse Claims Solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation.
Contact us for free legal advice and ask about Legal Aid or if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Our Head of Abuse Claims, Solicitor Peter Garsden, is well-respected in this field and is one of the founders of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers. With over two decades of experience helping victims of abuse, our specialist team has a deep understanding of the impact abuse can have.
We fully appreciate the emotional impact of sports abuse, so we’re committed to making the claims process as stress-free as possible, as well as connecting our clients with the best available support networks.
Handling every abuse case with compassion, respect, understanding, and - above all - confidentiality, we can help abuse victims pursue justice, no matter what club or sports facility was to blame for failing in their basic duty of care.
Taking part in sport can be an enriching, life-enhancing experience for children. But it’s an unfortunate truth that sports clubs can become a breeding ground for child abuse, particularly if extensive background checks on coaches and other staff haven’t been carried out.
It’s the duty of the sports club owner to ensure that children in their care are safe and protected. So if they fall short in this area, anyone let down by this failure is entitled to seek justice.
Those working at clubs can use their position to manipulate and abuse children, as they make children promises and try to exert psychological control over their victims. Victims, meanwhile, may feel like they don’t have a voice and can’t speak out against their abuser.
It’s only once abuse survivors break this scenario and reach out for support that they can begin to process their experience and seek closure from their past.
Our Solicitors that specialise in sports abuse are experts at handling cases sensitively and empathetically. We’re well-equipped to handle even the most complex abuse cases and will fight tirelessly for fair and just outcomes.
While no amount of money will ever repair the damage done by abuse as a child, gaining compensation for historic sexual abuse at a sports centre, football team, or youth club can help survivors gain some semblance of closure and help ensure that an abuser faces justice.
Frequently asked questions
- Do I Need a Solicitor?
The law surrounding abuse compensation claims is extremely complex, so it’s vital you speak to a Solicitor that specialises in abuse claims.
Even before a claim goes to Court, there are many potential pitfalls and hurdles to overcome, and special procedures to follow. A Solicitor with expertise in abuse claims is ideally placed to help you navigate this legal minefield and get the best outcome for you.
Simpson Millar is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL) and we subscribe to its code of conduct. That means we’ll deal with your case in the way you’d expect it to be handled, with sensitivity and skill.
- What's Involved in Claiming Compensation?
The first step is to determine exactly who to make the claim for compensation against. This could be anyone from a residential care institution, or the body that runs it, to an individual who has committed abuse in the family home.
We’ll then determine how the claim is to be funded, many claims can be dealt with on a No Win, No Fee basis, we can then start to obtain as much evidence as possible to help prove the claim and assess its value.
If it’s then appropriate to begin Court proceedings, a formal legal claim begins in Court. In most abuse cases, there’s no need to go to a final trial and many compensation claims can be settled out of Court.
If it does proceed to trial, the person bringing the case may have to give evidence as a witness, but if this does happen, your Solicitor and a Barrister will provide advice and support at every stage.
- How Much Compensation Will I Get?
The exact amount of compensation depends on many factors such as how much has the abuse affected your life? How much money have you lost or likely to lose as a consequence of the abuse? Will you need extra support in the future?
That’s why in most cases we ask a medical expert to prepare a report detailing the harm inflicted, so we can value your claim and give you a good idea of how much compensation you can expect to receive.
Rest assured, we’ll do all we can to get you the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
- Why Claim Compensation?
Bringing legal action can’t wipe away the suffering you or a loved one has experienced, but there are lots of other reasons why it’s worth claiming compensation:
- For many, it’s the only recognition that what happened to them was wrong
- Legal action helps survivors accept that what happened to them wasn’t their fault
- Solicitors can aid the survivor’s recovery process, as the first people to hear and validate their experiences
- Compensation can help survivors get appropriate treatment, such as counselling, and rebuild their lives
- Public bodies have an incentive to follow correct procedures and act responsibly
- Speaking out on abuse can encourage Parliament to change the law
- Bringing legal action can ensure other people don’t have to suffer in the same way as you
- Compensation can recover money you would have received if not for the abuse
- How Will I Pay?
There are generally four options for paying for legal costs:
- Public Funding (Legal Aid)
- No Win, No Fee arrangements
- Legal Expenses Insurance
- Private Funding
Solicitors make charges based on an hourly rate. The overall cost of your case will depend on how much work is required, and a complex case will cost more than a straightforward case.
Most child abuse cases are complex, as they can involve investigations of records and events dating back many years. This can make child abuse cases very expensive to bring to Court.
Abuse cases will also usually include fees from experts including Psychiatrists, Doctors, Barristers and sometimes other specialists.
The legal system requires the losing party in an abuse case to pay the winning party’s legal costs.
Public Funding (Legal Aid) is currently available for child abuse claims where the person bringing the claim is financially eligible and where the case has legal merit.
If a person doesn’t qualify for Legal Aid, the Solicitor will consider whether it’s appropriate to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) or what is often called a No Win, No Fee agreement. It’s essential that you fully understand the terms of the agreement before committing to it, so you know exactly what expenses you could have to pay.
When entering into a No Win, No Fee agreement, it may also be a good idea to take out an After the Event insurance policy in case you end up having to pay the opponent’s costs.
Finally, you have the option of paying the Solicitor privately as the case proceeds.
For free legal advice call our Abuse Claims Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.