Call us FREE on
0800 634 75 75 Now!

3 years to bring a claim? What the Telly ad’s dont tell you..

Yes, generally you do have 3 years (called the limitation period) from the date of the accident or injury in which to bring a claim (meaning that you must either settle your claim or issue proceedings in the Courts within 3 years) but there are exceptions to the 3 year rule.

Any Personal Injury Lawyer that does not know the rules relating to limitation is heading for big trouble so make sure you speak to a good and experienced Personal Injury Lawyer. Keep in mind, the main source of negligence actions against Personal Injury Lawyers relates to the Limitation Period.

This article provides you with only a brief overview of the law relating to Limitation and is by no means exhaustive. So, as I have said above, for the very best advice relating to your claim speak to a good Personal Injury Lawyer.

I expect you are aware that the vast majority of Personal Injury claims are subject to a 3 year limitation period.

If you haven’t heard it on the radio, seen it on the TV or read it in the newspaper, I don’t know where you have been hiding but I am sure those of you not secluded away from mainstrean media will have seen the ads especially on the telly saying give us a call if you have had an accident in the last 3 years.

Well, what those ad’s dont tell you is that you don’t always actually have 3 years to bring a personal injury claim. So, I just want to highlight some of the exceptions in this article to try and raise a bit of awareness for those client’s left out by the ad’s.

For example if you have suffered an assault (i.e. been beaten up) then as this is not an action under negligence you actually have 6 years to bring a claim and not the 3 years as advertised on the telly.

The limitation Act 1980 actually specifies that the time limit is 3 years for personal injury claims from:

a) the date on which the cause of action accrued; or

b) the date of knowledge (if later) of the person injured

The law of date of knowledge is complex particularly in the fields of industrial disease and medical negligence claims.

Date on which the cause of action accrued

In most cases this is usually straightforward and it usually does relate to the date of the accident. The cause of action is established when the existence of a duty of care, a breach of that duty and damage caused by that breach are proved.

Furthermore, the cause of action accrues as soon as you have suffered any damage which is more than “minimal” even if you are unaware of the fact.

Time stops running when you issue proceedings, so it is not necessary that your claim has to be settled within 3 years of the relevant date but that proceedings must be issued within 3 years of the relevant date, if your claim has not been settled.

Date of knowledge

This is the date on which you first had knowledge of the following facts –

a) that the injury in question was significant;

b) that the injury was attributable in whole or in part to the act or omission which is alleged to constitute negligence, nuisance or breach of duty: and

c) the identity of the defendant; and

d) if it is alleged that the act or omission was that of a person other than the defendant, the identity of that person and the additional facts supporting the bringing of an action against the defendant

Exceptions to the 3 year rule

There are a number of personal injury claims where the 3 year rule does not apply.

i) cases with limitation periods of less than 3 years

ii) cases with limitation periods of more than 3 years

iii) infants and patients

iv) fatal accidents

v) date of knowledge

vi) Court discretion

 

Cases where limitation less than 3 years

Accidents which happen in the air or on water (e.g. aeroplane or ship) have a 2 year limitation period. I suggest you speak to a good Personal Injury Lawyer for further advice in this regard.

For a claim with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) any claim must be made as soon as possible after an incident and must be received by the Authority no more than 2 years after the incident. Although it may be worth making a case to the claims officer to waive the time limit if you are out of time.

Limitation periods greater than 3 years

An Assault is not an action for neglgence so the 3 year limit does not apply. Instead for assault you have 6 years to bring an action, although you will do well to remember that a claim through the CICA will still have to be made within 2 years.

Consumer Protection Act Claims

Personal injury claims under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 have a 10 year limitation period.

Breach of contract

These claims can be brought within 6 years of the relevant date.

Infants and patients

The general rule under the limitation act is that the limitation period for minors (those under the age of 18 years) is that the limitation period does not run until their 18th birthday. In practice this means that the last day for issuing proceedings or settling the claim is their 21st birthday.

A patient suffering from a disability under the act is the same as a person suffering from a “mental disorder” as defined by the Mental health Act 1983. If the Claimant is a patient at the time of the accident, or rendered a patient by the accident and remains under a disability then the limitation period never starts to run. However, if the claimant’s disability arises later or if there is a period of lucidity when the claimant is not a patient, then the limitation period starts to run. Once the period starts to run it does not stop.

Fatal accidents

The right for the deceased’s estate to make a claim for damages applies whether or not the deceased had started proceedings prior to his death.

The safest assumption to make, when the death was immediate is that the 3 year limitation period runs from the date of the death.

For a more detailed explanation for the limitation period which applies and when it runs out you should speak to a specialist Personal injury lawyer.

Court’s discretion

Under section 33 of the limitation act the Court has discretion to disapply the the strict time limit for certain actions in respect of personal injuries or death. Again, this is a fairly complicated area so it’s best to speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer. If you post a reply to this blog, with a query then as always I will do my best to answer you query as soon as I possibly can.

Request a call back from our Claims Team

Your Details
Accident Details
Select Your Call Back Time
Free Instant Valuation
As Seen on TV
Latest Blog Posts

Tooth discomfort or tooth pain claims

Tooth discomfort or tooth pain claims

When suffering with discomfort or tooth pain it can feel like the worst thing in the entire world! That's one heck of a dramatic statement, I know; but you cannot easily apply pressure to a tooth, or ...

Published on the 07/07/2015


CNC machinery injuries and claim advice

CNC machinery injuries and claim advice

CNC - Computer Numerical Control - machines are designed to not only be more efficient, where less skilled workers can operate them and less workers are required, but they are also supposed to be safe...

Published on the 07/07/2015


Fall through fragile roof at work accident claim

Fall through fragile roof at work accident claim

Workplace health and safety regulations say that employers must ensure that their workers are not exposed to falls from fragile roofs or dangerous traffic routes. This means that a worker should never...

Published on the 07/07/2015


How to make a successful pothole claim

How to make a successful pothole claim

Making a successful pothole claim is not an easy thing to do. The law that applies when investigating and finding out whether you are entitled to compensation for a pothole accident is not on the side...

Published on the 03/07/2015


Have you suffered medical negligence from more than 3 years ago?

Have you suffered medical negligence from more than 3 years ago?

You may have heard of the term “"ave you had an accident in the last three years?" or you may have sought legal advice only to be told that, because what happened to you occurred over three years ag...

Published on the 03/07/2015


PIP Implant Claims - French Court of Appeal says TÜV Rheinland NOT Liable

PIP Implant Claims - French Court of Appeal says TÜV Rheinland NOT Liable

We received the news from our French lawyers earlier yesterday morning that the appeal from German regulators TÜV Rheinland had been upheld. This has overturned the decisions made in the Commercial C...

Published on the 03/07/2015


Are claim companies allowed to give you 100% of the claim?

Are claim companies allowed to give you 100% of the claim?

Well there is nothing that legally stops you from being offered a 100% compensation agreement, but for most types of cases it is highly unlikely. Sadly the law changed two years ago and the governm...

Published on the 01/07/2015


The Injury Lawyers - THE reputable compensation firm for you!

The Injury Lawyers - THE reputable compensation firm for you!

Do you know why we are called THE Injury Lawyers? It's fairly obvious - its because we are THE original Injury Lawyers, and we have decades of experience in helpin...

Published on the 01/07/2015


Annual fatal work incident numbers released

Annual fatal work incident numbers released

Fatalities at work are of course truly awful. We represent the families for cases and its never easy - especially when we live in a country where health and safety is deemed as generally very good. ...

Published on the 01/07/2015


Roll cages and the Law in personal injury claims

Roll cages and the Law in personal injury claims

A roll cage is normally classed as work equipment which means that it is subject to The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. These regulations put in place several duties ...

Published on the 30/06/2015


Categories
Archives
Follow Us Online

Have a question? Call our Claims Help team for free expert legal advice on 0800 634 75 75