Will you take on my claim?
We do a free assessment of your claim that generally involves a 45 minute phone call and an answer within 48 hours.
What if my abuse was non-violent?
Current research tells us that the impact of trauma is less about what happened to you and more of how you made sense of what happened to you. This is particularly the case with child sexual abuse where there is silence and shame attached to the trauma.
It happened years ago, is it too late?
Time limits do apply but we have won claims where the abuse occurred over 50 years ago. Do not delay in getting legal advice or delay in making a claim. Most of clients were abused or injured over 20 years ago and some over 40 years ago.
Furthermore, the laws have changed in many States regarding limitations on child abuse matters. This means that you may have a claim even if you have been advised before that you are out of time.
In sexual abuse matters, isn't it my word against his or hers?
Most sexual assaults do not have independent witnesses. However, that does not mean you do not have a claim and it does not mean we will not take your matter on. The truth can be very convincing and community attitudes have changed towards sexual assault. Also as part of our service, we investigate to identify if the offender is known for other offences.
What if the person who assaulted me is dead or in jail?
This would not affect your rights to make a claim against the institution or its insurer.
How much will it cost?
Artemis Legal has a no-win-no-fee* policy. For approved cases, our professional fees, including any barristers fees, are on a no-win-no-fee basis. This means that our fee is only paid on a success or a win basis which typically means when we get you compensation. We will give you an estimate of costs as part of your inquiry. Click here to see our No-Win-No-Fee policy.
What will I have to do?
Generally, you need to make a statement, attend an expert examination and attend two additional private meetings. Then, in most cases, you attend a settlement conference where you can choose to tell the institution whatever it is you want to say. If you choose to litigate, the process is confidential and private and you are not required to perform, give verbal evidence or be required to ask questions in any formal process.
Why don't I just make the claim myself?
These claims are about your psychiatric response to trauma. Exploring the evidence objectively and advocating it properly without causing more harm through the traumatising is arguably impossible. For these reasons even some institutions will not accept unrepresented claims.
Furthermore, represented claims are better prepared, delivered with strength and get better net outcomes.
How much detail will I have to go into?
It depends. In almost all occasions you only have to go into the details of the violence or abuse and the effect it has had on you in writing. However, you may chose to make a personal statement to the institution but that is entirely up to you.
When I am talking about really personal things, can I choose to talk to a woman or a man?
Yes, if you feel more comfortable with a woman or man, we can arrange for either to take your statement. This can happen over the phone, in person or via Skype.
What can I expect to get out of it?
All survivors are different and get different things from the process of making a claim. However, most survivors respond well to the sense of taking action, being heard and getting answers. The size of the damages will depend on the physical abuse itself and the strength of evidence supporting the psychological damage sustained as a result of the injury or abuse. In many instances the institution gives our clients an apology.
Awards typically range from $50,000 to $750,000 inclusive of costs. In some rare instances, awards of over a million dollars can be achieved. Awards are entirely dependent on your circumstances so it is important to get advice.
In sexual abuse matters, should I wait for the Redress Scheme?
The Government recently set up a National Redress Scheme for Survivors. This scheme is a place of last resort and survivors are often better off making a civil claim.
Contact us for a review of both your civil rights and the National Redress Claim.
Who will ultimately pay?
The vast majority of institutions are insured so it is often the insurance company that pays any award and the legal fees.
Will I have to go to court?
Most of our claims are made out of court. At the moment most institutions are reluctant to take survivors to court particularly when we properly prepare your case and present them with all the evidence to support the sums beings asked. Whilst we prepare our matters so that they are "court ready", most of our cases settle before proceedings are commenced. But in many instances we litigate particularly where a private offender is involved with the claim.
Should I claim against the offender?
The offender is rarely covered directly by insurance for their crimes. We sometimes take on matters directly against the offender but that is generally only worthwhile where the offender has assets such a house in their name.
Would I be better off with one of the big firms?
Our lawyers come from big firms so we are able to deliver big firm experience to a more personal service. Some of our clients started their claims at large firms and found that experience frustrating.
I have a matter with another firm, can I move my matter to Artemis Legal?
It depends. In many cases it is not in your best interests to move firms. However, contact us and we will advise your rights to move firms and in some instances, we will offer to act for you.
Can you help me get support for my well-being during the process?
Yes. This is often called "restorative justice" and therefore it is important that claims are part of a process of recovery. We can help you get support during the process. See our page on Wellbeing - click here.