When should I make a claim?

If you have suffered a personal injury, it is very important that you contact a personal injury solicitor as quickly as possible, as there are a number of strict time limits within which you must commence legal proceedings.  These time limits can vary, and depend upon your injuries, and the nature of the accident that caused them.

During any initial consultation, we will advise you of the applicable limitation rules, and provide you with advice to enable you to proceed with a claim.

In England and Wales, formal court proceedings must be issued within 3 years of the date of the accident, or in the case of illnesses or medical negligence, 3 years from the date when you first became aware of your illness, or 3 years from when you first became aware you had suffered injury as a consequence of medical treatment.

The 3 year time limit varies in a number of other circumstances:

  • If you were a child at the time of the accident, you have until your 21st birthday to commence proceedings.
  • Where an injury or illness was caused by a defective product, court proceedings must be commenced 3 years from the date of the accident involving that product, or 3 years from the date you were made aware that that product had caused your illness.
  • Where you have been involved in an accident abroad, the usual time limit is 2 years from the date of the accident.  This can however vary from country to country, so please contact us for advice.

Please note, if court proceedings are not commenced within the relevant limitation period, you essentially forfeit your right to claim.  An application can be made to the court to extend the limitation period, but such applications are rarely granted.