Time Limits on Road Traffic Accident & RTA Compensation Claims
If you have suffered an injury in a Road Traffic Accident, you may be wondering about the time limits on RTA Injury Claims.
RTA Injury Claims can become complicated, and the worry about deadlines can add more stress to your situation, while already dealing with a traumatic experience and the injuries you have suffered as a consequence.
SDS is a law firm with extensive experience in the field of RTA Injury Claims.
We will help you throughout the process, working to obtain the best possible outcome for your claim. Get in touch today for a confidential consultation with an RTA Claims expert.
How Long After An Accident
Can I Claim Compensation?
There is a legal time limit for road traffic accident claims within England and Wales. This is outlined in Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980.
In most cases, a claim must be made within three years from the date of the accident. There are exceptions that apply for child injuries, clients lacking mental capacity, criminal injury, and air and sea travel injuries. Other circumstances may also affect your personal injury claim time limit, and the Court may see fit to allow for different time limits depending on your specific case.
The law requires a claimant to submit their claim to the Court within three years. It is not sufficient to consult a Solicitor with the aim of proceeding with a claim within that period.
If a child is the injured person, the three year time limit begins to run when the child turns 18 years old.
Accidents that occur whilst on board an aeroplane or ship will usually be subject to a shorter time limitation period of 2 years although this can depend on the circumstances.
The claim time limit for criminal assault cases is two years from the date of the incident. In these cases, the time limitation will not be suspended to start from the 18th birthday of a minor, but will be considered from the date of the event or discovery of injury. It is the parents or guardians responsibility to make an application for compensation within the two year period.
Please note that the time limits above may vary. 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 Claim For An
Accident After 3 Years?
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to begin an RTA Claim after 3 years.
You may start your road traffic accident compensation claim within 3 years of discovering your injuries were a result of the accident - known as the Date Of Knowledge. It is common for some injuries - such as a back or spinal cord injury - to inflict long term damage and pain. It can take a long time before a full assessment of the depth of the injury is completed.
Exceptions that may lead to a longer time limit to a road traffic injury claim include patients under the Mental Health Act 1983. In these cases, the time period does not begin until they cease to be a patient under the Act and their legal incapacity is removed.
If a person is involved in a fatal accident, relatives may bring a claim on their behalf within three years of the date of their death.
The court is able to grant an extension to the three-year limitation period at their discretion if the legal time limit period has expired. This happens rarely, after the Court examines a compensation claim and takes all the surrounding circumstances into account.
Courts may also grant an extension on the time limit in cases where they may decide exceptional circumstances cause a delay which cannot be considered the claimant’s fault.
How types of injuries can I claim for?
RTA claims are usually based on the pain and suffering endured by the injured party (general damages), and any financial impacts the accident has had (special damages). It doesn’t matter what the nature of your injuries are. If liability can be proven you may have a claim. It is always best to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury solicitor who will offer you advice on the best course of action for your situation.
However, the small claims limit for RTAs not involving vulnerable road users has increased to £5,000. This means smaller cases involving minor injuries such as soft tissue injuries will be processed through the Official Injury Claim portal run by the Motor Insurer’s Bureau and you are unlikely to be able to recover any legal costs.
More serious injuries involving broken bones, head, brain or spinal injuries or any other claim with a value above £10,000 would be managed outside of the portal with expert guidance from a solicitor.
How Close To The End Of My Time Limit Can I Start A Claim?
RTA Claim time limits are calculated from the date of the accident - or the Date Of Discovery - to the date your case is formally submitted and presented to the Court.
There are many procedures that must take place ahead of the formal presentation of your case that you should consider when calculating how much time you have to contact a solicitor and start your claim.
It is necessary, for example, to conduct an in-depth medical examination to assess the extent of your injuries, and conclude the financial damages you may be entitled to. These might derive from medical expenses, reduced ability or inability to work, physiotherapy or rehabilitation, or any adaptations to your house to account for long term disability or reduced mobility.
Your case will then have to be built, including the collection of evidence, witness accounts and any additional documentation. This will help you have a strong case to present, and reach the best possible outcome for your road accident compensation claim.
These and other processes will need to happen ahead of the presentation of your case to the Court. It is common to encounter delays during medical examination or case building, therefore you should not hesitate to begin your claim as soon as possible.
You may find it difficult to build your case, or find a solicitor willing to help you start and support your claim within the last 9 months of your time limit. This is about the time it can usually take to complete the pre-court processes.
If you find yourself in the last year of your granted time limit, you should get in touch with our Road Accident specialist team today.
Our knowledge and experience in RTA Injury Claims allows us to give you the best advice on your road traffic compensation claim. We can help you build, present and negotiate your claim to the highest standard. Contact us today via phone or submit an enquiry through our website, and a specialist advisor will contact you as soon as possible.
How Long Does A Road
Traffic Accident Claim Take?
As there are many different circumstances which make each individual case different, it can be complicated to estimate what will affect your case’s timeline, and by how much.
Possible factors which may affect the length of your claim process include, but are not limited to:
- The type of injuries you have sustained
- The manner in which you were injured
- The time necessary to collect evidence and documentation
- Possible wait for a local medical assessment of your injury
- Assessment of the effect of the injuries on your quality of life
- Valuation of damages
- Acceptance or denial or liability by the defendant
- Identification of the defending party
You can typically expect your case to be finalised within 9 months of an initial legal consultation. Note that RTA Claims that can be processed through the Ministry Of Justice portal can be settled in a considerably quicker manner.
Contact Manchester's Road
Traffic Injury Specialists Today
Our specialist Road Accident team is highly regarded for their expertise in helping people across England & Wales in claiming compensation following an injury sustained as a consequence of a road traffic accident.
We are confident our Personal Injury Solicitors will be able to secure you the financial compensation you and your family deserve, so we operate on a no win no fee claim basis. This means that in the event that your claim proves to be unsuccessful and we fail to secure a financial settlement for you, there will be nothing for you to pay.
Justice, compassion, rehabilitation and injury compensation are our business. With this in mind, if you believe that you have the right to make an injury claim, you should call and tell us what has happened today. There is really nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.