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The Key To A Successful Compensation Claim: Follow It Through

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Making a successful compensation claim

The Key To A Successful Compensation Claim: Follow It Through

Laying a successful compensation claim always starts with what can be a daunting process of making the decision, making the call and taking the first step. What people don’t always contemplate in making this decision, is how it might feel at the end of the process.

Don’t just think about beginning your claim: think about the end result. How would you feel?

Having successfully acted in literally hundreds of matters regarding the abuse of children in a myriad of institutions across Australia, it is sometimes good to reflect on the very positive outcomes from the process of a successful compensation claim. They may not be what you think.

We have heard a lot of stories and suffice to say the confidentiality of our clients and the private nature of their claims are bound by both legal requirements and ethical standards. That said, we can say there are patterns to virtually all the matters of abuse in which we act.

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Survivors of child sexual abuse are deeply traumatised, sometimes more than they know and confronting it in terms of making a claim, almost always touches a “sore spot”. The impact on everyone manifests itself in different ways, impacting their ability to maintain

  • their work life,
  • personal relationships,
  • social interaction,
  • financial stability and
  • emotional stability

Often issues of depression, substance abuse and the ability to pursue a productive life make for a constant struggle.

It crosses all walks of life.

So what then happens when the compensation process is done and dusted, and what can it mean to a claimant?

Firstly of course there is the receipt of funds as agreed at settlement.

This can mean different things to different people. Some make a deposit on a property to live in; some get financial help to invest the funds for a more secure future; others repay debt or help family members. Regardless, the effect is often life-changing, but the financial side is usually only part of the story.

We recall one client who was reduced to a life on the street, he had issues with drugs and alcohol and his family life had broken down completely. It was a decision to act that was years in the making, but today with a successful claim, that same person has purchased a home, gained worthwhile employment, sought help for his dependencies, and has re-established his relationship with his children. He has self-belief and esteem he thought was lost forever.

Another client had totally broken down, becoming incapable of relating to either his family or friends, becoming almost frozen in life within four walls. Again, it took bravery and determination to take the first step, but with support from those who understood and never judged, his entire life turned around. His claim became one of the largest recorded in Australia, and he has taken control of his life, invested well and is leading a life of independence for the first time ever.

So what is the reason for these positive stories about those whose lives seemed always destined to be held in the grip of the violent and disturbing abuses of the past?

The answer is made up of multiples.

Yes, financial compensation, but also;

  • vindication,
  • the belief that cries for help were true and worthy,
  • getting an apology for the wrongs committed against them,
  • laying out the guilt and shame where it has always belonged: at the feet of the perpetrators.

It can be life-changing.

There is nothing sudden or accelerated about making a historical child sexual abuse claim. It is a carefully considered process, starting with a conversation with your experienced legal advisor, then taking procedural steps forward and seeing it through.

The compensation process usually culminates in the legal parties arriving at an agreed settlement figure in a mediation negotiated by your legal team.

Our clients do not need to be confronted by the defendants during this process. Child sexual abuse cases very rarely go to court and only then with the instruction of our clients.

Getting through to the other side of a claim for childhood institutional abuse does not change what happened, but it is our experience that almost all that do, feel a weight off their shoulders that they may have carried for decades.

The secret they felt bound to keep forever is relegated to the past where it belongs.

Finally if ever there was a truth it is that you are not alone.

All over the world victims of child sexual abuse are coming out, speaking up and getting the support & recognition they so deserve. It really can be a good news story.

If either you or someone close to you would like to talk to one of our abuse specialists, for free and in confidence, about your legal options, please feel free to either fill out the form below with the best way and the best time to contact you, or you can call us on 02 9283 5599.

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