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Personal Injury Claims Scotland Time Limit – How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation In Scotland?

By John Bowes. Last Updated 2nd March 2021. The time limit for making a personal injury claim in Scotland is 3 years from the time you were injured in an accident or you were made aware you suffered an injury. However, these may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding a claim. In this guide, you can learn more about the personal injury claims time limit in Scotland. You can also learn more about claims with a personal injury solicitor Scotland.

personal injury claims time limit in Scotland

Personal injury claims time limit in Scotland

The law in Scotland differs from that in England in various ways, which includes time limits associated with specific personal injury claims with some cases not having any limitations at all, whereas others may have extended time limits. With this said, it is far wiser to seek legal representation and advice right away to avoid your claim being statute-barred.

To find out more about the personal injury claims time limit in Scotland and how one of our experienced legal advisers can assist you, please contact us on 0800 073 8804.

A Guide On Personal Injury Claims Scotland Time Limit

Our guide covers several factors relating to the personal injury claims time limit in Scotland. It also looks at how specific factors may affect the length of time you may have to seek compensation for injuries you sustained and damage you suffered through no fault of your own. We explain questions that claimants frequently ask, which includes the following:

  • When does a time limit start if I make a Scottish personal injury claim?
  • What circumstances may affect the time limit?
  • What is the time limit where children are involved?
  • Is there a time limit for personal injury claims Scotland involving a person with diminished mental capacity?
  • What about claims for accidents on holiday or during a flight?
  • Is there a time limit for claims made on behalf of someone who has died?

The final sections of our guide provide information on how much personal injury compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim made in Scotland, how the amount is calculated, what may be included in special damages, how No Win No Fee claims for personal injuries work in Scotland, and how Legal Expert can assist you by providing essential legal advice on how Scottish laws differ from those in England.

What Are Time Limits For Personal Injury Claims?

The best advice is to make a personal injury claim as soon as you are able to because time is of the essence when it comes to seeking compensation if you suffered an injury or developed a work-related health issue. The time limit for personal injury claims in Scotland starts from the date of knowledge of an injury or health issue.

In short, if you discover that you have developed some kind of industrial disease which includes mesothelioma, which you in all likelihood sustained in the workplace years previously, you could still be able to claim compensation in Scotland.

The typical time limit for personal injury claims Scotland is three years from the date of knowledge of having sustained an injury or developed a work-related health issue.

When Do Injury Claim Time Limits In Scotland Start?

The time limits for personal injury claims in Scotland can vary, depending on several factors. As such, it is always advisable to seek advice from an experienced solicitor as soon as you can. Generally, personal injury claims time limits in Scotland start from when you are made aware of an injury or work-related illness you sustained. Should you wait for too long to file a claim against a responsible party, you may find that your case is statute-barred.

As previously mentioned, time is of the essence when claiming compensation in Scotland. The reason being that should your case fall under the compulsory pre-action protocols or voluntary protocol requirements, the procedure that must be followed typically takes several weeks for a defendant’s representative to respond when necessary.

Gathering essential evidence in the form of medical reports, witness statements, police reports and other proof required to strengthen a Scottish personal injury claim can also be time-consuming. As such, the sooner you contact a legal expert, the better and the sooner you would know whether you have a valid case and be awarded compensation for injuries sustained.

Do Time Limits Vary In Different Circumstances?

As previously mentioned, time limits associated with Scottish personal injury claims for compensation can vary depending on the circumstances that surround a case. Should you have been a minor when you were injured in an accident in Scotland, the time limit only begins in Scotland when a child reaches sixteen years of age. If you are claiming compensation following the death of a loved one in Scotland, the time limit begins at the time of the loved one’s death. Because the time limits do vary, it is much wiser to seek the advice of an experienced solicitor before doing anything else and to do so as early as possible more especially as some personal injury claim time limits can be less than three years.

Time Limits In Scotland For Child Accident Claims

The time limit in Scotland to make a personal injury claim involving children begins from the date of their 16th birthday, but it is far better to begin a claim earlier when things are fresh in everyone’s mind. Children may not make a claim and would need what is referred to as a ‘litigation friend’ to file a case for compensation on their behalf. This could be a parent or a trusted family member.

The litigation friend must be able to prove they are able to conduct proceedings in a fair and competent manner on behalf of the child claimant, and there must not be any conflict of interests. An example being that should a child have been injured in a road traffic accident in which they suffered injuries and a parent was driving at the time, the parent would not be allowed to be the child’s litigation friend. The personal injury compensation a child would be awarded in a successful claim would be placed in a trust until the child is an adult.

In cases of childhood abuse, there is no longer a time limit associated with personal injury claims filed through the Scottish civil courts. As such, adults who were subjected to child abuse may be able to seek compensation for the harm they were caused when they were minors. Because this type of personal injury claim tends to be complex, it is far better to seek the assistance of an experienced solicitor which is something that Legal Expert can help you with.

Time Limits In Scotland Where A Claimant Has Diminished Mental Capacity

In Scotland, there is no time limit for claimants who seek compensation but who are known to have diminished mental capacity to do so on their own. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 sets out a framework that safeguards the welfare of adults deemed to have a diminished mental capacity (people who are aged 16 or over). This could be because they lack mental capacity due to any of the following:

  • A mental illness
  • A learning disability
  • Dementia or related health issue
  • An inability to communicate with others

In part six of the Act, an application can be made to the courts for the following:

  • For an intervention order to be made authorising a person to take action or to make a ‘decision’ on behalf of an adult who is unable to do so on their own

Again, because these personal injury claims can be complex legal procedures in Scotland, it is far better to get in touch with an experienced solicitor who has the necessary legal know-how to take on this type of delicate claim for compensation. This is an area of law that Legal Expert may be able to offer vital assistance.

Injury Claim Time Limits For Accidents On Holiday Or On A Flight

In general, you have three years to make a claim for an accident on holiday or on a flight, but this may vary depending on certain circumstances and whether you booked your vacation or flight as a package deal. The reason being that tour operators have a duty and responsibility to ensure that their holiday destinations offer clean and safe places for holidaymakers. In short, a tour operator could be deemed liable for an accident that leaves you suffering from an injury or illness because they would have failed in their duty when it comes to your health and safety during your holiday.

The package travel regulations

You must be able to show the tour operator was negligent to claim compensation, and you could also act on behalf of a child who is under the age of sixteen if they are injured or fall ill on holiday due to a tour operator’s negligence. Providing you booked the holiday as an all-inclusive package deal, you would be protected under the Package Travel Regulations 1992.

It is worth noting that a holiday would only be protected under the Regulations if the following applies:

  • It was sold at an ‘inclusive’ price
  • That it consists of a minimum of two things whether transport, accommodation or tourist services (an example being car hire)
  • The holiday lasts a minimum of twenty-four hours or it involves one overnight stay

The invoice a tour operator provides should clearly state whether a booking was a package holiday. If you are at all unsure whether you booked an all-inclusive package holiday or not, a member of our team at Legal Expert would be able to clarify this for you.

Time Limits To Claim For A Fatal Accident Or Injury In Scotland

What is the personal injury claims time limit in Scotland? There is a strict time limit to claiming compensation for a fatal accident or injury in Scotland. This is 3 years from the date of the fatal accident. Although this seems like long enough to bring a claim against a negligent party, we always recommend that claims of this nature are started as soon as possible so that all the evidence and other necessary proof can be gathered while the facts surrounding an accident are still fresh in the minds of any witnesses to the incident.

Scottish Personal Injury Compensation Calculator

All personal injury claims are unique and as such, the amount you may be awarded may differ from that someone else who sustained a similar injury may have received. Personal injury compensation is awarded in two parts, namely general damages and special damages. The amount awarded in general damages would depend on the severity of injuries sustained, and how a victim’s life has been affected. However, special damages are awarded for out of pocket expenses linked to injuries suffered in an accident in Scotland.

The chances are you came across an online personal injury compensation calculator. These tools provide a rough idea of how much you may be entitled to if injured in an accident in Scotland. For a better and more accurate idea of how much you may be awarded in a successful claim against a party responsible, we recommend you contact a member of our team on 0800 073 8804.

For a more general idea of the amount you may be awarded, please see the table below. The amounts shown are based on the Judicial College Guidelines for claims filed in England.

Reason For CompensationAward AmountsComments
Moderate Brain Damage£40,410 - £205,580The level of compensation will depend on the seriousness of the injury and the effects on the claimant's life. The higher award will go to those with high dependency on others, severely reduced intellectual ability, a change in personality, detrimental impact to speech and a higher chance of developing epilepsy. The lower award would be for when dependency on others is a lot lower, where concentration and memory has been impacted, there is a reduced work capability and a low chance of epilepsy.
Less Severe Brain Damage£14,380 - £40,410Less severe than above, the claimant should make a substantial recovery, but might suffer with memory loss and concentration issues.
Minor Brain Damage£2,070 - £11,980Level of award will depend on the seriousness of the initial injury, the treatment necessary, the length of treatment and if there are any long-term effects such as headaches etc.
Minor Neck Injuries£2,300 - £7,410Award amount will be decided upon level of severity. Injuries could cover whiplash, soft tissue damage, disk damage.
Severe Back Injuries£36,390 - £151,070This may involve damage to the spinal nerves and roots, significant damage to disks and to soft tissue. Partial paraplegia possible or permanent mobility problems.
Moderate Back Injuries£11,730 - £36,390Less severe than above but on-going pain and mobility problems.
Minor Back Injuries£2,300 - £11,730Less severe than above. Some recovery may have taken place. Less severe soft tissue and disk damage. Level of award dependant on recovery, pain and any on-going effects.
Less Severe Arm Injury£18,020 - £36,770Some degree of disability experienced but a good degree of recovery should have taken place.

Ensure that you begin your claim within the personal injury claims time limit in Scotland.

Special Damages For Accidents In Scotland

When you bring a personal injury claim in Scotland against a party deemed responsible for injuries and damage, you would be able to claim both general damages and special damages, with the latter being awarded to compensate you for any out of pocket expenses you had to deal with. In short, you could claim for the following providing you have proof of your expenditure and losses:

  • Travel expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Care expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future income
  • Vehicle and home adaptations
  • Other expenses linked to injuries

No Win No Fee Claims For Personal Injuries In Scotland

Initially, one of our specialist solicitors would offer you a free consultation to assess your injury claim Scotland and to establish who could be held responsible for your injuries and the damages you suffered. Once this has been determined, the solicitor would offer to represent you without you paying an upfront fee. This would involve signing a No Win No Fee agreement (Conditional Fee Agreement – CFA) which is a legal contract between a claimant and the solicitor.

The agreement is binding and sets out the percentage that the solicitor would take which is only payable when you are awarded personal injury compensation in a successful claim. However, should you not win your claim, the percentage, known as a ‘success fee’, would not be payable. This takes all the financial worry of not winning a personal injury claim in Scotland off the table.

To make a No Win No Fee claim within the personal injury claims time limit in Scotland, contact us. 

How We Could Help Victims Of Accidents In Scotland

At Legal Expert, our team of specialist solicitors boast years of experience in representing victims of accidents in Scotland, which we do on a No Win No Fee basis once we are happy that a case is valid and has a good chance of being won whether in an out of court settlement or in the court. We work hard to ensure that sufficient evidence is gathered to support a claim and always ensure that pre-action protocols and time limits are respected. This helps ensure a successful outcome, that sanctions are avoided and that claims filed in Scotland are not statute-barred.

Once you sign the No Win No Fee agreement, a solicitor can begin their investigations straight away and would begin contacting the necessary parties with a view to speeding up what can often be a lengthy legal process.

Start A Scottish Personal Injury Claim

We hope our guide to the personal injury claims time limit in Scotland has helped you. If you need further help and advice on how to pursue a Scottish personal injury claim against a responsible party, please contact us on 0800 073 8804.
If you prefer to get in touch by email, you can do so at:

You can also opt to fill out our enquiry contact form by clicking on the link provided below:

Essential References

For more information on pre-action protocols associated with personal injury claims in Scotland, please follow the link provided below:

Pre-action protocols on claims in Scotland

If you were injured in an accident in Scotland and would like more information on how to pursue a claim, please click on the link provided below:

Claiming personal injury compensation in Scotland

To find out more about No Win No Fee claims in Scotland, please click on the link below:

How No Win No Fee personal injury claims work

Learn more about how a personal injury solicitor could help you claim compensation.

Personal Injury Solicitor Scotland

Scottish Personal Injury Claim FAQs

In this section, we answer some common questions people ask about making a compensation claim.

Could I claim if I was at fault?

In some circumstances accident victims may be unsure who caused their accident. In these cases, a personal injury solicitor covering Scotland could help assess where fault lays. If more than one person is deemed to be at fault the claim may be made on the basis of split liability. This means that if you and another party were responsible for the accident a claim could still be made. For example, if you were 50% responsible, you could claim 50% of the possible damages.

If you were wholly at fault, it is unlikely that you would be able to claim compensation.

Will claiming compensation affect my benefits?

This will depend on certain circumstances. In some cases, compensation settlements could affect specific benefits payments awarded as a result of the accident. For further information please read this UK government guide.

Written by Wood

Edited by Billing

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