Personal Injury Compensation Time Limits Explained – 2017 Update
How Long Do I Have Left To Claim My Personal Injury Compensation
If you have been injured in an accident which is not your fault you may be considering making a personal injury claim. One question we are often asked is “how long do I have left to claim my personal injury compensation?” Personal Injury compensation time limits mean that you do need to bring your case within a certain amount of time. However, this time period is highly flexible, depending on several factors. For most types of personal injury compensation, there are strict time limits after which little or nothing can be done.
In this guide, we will take you through many of the most common types of personal injury and accident compensation types, and the time limits for making these types of claims.
Within Three Years Of The Accidents Date
If you have sustained injuries as the result of an accident and were aware of the full extent of your injuries on that date, then the three year period in which you can make a claim will be from the date of the accident.
Date Of Knowledge And Your Personal Injury Compensation Claim
You may not immediately know the full extent of your injuries on the same date as the initial accident or injury. In some situations, after an accident or injury after being exposed to an accident or injury it could take a period of time to manifest. Many illnesses or injuries are not always traceable back to a single event, they may be the result of ongoing exposure or circumstances. This could include working for an extended period in a place with inadequate ventilation.
If you are intending to bring an industrial disease claim, or if it is asbestos is involved, the three year time-limit starts when the claimant becomes aware of the cause of the illness or injury.
The date of knowledge begins with the date that the claimant discovered the injury or illness and that this was the result of someone else’s negligence. Depending on the nature of the illness you have contracted, or the injury you have sustained, the official ‘date of knowledge’ can be;
- the date symptoms first began,
- the date of the first presentation of the injury or illness,
- the date of a medical diagnosis.
Determining this date is not always easy and it can be complicated if you originally had a minor injury, before discovering the injury was more serious later. At Legal Expert we will be able to advise you of when your three year time limit began.
If the claim has not been lodged within this three year period, it becomes statute-barred. This means that it has reached the statute of limitations and any claim has expired. This is set out in the Limitation Act 1980, Section 11.
Making A Claim Close To The Personal Injury Compensation Time Limits
At the start of your claim there are several questions before legal action can start. Each task will take time and there needs to be enough time to complete your claim before the three year limit. Some of these tasks can take several weeks such as;
- Organising a thorough medical exam and collecting medical reports,
- Gathering necessary witness statements,
- Gathering all other necessary evidence,
If there are only a few weeks left before your claim expires, it can be difficult, if not impossible to make the claim successfully. If you are close to the end of your time period, speak to a solicitor as quickly as possible.
Personal Injury Compensation Time Limits For Children
Parents, guardians and other ‘litigation friends’ are able to bring personal injury claims on behalf of a child (a person under the age of 18) any time before their 18th birthday. The date of the child’s accident or knowledge of it can be any time prior to this. If a claim is not made by someone on behalf of the child before the age of 18, they then have three years, up to their 21st birthday to make an injury claim on their own behalf.
Limitations For Fatal Illnesses Or Injuries
Following a fatal injury, a close family member is able to make an injury claim in the name of the person who has died. The claimant needs to demonstrate another party’s negligence. Assuming that the statute of limitation has not run out in the deceased’s lifetime, there are three years from the date of the person’s death.
If the cause of death is only discovered during a post-mortem, the three year period then applies from the date of knowledge obtained in the post-mortem. This three year period applies even if the person who has died had already started a claim of their own.
Exceptions To The Three Year Personal Injury Compensation Time Limits
Whilst most claims have to be made in the standard three year period, there are exceptions to this rule. Some of these special circumstances are laid out below. Additionally to these, the court may make an exception for the limitation period.
Time limits for injuries outside the UK: time limits for claims following illness or injury outside the UK can vary.
Time limits for illness and injury on board a flight: airline related injury and illness claims can vary depending on the individual circumstances. If it a domestic UK flight or a package holiday flight the three-year rule will generally still apply. For international flights, the ‘Montreal Convention’ applies. This has a two-year time limit.
Personal Injury Compensation Time Limits And Mental Health
If the claimant has been receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act of 1983 when injured, the three-year limitation period will not start until the claimant is discharged, or the date of the end of their disability. The standard three year time limit will then apply from the earlier of the two dates.
Under certain conditions, a family member or even a friend may be able to bring the claim on behalf of the person who has been injured or made ill. These are highly complex cases and as such you should seek professional legal advice before launching your claim.
Talk To A Solicitor As Soon As Possible
If you have had an injury or sustained an illness as the result of someone else’s negligence or actions, you should seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. At Legal Expert, we offer you a no win no fee route to claim the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free no obligation consultation. You can contact us via email or our onsite chat facility. Alternatively, call 0800 073 8804 and speak to us directly.
The time limits which are placed on personal injury compensation claims, advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Personal Injury Claims Process
Find out how to make a personal injury compensation claim.