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What Is Medical Negligence?

Time Limits For Medical Negligence Claims

How Long Do You Have To Claim For Medical Negligence?

In general, there’s a three year time limit for starting a medical negligence claim.

This time limit will run from either the date that:

  • The negligence occurred
  • You became aware that the treatment you received was negligent

Are There Any Exceptions?

Yes, if the negligence relates to treatment of a child, or an adult who doesn’t have mental capacity, then the time limits for claiming are different.


The three-year time limit for claiming compensation doesn’t apply to under 18s. However, it will come into effect after their 18th birthday and then expire when they turn 21.

Adult without mental capacity

The time limit doesn’t apply to adults without the mental capacity to make their own decisions. This will only apply if and when they regain mental capacity.

Other Medical Negligence Time Limits

If your case has already started

Cases don’t have to be concluded within a certain timeframe: there’s no time limit for finishing your claim if you’ve already started the process. 

Claims on behalf of deceased loved ones

If a loved one has passed away due to medical negligence, you will also face a time limit in order to claim compensation for your loss, as well as your loved one’s pain and suffering. We advise you to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible if you believe that their death could have been caused by medical negligence.

Benefits Of Claiming Early

We advise you to claim as soon as possible for medical negligence compensation to make sure that you or your loved one receive the best result possible. We could also help you to access rehabilitation if you need it, as well as the best medical care and support. 

You may also be able to receive payments while your claim is ongoing, which can help pay for home improvements that may be needed, as well as your travel to and from hospital and any treatments that you need.

Medical Negligence Time Limits – Free Initial Advice

It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. More often than not, other factors affect when this time limit will begin, and if you don’t notify the court within the correct time frame then you may be unable to make a claim. 

We will be happy to talk through this issue with you in more detail in a free initial consultation. Call today for free on 0800 121 6567 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you.

The above information relates to the law in England and Wales.

All Scottish cases will be handled by the Scottish law firm with which we are associated, Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP. The law relating to funding is different in Scotland and you will receive separate advice about what that means as well as a separate funding agreement.

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