In the United Kingdom, there is a strict time limit in place for bringing forward a personal injury claim. That time limit is three years. Here’s what you need to know about it:
Three-year time limit
The three-year time limit starts from either the date your accident happened, or from the date your injuries first became clear. After this time limit expires, personal injury claims become statute-barred or time-barred under UK law so they cannot be brought forward. As a result, it is absolutely crucial that you make your personal injury claim sooner rather than later if you are thinking about making a claim, to avoid being disappointed.
The date your accident happened is known as your Date of Limitation; and the date your injuries first became clear is known as your Date of Knowledge. Whichever is soonest is the date that the three-year time limit starts from. To find out more about how the three-year time limit works, visit UK Claim Lawyers (enter) and get informed.
The three-year time limit can be extended under exceptional circumstances, such as if the victim has taken a serious turn for the worse since their accident, or if death occurs. In addition to this, some industrial accidents are exempt from the three-year limit. Examples include cancers and illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. However, this is not always the case so you should seek advice as soon as possible if you believe that this applies to you.
If death occurs
If somebody dies and their death is linked to an accident, then the loved one’s of the deceased have three years from the date of death to bring forward their claim. If a person’s death is only linked to an accident several years after death, then it may be possible to make a claim still with a revised Date of Knowledge. Under the circumstances, specialist legal advice should be sought, so that you can become informed about your legal rights.
What about minors?
Minors have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to make a claim. So for example, somebody who was injured in an accident at the age of 12 can make a claim for their injuries after they turn 18 up to the date of their 21st birthday. Alternatively, the legal guardian or the parent of a minor can put in a claim on their behalf at any age. If this is the case, the legal guardian will be referred to as the ‘litigation friend’ during proceedings. It is also important to consider that any compensation paid out must be used in the minor’s best interests, and a court may not pay out in full, instead opting for an annual payment scheme.