What Is the Personal Injury Claims Time Limit?

How long after an accident can I claim?

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation and support. But it’s important to note that there is a time limit on personal injury claims, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘limitation period’.

In the UK, the limitation period for personal injury cases is three years. This will usually start from the date of your accident. But if you were not aware of your injury or illness until a later diagnosis, you could be entitled to claim within three years of what’s known as your ‘date of knowledge’.

For example, if you were harmed during a surgical procedure, you may not realise until seeing another medical professional. In these cases, the limitation period would start from the day you realised that the negligence took place.

There are some exceptions to these time limits, though.

Can I claim for an accident after three years?

In certain circumstances, you may be able to make a claim after the three-year time limit. For instance, if you’re claiming on behalf of a child, you’ll have until their 18th birthday to start the claims process. After this, they’ll have until they’re 21 to bring a claim for themselves.

And if you’re taking legal action for a loved one who does not have the mental capacity to bring a claim, you won’t face any restrictions. The only time that deadlines would be applied in this scenario is if the individual regains capacity later on – at which point, the three year time limit will start.

In the worst cases, injuries caused by negligence can be fatal. If you’re looking to make a claim on behalf of someone who has passed away, you will usually have three years from the date of their death to do so.

When you’re put in touch with a solicitor, they will explain the time limits that will apply to your individual case. So you’ll have the reassurance of knowing all the relevant deadlines will be met.

When should I start a claim for personal injury?

After suffering a personal injury, you should try to begin the process of making a claim as soon as possible. This will give you the best chance of submitting your claim within the deadline. It will also allow your solicitor more time to investigate and build the strongest possible case.

The details of what happened may also be clearer in your memory the earlier you start your claim. And any witnesses or other relevant people, such as medical professionals, might find it easer to recall key information.

It’s also important to remember that evidence such as CCTV or medical records may not be available after a certain period of time. So it’s always best to start your claim sooner rather than later for it to have the best chance of success.

What happens if I don’t make a claim within the time limits?

Usually, if you don’t make a claim within the specified time limit, your case will be deemed as ‘time barred’ or ‘statute barred’. This means that you won’t be able to take any form of legal action against the individual or organisation responsible for your injuries.

Getting legal help early is the best way to avoid this situation. Our solicitors are experienced in this area of law and they will work to ensure you get the outcome you deserve. To find out more about our services, give us a call on the number at the top of the screen or start your claim online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


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