Nobody expects to be injured in an accident that isn’t their fault, and the first priority for any victim of personal injury should always be to seek medical treatment as soon as possible and look after their health. However, it’s important to know that if you have been in this kind of accident, there is a time limit for opening a personal injury claim. Here, we’ll explain the personal injury time limits imposed and in which situations they apply.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim is a type of legal case that you can instigate when you’ve been injured in an accident through another person, organisation or company’s fault or negligence. This can occur in the workplace, on public or private property such as supermarkets or on the road while driving or cycling, and even in hospitals and medical centres in cases of clinical negligence. The term refers to any injury, whether physiological, psychological, or both.
There are many different types of personal injury claim, and common injuries that result in a viable claim include:
- Head injuries and/or brain damage
- Back and spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Sight or hearing loss
If you’ve suffered an injury and believe someone else is responsible, it needs to be established that this is the case. At InjuryLawyers4U, our experienced solicitors can help gather evidence and fight your case to ensure you secure the compensation you deserve.
How long after an accident do I have to make a personal injury claim?
Following on from any accident that causes injury, medical treatment should always be the first concern. However, if you’re hesitant about pursuing a claim for compensation, you should know there is a three-year time limit to open a personal injury claim in most cases. This time limit applies from the date of the accident, and is strictly for registering your case with the court.
This is why it’s vital to contact a solicitor as soon as possible, to ensure that time doesn’t run out. Once this stage is complete, the process begins and can take anywhere from a period of a few months or years to settle, depending on the case’s complexity.
Does the claim need to finish within 3 years too?
For a number of reasons, the three-year time limit does not include the time from initially opening the claim to the point of settlement or court proceedings.
The main reason is that personal injury claims can often be quite complicated. In cases where more than one person or organisation is responsible for the accident, it can take a considerable amount of time to gather all the necessary information. You may also be facing an obstructive defendant or insurance company, or they may deny liability for the accident.
A personal injury case may also take a long time to settle due to the extent of your injuries. You may have to have ongoing treatment or further tests before a medical professional can give an accurate prognosis, or you may be referred to a specialist.
Are there exceptions to the time limit?
Yes, there are exceptions to the three-year time limit in certain situations. These include:
- Accidents where the injured person is a child – Claims on behalf of children can be made at any time before their 18th birthday. After this date, the three-year time limit will apply.
- Fatal injury claims – If you’re claiming on behalf on a loved one, the three-year time limit to open a claim will apply from the date they died. However, if a post-mortem report says that the accident was the cause, the time limit will apply from the date you are informed.
- Criminal injuries – If you’ve suffered a personal injury as a direct result of a crime, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) will examine your case. This organisation applies a two-year time limit to make a claim, starting from the date of the incident.
- Accidents on a flight – Whether domestic or international, a two-year time limit applies from your arrival at your destination
- Accidents at sea – There is usually a two-year time limit to claim that begins from the date you leave the ship. With accidents that occur on cargo ships, a two-year time limit applies from the date of the injury.
Unsure of how to make a claim or think you’re eligible? Contact us today
Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you’re not sure about next steps, InjuryLawyers4U can help. We operate a no win no fee policy, which means you don’t have to pay any upfront costs, and you’ll only pay legal fees if your case is successful.
Our experienced advisors will listen to your account of the accident and let you know right away if you have a case that’s likely to be successful. We are a network of expert solicitors with years of experience handling personal injury claims, and we’re ready to fight on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact us by phone on 0800 221 8888, or if you’d prefer, fill in the contact form and our expert solicitors will arrange a call at a time that’s most suitable for you.