Last updated on November 11th, 2021
While Social Services are expected to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, there are times when they have failed in their duty of care. If you feel that you have suffered traumatic consequences because of their negligence, you may have a right to pursue a claim against Social Services for compensation.
What Might Be Considered As Negligence?
As part of Social Services duty of care, they are required to be vigilant when visiting families in their homes or while visiting schools, hospitals or libraries. Social Services staff receive extensive training in recognising signs that may indicate possible neglect or abuse. When they encounter potentially abusive situations, they are required to keep a close watch or take appropriate action to protect the vulnerable individual. Overlooking obvious signs of abuse or not seeming to act on them can put vulnerable children and adults at risk, and may be considered as negligence on the part of the Social Services.
These are some of many examples of what could be considered as negligence:
- Failure to notice visible signs of abuse, such as bruising and pain when touched, intangible signs of abuse such as looking away, fidgeting and not answering direct questions, or even subtle changes in behaviour.
- Failure to notice signs of neglect, such as subtle changes in behaviour.
- Failure to supervise children who have been placed in foster care or those living in children’s homes.
- Failure to report possibly abusive situations.
- Failure to take appropriate action on identifying abusive situations.
- Not taking the time to listen to vulnerable children and adults.
- Failure to respond and take appropriate action when informed about abusive situations by other professionals such as teachers, nurses or doctors.
Who Can Claim Against Social Services?
Anyone who experienced continued abuse or neglect because of negligence on the part of Social Services may have the right to file a claim against them. You can file a claim on your own behalf if you were directly affected by the Social Services’ negligence. You can also file a claim on behalf of a child who has been affected. While the process is essentially the same in both cases, there are a few things you should know about who can begin the process for a compensation claim. What’s just as important is to understand the time limit for filing such a claim under the different circumstances.
If you, as an adult, were directly affected by Social Services neglect or abuse, you can initiate a claim directly on your own behalf. In this case, your claim must be filed within 3 years of the personal injury having occurred.
If you were affected by Social Service negligence as a child but are now an adult, you can initiate a claim on your own behalf. However, the time limit is slightly different. In this case, the time limit for filing your claim is 3 years from the date that you turned 18 years of age or 3 years from the date that you realised the effect of the neglect or abuse.
If a child below 18 years of age was affected by Social Service neglect or abuse, a parent or guardian who is in a position to speak for the child could initiate a compensation claim on the child’s behalf. If the child has no parent or guardian, the court can appoint a suitable litigation friend such as another family member, a friend, a solicitor, a professional advocate.
The UK courts weigh each case on its own merit and may make special concessions as the circumstances demand. One of the things they may do is to extend the time limit for filing if you can provide compelling reason for extension.
The best way to make sure your rights are protected if you want to claim against Social Services and get the maximum amount of compensation due is to consider the services of a personal injury solicitor.
Legal Representation Against Social Services
Personal injury solicitors can provide legal representation against Social Services for negligence claims. Experienced solicitors know all aspects of the law that are relevant to this specific type of negligence and will use their knowledge and experience to build a strong case on your behalf. They also have access to legal libraries where they can research precedents to add weight to your claim against Social Services.
Dealing with any type of abuse can be complex and emotionally draining. Our personal injury solicitors understand this and are extremely caring and sensitive when asking you necessary questions to help them build your claim. They will help you get the justice you deserve without causing you any more trauma.
Most solicitors will offer to represent you without any upfront fee, using a No Win No Fee agreement. The No Win No Fee contract will include detailed information on how it works. The essence of our agreement is that you pay nothing at all if your claim against Social Services is unsuccessful. You only have to pay an agreed fee if you are awarded compensation and is simply deducted directly from it.
The No Win No Fee agreement gives you unprecedented benefits as it allows you to get legal representation against Social Services without paying any upfront fees while also boosting your chances of winning the maximum amount of compensation.
If you would like to discuss legal representation in a claim against Social Services then please don’t hesitate in contacting us today.