All types of personal injury claims have a limitation period. This means that there is a set time within which you can bring a claim (i.e. formally start your claim at court), failing which you will lose your right to claim.
The general time limit for making a personal injury claim is three years from the accident date, if you are 18 or over at the time of the accident. If you are under 18, it is three years from the date of your 18th birthday, but these are general rules only and there are exceptions so we would always advise you to contact a solicitor to provide the specific details of your claim in order to ascertain the correct limitation date in your case.
Are there any exceptions?
One exception to the three-year limit are CICA (Criminal Compensation Authority) claims. This is a taxpayer funded organisation that pays compensation to victims of violent crime who are eligible under their scheme, and you only have two years from the date of incident to make an application to the CICA. If you do not submit your application within this period, the CICA may well refuse an award unless there was good reason for the delay.
Time limits will also vary for accidents that take place abroad or on board ships or planes.
In some cases, the limitation date will start from your date of knowledge rather than the date of exposure, An example of this would be an industrial disease claim where an employer failed to provide adequate ear protection for exposure in a loud working environment, but the injury did not become apparent until later on.
Also, if you are making a claim on behalf of someone else who does not have mental capacity to conduct the claim themselves (known as a ‘protected party’), the limitation period may be different and may indeed be dis-applied if the lack of capacity is permanent.
If you are thinking of making a personal injury claim we always advise that you contact us as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to secure any evidence, such as CCTV or witness statements, whilst they are still available.
Generally, Stephensons do not accept any claims with less than six months until the limitation date as it does not allow us sufficient time to fully investigate and prepare the claim before court proceedings must be issued.
If you have been injured and are considering making a personal injury claim, please contact our new business advisors on 0161 696 6235 so that we can take details for your claim and advise you further.
By Donna Wilkes, new business advisor