Were you abused when you were at school or when you were in care as a foster child. Or were you injured when in the care and supervision of a school. If so you may have a right to compensation.
The Department of Education in each State, as well as schools and professional bodies, have responded to developments in the law by implementing guidelines and obligations. The liability of the State in protecting children at state schools has been set out in professional conduct guidelines for staff at State schools. In NSW the Department of Education has indicated that compliance with its duty of care is determined on the basis of the actions and omissions of its staff.
Pursuant to the law relating to the care of children and young persons the law asserts a high level of responsibility by the institutions, services and facilities to protect and provide services to wards of the State to a high standard. The law requires that children and young persons be provided with an environment free of violence and exploitation.
In a case of a boy in an orphanage between the ages of 8 and 16 years he was subject to physical and sexual abuse. In that case the claim for damages was only for psychological injury (rather than physical and psychiatric) and he was ultimately awarded $400,000. In a separate case an amount of $804,000 was awarded for a claim for psychiatric injury.
In Child sexual abuse matters aggravated damages may also be awarded for the hurt and humiliation of the abuse. Where the behaviour of the offender after the abuse has occurred has been such to cause increased mental harm, such as denial of liability in clear cut cases, aggravated damages may be appropriate.
If you have been abused, sexually or otherwise, or injured whilst in the care or supervision of a School or institution that has responsibility for children then you may have a claim for compensation. That claim can include compensation for pain and suffering (and possibility including aggravated damages), past and future loss of income, past and future medical expenses.
If you want to know where you stand and be advised of your legal rights please feel free to contact Peter Moore of Whitelaw McDonald Solicitors on 4941 8999 for an informal no obligations chat. It is important to remember that time limits may apply in matters other than sexual abuse so you should find out your legal rights at the earliest possible time.