Redress Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland
The law has been shifting over the last number of years to provide survivors of historical child abuse the access to justice they deserve.
In December 2021, the Redress for Survivors (Historical Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021 came into force.
Prior to commencement of the Act, Livingstone Brown, via its specialist team, had been advising clients on the Redress Scheme and since the Act has taken force, we have provided guidance and specialist advice to many survivors and ensuring that they have independent legal advice throughout the entire process.
Eligibility for the scheme
To be eligible for an application, the abuse suffered (which can be emotional, physical, sexual and can include elements of neglect) must have been suffered while the person was a child (under the age of 18), was in a relevant care setting, such as a children’s home, in Scotland. The abuse must have been suffered before 1 December 2004.
Fixed Payments and Individually Assessed Awards
The Redress Scheme adopts two different approaches to payments. Applicants can decide to apply for a fixed payment of £10,000 or an individually assessed award which could see a payment of up to £100,000 being made. The difference is that the applicant will provide a much more detailed account of their experience to receive an individually assessed award. A fixed-term payment can be applied for by only showing that you were in the relevant care setting and providing a brief background of the abuse which took place.
It is essential that independent legal advice is provided prior to making any form of application to ensure that the correct scheme is being applied for.
The Act comes with two time limits. You will have five years from the date of the accident brought into force and once a decision is made on your application, you will have a further six months to make a decision.
What happens if I accept an offer?
If you accept an offer under the Redress Scheme, you will be asked to sign what is known as a waiver. This waiver essentially means that you must abandon any existing court proceedings that you have, and you waive the right to raise any new civil proceedings. Importantly, if you are currently engaged in an ongoing civil court action, then you are permitted to complete that civil action and then apply for the Redress Scheme. However, any payments that you receive through a civil action, will be deducted from any redress payment in which you receive and this also has a time limit and time limits will apply.
What are my options?
When any survivor of historical abuse meets with one of our specialist solicitors, you will be given the available options which can range from the following:
- Applying to the Redress Scheme;
- Proceed with a civil action;
- Apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
These are the three common options which are available for survivors of abuse. It is important before you make an informed decision that you seek independent legal advice and one of our specialist solicitors will ensure that we will obtain your medical records, police report, any official documentation from authorities such as the Crown Office or Police Scotland and we will also ensure that, if required, we obtain independent medical evidence to support your case.
In our view, it is essential that if you are seeking to proceed with any form of legal action in relation to historical abuse, you consult with a solicitor before making any application to the Redress Scheme, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, or engaging with any local authority. The legal options are wide-ranging and each come with their own risks and benefits.
Livingstone Brown have been offering support for childhood abuse victims for over thirty years. We have assisted the most vulnerable members of society and will offer you strong legal advice with an empathetic approach. We are one of the few Scottish legal firms who have represented survivors in the English and Scottish Child Abuse Inquiries and are recognised by the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers as one of the leading firms for providing advice to survivors.
Contact our Historical Abuse Lawyers in Glasgow
Contact our historical abuse lawyers by calling 0141 429 8166, or by filling out our online enquiry form and one of our solicitors will be in touch with you. Please note that it shall only be a solicitor that will be dealing with your case and not a claims handler nor paralegal.