Personal Injury Compensation Guide

Personal Injury Time Limits

Most personal injury claims have strict time limits that can depend on a number of factors, including the nature of your accident, injury or illness, where the incident happened and who you intend to claim against.

What Is The Standard Time Limit For Personal Injury Claims?

For most personal injury cases in England and Wales, claims have to start within:

  • Three years of the date of the incident which caused your injury or illness
  • Three years from the date you became aware of an illness which was caused by your work (such as an illness caused by your exposure to asbestos for instance)

However, there are exceptions to the standard times limits, which we’ll go into a bit more detail about below.

Sometimes the court can make exceptions to these time limits but this is rare and we advise that you don’t assume that this will happen. However, even if you think the time limit has expired, it’s still worth contacting us to see if you have a claim.

Time Limits For Children And For People With Mental Incapacity

If you’re claiming on behalf of a child, the three year time limit to submit the case doesn’t come into force until their 18th birthday. Until this point, no time limits apply. A child can make their own claim within three years from their 18th birthday, meaning that they can claim for an injury suffered as a child before they turn 21.

People who don’t have the capacity to handle their own claim are also exempt from the three year time limit.

Are There Any Further Exceptions?

Different time limits may apply in the following circumstances:

If your accident or injury occurred outside of the UK – sometimes the time limits in foreign countries is less than three years, so you should contact us as soon as you are able to avoid missing the deadline
• Cases where defective products are involved
• Cases handled by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) have a strict two year deadline to submit your claim

In all cases we would advise that you contact us as soon as possible, especially if your claim happened in one of the above scenarios, to ensure that any time limits don’t pass. Our personal injury lawyers can also provide clear advice about the time limits that apply to your claim.

What Happens In Fatal Cases?

If a loved one has died as a result of their injuries or illness, you may be able to bring a claim on their behalf. You have three years from the date of the death to submit a claim, or three years from the point where you found out the reason behind the death.

In cases which involve fatal asbestos exposure, sometimes you aren’t aware of the cause of death until a post-mortem is carried out. The three year time limit would start from the point where the post-mortem findings were presented to you.

You can also carry on claims that were started by your loved one before they died. In these situations you have to continue the claim within three years of the death.

Can I Make Another Claim Even If My Case Was Successful?

We’ve previously helped people whose circumstances have changed, impacting on the compensation they should receive - even though their case had already been settled.

If you have any concerns you should contact our experts who’ll be able to offer advice and potentially pick your case back up, securing the full compensation sum and care you deserve.

Personal Injury Time Limits – Free Initial Advice

It’s important that you get legal advice as soon as possible to make sure that time limits don’t prevent you from making your claim. Our personal injury lawyers will be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding time limits and any other matters surround personal injury claims.

For more information on this issue and to set up a free initial consultation, call us today free on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online and we will get back to you.

Contact us today

For a free initial consultation

Prefer not to call

Use our form

© 2016 Irwin Mitchell LLP is Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our Regulatory Information.