Time Limits on Personal Injury & Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
There is a legal time limit for personal injury claims within England and Wales. A claim must be made within three years from the date of the injury, although there are different rules that apply for children, clients lacking mental capacity, criminal injury compensation claims, and other circumstances.
The law requires an injured person to commence Court proceedings within the three year period and not just to consult a Solicitor with a view to proceeding with a claim.
What are the exceptions to the Personal Injury Claim Time Limit?
Most personal injury claims are subject to the three year rule, although the law does allow for exceptions. The most notable cases are:
- Child Personal Injury Claims
Where the case involves a child accident claim, or where a child suffered a personal injury, the three year limitation period does not begin to run until they have turned 18.
- Mental Incapacity
Patients under the Mental Health Act 1983, the time period does not begin until they cease to be a patient under the Act and their legal incapacity is removed.
- Criminal Assault Cases
The claim period for criminal assault cases is two years from the date of the incident. In these cases the two year period will not be suspended to start from the 18th birthday of a child. It is the parents’ or guardians’ responsibility to make an application for compensation within the two year period.
- Fatal Claims
In cases where you are making a claim on behalf of a loved one who has died as a result of a personal injury, you will have three years to make a claim from the date of death. Should the cause of death be indicated to be a fatal personal injury by a post-mortem, you can make a claim up to three years from the date of knowledge.
- Aeroplane and Ship Accidents
Accidents that occur whilst on board an aeroplane or ship will usually be subject to a shorter time limitation period of two years although this can depend on the circumstances.
The court is also able to extend the basic three-year limitation period at their discretion if the legal time limit period has expired. They only do so very rarely after examining a case and taking all the circumstances into account.
Please note that the time limits above may change and we recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after you have been involved in an accident and while the events are fresh in your mind.
Can I make a claim for a personal injury caused by an event over 3 years ago?
While your case may not be eligible for one of the exceptions to the three year rule, it should be noted that the time limit is only considered to begin from what is known as the Date Of Knowledge. This means that you may be able to make a compensation claim for injuries caused by a surgical operation or medical treatment negligence that has happened more than three years ago, as long as you have only been made aware of the damages at a later date.
Another exception is cases of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, for example in cases of substance exposure - such as Asbestos Exposure. The time limit for these cases begins from the date of diagnosis and not from the date of the initial exposure.
Why choose Sheldon Davidson Solicitors?
Our specialist medical negligence, accident and personal injury law firm have been working hard to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes since 1997.
At SDS Solicitors, our team have a wealth of first-hand experience consulting with, advising, defending and advocating for our clients, many of whom have unfortunately had to experience personal injuries, and have sought out compensation.
Though we may be based in Manchester, England, we also work closely with clients from across England and Wales to determine whether they may have a claim and help them through the process of making one.
To discover whether you could be one of them, call us for free using the number at the top of this page, or simply fill in the contact form and one of our expert team members will get back to you as soon as possible.
Contact our team
We are based in Manchester and work closely with the community around the area, including handling major and minor personal injury claims from Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, Prestwich, Bury and Radcliffe.
However, our personal injury solicitors represent clients from anywhere in England and Wales, with no obligation to proceed beyond your free initial claim assessment. Contact us today using the number at the top of this page.
We know personal injury can have a lasting emotional impact on the victim and their loved ones, even before any injuries are discovered, so we always treat enquiries with care and sensitivity.
To discuss your circumstances and find out whether you have grounds to make a Personal Injury Claim, please get in touch today and we will be happy to help.