Social Services Compensation Payouts

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If you have been the victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect while under the care of social services our specialist Survivors Team could help you make a social services compensation claim.

Whether the abuse occurred in a domestic or institutional setting, or was perpetrated by a parent, visitor, foster carer, or local authority officer, you may be entitled to claim civil financial compensation if social services' actions or failings contributed to your abuse.


Thompsons is a highly respected and successful law firm with offices across Scotland. We provide comprehensive support throughout the claims process and can arrange meetings at a location convenient for you. We're also available to meet with you alongside your support worker, friend, family member, or significant other.

How does claims against social services work?

Thompsons regularly pursues abuse claims for what is known as vicarious liability on the part of social services and local authorities. In practice, this means that you may be able to claim civil financial compensation if a local authority failed to manage or protect you appropriately.

Claims based on vicarious liability were initially founded on the notion that employers could be held liable for the actions of an employee during the course of their employment. The principle of vicarious liability was then extended to include claims for cases of sexual abuse that were carried out by an employee during the course of their employment. This means that if you have suffered at the hands of a social worker, healthcare professional, teacher or another party with pastoral responsibility, the individual's employer could be held liable for the payment of financial compensation.

In essence, the legal process involves gathering evidence, determining liability, negotiating with social services' legal representatives, and potentially going to court if necessary. Throughout this process, our experienced team provides guidance, support, and representation to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your suffering.

Claims for historical abuse

Until recently, survivors of historical abuse could not make claims for their suffering. This was because of the strict three-year time limit that applied to cases of abuse.

However, with the passing of the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland) Act 2017 it became possible for the survivors of historical childhood abuse to claim compensation in the civil courts, even if the abuse occurred as long ago as 1964 or if they were under the age of 18 when it occurred. This helped correct a glaring deficiency in the law; typically survivors are unlikely to be quick to seek compensation as the trauma is often too much to contemplate for a significant amount of time.

If you suffered abuse prior to 26th September 1964, please see our page on Abuse Law for Survivors.

However, with the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017, survivors can pursue compensation claims against social services for abuse dating back to 1964, even if they were under 18 when it occurred. This corrected a deficiency in the law, acknowledging survivors' delayed pursuit of compensation due to trauma.

This change in legislation opened avenues for survivors to seek justice and receive recognition for the harm they endured. It also holds social services accountable for past failings and provides an opportunity for healing and closure for survivors.

If you suffered abuse before September 26, 1964, visit our Abuse Law for Survivors page for more information on your legal options and how we can assist you in seeking compensation.

Thompsons survivor abuse claims solicitors

Time to take legal action against social services.Thompsons' survivor abuse team can help you make a claim for compensation even if the abuse occurred many years ago or if the perpetrator is dead.

You won't need to pay us anything at the outset of your claim. No charges will be made until your case is settled and only if you are successful, and all fees and costs will be explained clearly and transparently in advance. You can find out more about the process on our Historical Abuse Claims Process page

Our abuse claim team is led by two of Scotland's most experienced solicitors: Patrick McGuire, Laura Connor. Patrick and Laura have close working relationships with Scotland's leading abuse charities and also with the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

To discuss making a social services abuse claim, contact us today for a confidential consultation. We're here to listen to your story, provide legal advice, and guide you through the process of seeking compensation and accountability for the abuse you endured.


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