The stigma of sexual abuse can last a lifetime for survivors, and no amount of compensation will completely take away the trauma. However, under Australian law, victims of sexual abuse can seek to recover compensation from their abuser or the institution for which they may have worked. If you are thinking about claiming compensation for your pain and suffering, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in this type of claims.
Don’t Hesitate to Act
If you’re an adult who has been sexually abused in some manner, it is important to seek help from an attorney quickly because there is a time limit for seeking compensation. While the time limits vary from state to state, in New South Wales, you only have two years in which to take action. However, if you are a survivor of childhood sexual assault, there are no time limits for seeking compensation.
Who can be Held Accountable?
You can seek compensation from the person who perpetrated the crime against you as long as they were convicted or plead guilty to the crime. However, if the perpetrator committed the offence in the course of their employment, then you can also hold the employer liable for the abuse. For instance, if a teacher abuses a child, then the school could be held accountable too.
It can be difficult to seek compensation from an employer of the abuser because you have to show that the employer knew that the abuse occurred or should have known about the abuse. A lawyer experienced in cases involving compensation for sexual abuse can investigate to see if the employer, in our example the school, knew about the teacher. If so, they could also end up paying compensation for the abuse.
How Much Can You Recover?
The amount you can be awarded for your abuse varies from state to state, but it could be as much as $50,000. However, an attorney may be able to find other ways for you to be compensated by the perpetrator or their employer so you would get more money. It is possible that you could sue the perpetrator under their insurance policy if they were covered by home and contents insurance at the time they committed the crime.
Where to Seek Help
Sexual abuse compensation law is complicated, so you need to find an attorney who has experience in handling these types of cases. Many law firms with personal injury lawyers will handle sexual abuse compensation cases along with other types of personal injury cases. They can help you wade through complicated laws and help you sue the perpetrator of the crime to recover damages for the offence they committed against you.
While nothing will erase what happened to you, you can be compensated to make up for economic losses you may have experienced after you were abused. If you were a child at the time the abuse happened, nothing will give you back your childhood, but seeking compensation can help you identify the perpetrator and help you move on with your life.