Making Personal Injury Claims * | Legal Time Limits
If you have been involved in an accident for which somebody else was responsible and suffered a personal injury * you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation to recover damages for the personal injury* you have suffered but also for the losses you have suffered as a result of the injury. It is important to note that there are strict time limits within which you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. These time limits are referred to as the Statute of Limitations and are set out in the Statute of Limitations Act 1957.
How long after an accident can I make a personal injury claim * ?
If you do not start the claims process within the specified time limits, your personal injury claim* will no longer be legally enforceable. There is a two year time limit in which you have the opportunity to make a claim for compensation. The two year period starts from the time the accident had occurred, i.e. in a road traffic accident, it is the date the accident occurred.
However, in some instances, a person may not know that they have been injured and in these situations, the two year time limit starts from when the person becomes aware of their personal injury*.
Is there a time limit for children and personal injury claims *?
For accident involving children under the age of 18, this two year period does not begin to run until the child reaches the age of 18. Prior to their 18th birthday, a parent or legal guardian of the child may bring a claim for personal injuries* on behalf of the child. If no claim has been made before their 18th birthday then the child will be allowed make the claim within two years of their 18th birthday.
Why is there a time limit imposed on personal injury claims *?
The rationale behind imposing time limits is firstly that the longer you wait to bring a claim, the harder it is for the defendant to defend the claim, and secondly, living under the fear of the potential legal action for eternity is considered an unfair position for the defendant.
A word of caution however – if there is a delay for whatever reason in bringing such an action for personal injuries*, a court may decide that the claim should be dismissed, if the delay is considered unreasonable.
If you have suffered a personal injury *, speak to your solicitor without delay to ensure that your interests are best protected.