You have three years from the date your accident happened to make a personal injury claim, or three years from the date your injuries became clear.
This is known as your Date of Limitation or your Date of Knowledge.
After three years, most personal injury and accident claims are statute barred or time-barred in the United Kingdom, preventing you or compensation solicitors from bringing them forward, even at court.
If you were a minor at the time of your accident, then you have three years from the date of your 18th birthday to make a claim.
Or if you are the parent or legal guardian of a minor who has been injured in an accident through no fault of their own, then you can make a claim on the minor’s behalf before their 18th birthday as their ‘litigation friend’.
Are there any exceptions to the three year limitation period?
Some exceptions do apply to the three year time limit.
If you have an asbestos-related disease or another industrial disease that has developed decades after exposure, then the three year limit can be extended.
Using the three year deadline from the date your injuries became clear is particularly useful in cases of industrial disease, because you can make a claim for illnesses that were caused decades ago but were only diagnosed recently.
Another exception applies if you have been treated under the Mental Health Act 1983. If you were treated under the Act at the time of your accident or anytime within the regular three year limitation period, your compensation solicitors may be able to process your claim from the date you were released from care.
Or if you can otherwise prove that you were mentally incapable of making a claim within the three year limit, it may be possible for your compensation solicitors to extend the three year limitation period and win you financial compensation.
What about fatal cases?
In fatal cases, the three year limitation period starts from the date of death or from the date the death was linked to an accident or exposure in the case of industrial disease.
If a claimant passes away during the accident claim process, their new Date of Limitation starts from the date of death to allow the family to continue with their claim and get justice.
Can compensation solicitors help me with my claim?
So long as the accident in which you were injured was not your fault and you meet the limitation criteria discussed above, you are probably eligible for compensation. To find out if you are eligible once and for all, discuss your case with our experienced claims advisors today by calling us for free and with no obligation on 0800 157 1437.