For compensation claims relating to injuries which occurred in England or Wales the general rule is that court proceedings must be issued (formally started) within three years of the date of the injury. In most cases, before a claim can be issued work must be carried out to investigate the claim, notify the defendant and the insurance company against whom the claim is being made and obtain a medical report to support the claim. The sooner you contact us after an injury has occurred, the sooner we can begin to help you, and the better we can investigate and prepare your claim.
Longer time limits apply to children whose three-year time period only begins to run from the age of 18, meaning that their time limit expires when they reach the age of 21. As with adults, however, the sooner you contact us after your child’s serious injury, the sooner we can start helping the child and obtain financial help via the claim.
Time limits do not apply for those who lack mental capacity. Where an injured person’s mental capacity is uncertain, we work closely with our Court of Protection team to determine whether our client has capacity to bring their own claim. As with other claims, it is always advisable to contact us as soon as possible after the injury, to ensure that evidence can be preserved, rehabilitation started (where needed) and financial help secured via the claim.
In exceptional circumstances the court may extend the time limit (or limitation deadline).
Where the claimant could not have known that an injury had occurred until after the deadline for making the claim, the deadline is three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ (when the claimant first knew that they had suffered an injury). Asbestos-related disease claims, where symptoms of disease first appear decades after the exposure to asbestos, usually have limitation deadlines based on the ‘date of knowledge’.
If the injury occurred in an accident abroad, the law of the country where the accident happened will determine the time limit for making a claim. These time limits vary from country to country and can be much shorter than the deadlines in England and Wales. If you have suffered a serious injury that was not your fault whilst working, travelling, studying or on holiday abroad, you should contact us for advice straight away.