10 Apr What is the time limit to claim compensation for a personal injury?
If you believe you may be entitled to compensation for an accident you were involved in that was not your fault, it is important to realise that there are strict time limits for making a claim. If you miss the deadline, you could lose out on the compensation you need to deal with the consequences of your accident.
While the exact time limit will depend on the circumstances, for many types of personal injury claims you will have 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim.
However, given that it takes time to put a claim together, it is important to start the process as soon as possible to avoid the risk of missing your chance to claim.
It is also important to know some of the most common situations where the time limit may be different, so you have a clear idea of how much time you likely have to make a claim.
Different time limits for personal injury claims
Examples of situations where the time limit may differ from the standard 3 years include:
Where you only find out you were injured later – Then the 3 year time limit may be counted from the time when you found out about the injury (known as the ‘date of knowledge’) eg Asbestosis claims, industrial Deafness.
Where the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident – Their parents or guardians will have until the child turns 18 to bring a claim for them. Once the child turns 18, they have until their 21st Birthday to bring their own claim
Where the injured party lacks the mental capacity to make a claim – There is normally no time limit for someone else to make a claim on their behalf. However, if the injured party later regains mental capacity (e.g. they awake from a coma) they will normally have 3 years to bring a claim from the date where they are judged to have regained capacity.
Where the injured party has died – The representatives of their estate will usually have 3 years from the date of death to bring a claim. However, if the deceased did not die immediately following their injury and already started a claim of their own, their next of kin may need to continue this claim, in which case the time limit may still be 3 years from the date of the injury or date of knowledge.
hit and run and Uninsured accident – For injuries caused by a hit and run or by an uninsured driver, you will need to report the accident to the police within 14 days (or as soon as reasonably possible) Claims must be submitted within three years of an accident if anyone is claiming for personal injury or six years of the accident if the claim is just for property or vehicle damage (five years for accidents in Scotland). In the case of injury for children the three year time limit does not commence until their 18th birthday
Get expert help to claim personal injury compensation
Understanding the time limits involved in claiming personal injury compensation can be complicated, so we always recommend seeking expert legal advice as soon as possible to make sure you do not miss your opportunity to claim.
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our personal injury lawyers can help you claim compensation. With decades of experience across our team, we can provide clear, confident and compassionate guidance for every step of the claims process, giving you the best chance of securing fair compensation.
Our lawyers are members of APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) reflecting our expertise with all types of personal injury claims and we represent all of our clients on a no win, no fee basis, so there is no upfront charge to start a claim.
To find out more about starting a personal injury compensation claim, please call us now on 0800 161 5709.