Institutional Abuse

Where a child is put in the care of an organisation—whether a school, government department (including foster care), non-government organisation, religious organisation or military facility—the organisation has a duty to take reasonable care to maintain the health and safety of the child.

If you or a family member has sustained injuries as a result of abuse, including sexual abuse, occurring at an institution, you may have a right to seek compensation, to be paid by the institution responsible for your care.

Hall Payne have a team of legal experts to take care of you and make sure you (or your family member) get the compensation you’re entitled to.

Our Expert

Cameron Hall


Rated by peers as one of Queensland's best lawyers in the area, Cameron is widely respected as a leader within this field and as a mentor to the firm's growing personal compensation and super teams

Common Questions

What can I do if I've experienced institutional abuse?

If you’ve sustained injuries as a result of institutional abuse you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries through a common law claim for damages. This area of law can be complex – expert legal advice will help to identify your rights to compensation, what you can claim for, and the time frame you have to claim within.

Hall Payne are experts in running institutional abuse claims, and offer a free initial consultation  to help you determine the strength of your claim. Contact us for more information.

How do I know if I have a claim?

Entitlements vary from case to case, and the best way to know if you have a claim worth pursuing is to get advice from a lawyer experienced in the area of institutional abuse. One of our expert team of lawyers can discuss the specific circumstances of your case, and the options you have available to you in pursuing a claim.

The abuse occurred many years ago, can I still make a claim?

While there is a general three year limitation period in which to bring a claim for damages, time limits applying to claims resulting from institutional abuse can vary, depending on the circumstances of each individual case.

We will discuss the relevant time limits that may apply to your claim, and what you might be entitled to recover by way of compensation for your injuries during your first consultation. We offer these initial consultations free of charge, and use this time to help you make important decisions about any claim you may have.

What can I claim for?

Our expert lawyers will ensure that you recover everything you’re entitled to. Depending on the type of claim, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • pain, suffering and loss of life enjoyment
  • loss of past and future earning and associated superannuation
  • past and future hospital and medical expenses
  • ongoing or future anticipated rehabilitation and treatment expenses
  • out of pocket expenses for items such as pharmaceuticals and travel
  • care provided by friends or family
  • paid care and help

Every individual has a different situation. Your best course of action is to get advice about what compensation is right for you.

When should I make a claim?

Strict time limits apply for accessing compensation for institutional abuse. Your entitlement to compensation may be lost if you don’t make a claim in time. Know your rights and any time limits which may apply as soon as possible following your injury.

Hall Payne understands that this can be a very challenging time. Financial stress can make the situation overwhelming. The sooner a claim is started, the sooner you’ll receive compensation (and some peace of mind).

How long will my claim take?

The sooner your claim is finalised, the sooner you can move on with your life. That said, it takes time to prepare and manage a claim, with the length of time varying from case to case. In most cases a claim for compensation for institutional abuse will take from 6 to 9 months, and sometimes more.

We provide a free initial consultation to discuss the specific circumstances of your matter. In this consultation, and with further information, we will discuss the likely time frames that will apply to your claim, as well as providing you with an estimate of legal costs and discussing your prospects of success.

1800 659 114

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We have 9 offices across Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.