There are strict time limits in place when it comes to making a personal injury claim.
The standard time limit for making a claim for UK injury compensation is three years. The three years starts from either the date the accident happened or from the date the victim’s injuries first became clear. This is known as the Date of Limitation or the Date of Knowledge.
After three years, personal injury claims become statute barred or time-barred under the Limitation Act 1980. So you ordinarily only have three years to bring an injury claim forward.
Exceptions to the three year limit
For ordinary personal injury claims, an exception to the three year limit applies if the victim has been treated under the Mental Health Act 1983, or can otherwise prove that they were mentally incapable of making a claim within the standard three year timeframe.
The three year limit can also be wavered in the event of some industrial diseases. Asbestos-related illnesses, for example, are exempt from the three year limit.
An extension to the limitation period can also be successfully made if there are exceptional circumstances surrounding a claim. To do so, however, claims usually have to go to court as courts can use their discretionary powers to extend the three year limitation period.
How the limitation period affects minors
Minors have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to make a claim. However, the minor’s parents or their legal guardian can make a claim on their behalf at any time as their ‘litigation friend’. To find out more about this, seek UK injury compensation advice.
UK injury compensation time limits in the event of death
In the event of death, the three year time limit still applies, however it kicks in from the date of death or from the date the death was first linked to the deceased’s injuries.
For example, if the deceased passed away due to an asbestos-related cancer, and this was only established after a post-mortem examination, then the deceased’s family would have three years to make a claim from the Date of Knowledge.
How do I ascertain my Date of Limitation?
If your accident definitely happened less than three years ago, then you needn’t concern yourself with establishing this fact. However, if your accident happened some time ago then it is worth establishing. To do so, ask for a copy of your medical records as these will usually give you a Date of Limitation if you received medical treatment.
The quickest and easiest way to establish your Date of Limitation however is to have a UK injury compensation lawyer investigate your claim.
For help establishing your Date of Limitation, call our claims helpline today for free and with no obligation on 0800 157 1437 and discuss your case with one of our claims advisors.