If you’ve suffered a personal injury, it’s important to contact us as soon as possible if you want to claim compensation. Getting in touch with us quickly makes it easier for us to find witnesses to support your case. There are also time limits set out in law which make it essential for you to start your claim as early as you can.
How long after an accident do I have to make a personal injury claim?
You normally have to make a personal injury claim within three years of the date of accident or the date of diagnosis for your illness. Some people refer to this time limit as the “limitation period” and it’s very important that you don’t wait too long before starting your claim.
Can I claim for an accident after three years?
The court can extend the three year time limit but this is rare and would need an extremely good reason. It’s safer to assume that there will be no extension to this time limit and you should get in touch with us to start your claim as soon as possible after your accident.
Are there any exceptions to the three year personal injury time limit?
Yes, there are some exceptions to this time limit, including:
- Claims on behalf of children – these can be made at any point before the child’s 18th birthday. When the child reaches 18, they can make their own claim at any stage up to turning 21
- Criminal injury claims – if you’ve been hurt in a violent crime, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) will handle your case. The CICA sets a time limit of two years to make a claim after an incident
- Mental capacity – there are no time limits to make a claim on behalf of someone who doesn’t have the ability to handle their own case
- Fatal claims – to make a claim on behalf of your loved one, you’ll have three years from the date they died to make a claim. If a post-mortem concluded that an accident or illness was the cause of death, you have three years from the date you found out
- Accidents on board ships – after an accident on a cruise liner or ferry, you’ll usually have two years to make a claim from the date when you left the ship. The same time limit applies on board cargo ships but will count from the date of your injury
- International flights – after an accident on an international flight, you’ll have two years to make a claim from your arrival at your final destination. This includes if you had an accident after you went through passport control
- Domestic flights – you have to claim within two years of the flight landing
- Accidents/illnesses abroad – different time limits apply overseas depending on the country’s laws. Contact us as soon as possible to find out more
Does my claim need to finish within the time limit?
You must register your claim with the court within three years. Depending on the complexity of your case and the severity of your injuries, it may not be possible to finish your claim within three years. But as long as you have registered your case with the court within the time limit (known as “issuing proceedings”) then there’s no need to worry.
Unsure if you have a claim? Contact us today
The rules around personal injury time limits can be complex. Call us on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation. We’ll be able to tell you whether you’re still able to start a personal injury claim.