A Guide On The Personal Injury Claims Time Limit

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What Is The Time Limit For Personal Injury Claims?

By Danielle Jordan. Last updated 4th July 2023. If you have been injured in an accident which is not your fault you may be considering claiming compensation. One question we are often asked is: “what is the time limit for personal injury claims?”

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.

what is the time limit for personal injury claims

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What Are The Criteria To Make A Personal Injury Claim?

There are certain eligibility criteria you must meet to be able to make a personal injury claim. This is:

  1. A relevant third party must have owed you a duty of care.
  2. This duty of care was breached.
  3. As a result of this breach, you were injured.

There are different daily situations in which you are owed a duty of care. These include:

  • At work – While you are at work, your employer owes you a duty of care to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your health, safety and welfare. This duty of care is set out under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA).
  • In public spaces – While you are in a public space, the party in control of that space owes you a duty of care. They must take practicable steps to ensure your reasonable safety while you are using that space for its intended purposes, as set out under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
  • While using the roads – Road users owe each other a duty of care to navigate in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They must also adhere to the regulations and rules set out for them in the Highway Code.

If you can prove that your injuries were caused by a relevant third party breaching their duty of care, you might be eligible to make a personal injury claim.

For more information about eligibility criteria or the personal injury claims time limit, please get in touch with one of the advisors from our team.

What Is The Time Limit For Personal Injury Claims?

Let’s begin with the primary personal injury compensation time limit for anyone who has suffered an injury. 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.

Personal Injury 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.

Making A Claim Close To The Personal Injury Time Limit

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.

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 (which could include medical negligence), 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 about the personal injury compensation time limit.

Learn More About Personal Injury Claims

If you have any questions about personal injury claims or would like to learn more about the process, check out these guides below:

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      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.