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What is the Limitation Period for a Personal Injury Claim?


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If you have suffered an injury in an accident that was not your fault then you may be wondering what the limitation period is to make a personal injury claim. 

Many people assume that they have three years from the date of the accident to initiate a claim for personal injury compensation, however, there are several exceptions to this rule which may mean you have longer than you thought. 

Understandably, you should only start thinking about making a claim once you have recovered from your initial injuries; your mental and physical health are the top priority. 

Once you are ready to start the process of bringing a personal injury claim, our team of personal injury lawyers at Beacon Law will be ready to assist you. We can offer specialist legal advice suited to your unique personal injury case and oversee the entire process with you. For more information on brining a personal injury claim, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.

What is the limitation period for a personal injury claim?

In the UK, the limitation period for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of the injury or from when the injury was discovered, and this is set out in the Limitation Act 1980. This means that you generally have three years from the date of the incident or from when you became aware of your injury to file a claim for compensation.

However, there can be exceptions to this rule, particularly in cases involving children or individuals lacking mental capacity. It’s important to speak to us as soon as possible if you’re considering making a personal injury claim to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines and lose your chance of making a claim for the compensation you deserve. 

Different time limits for making a personal injury claim

  1. Children: For individuals who were under 18 years old at the time of the incident, the limitation period typically starts from their 18th birthday. So, they generally have until their 21st birthday to make a claim.
  2. Mental Capacity: If the injured person lacked mental capacity at the time of the incident, there might not be a limitation period until they regain capacity.
  3. Date of Knowledge: If you only became aware of your injury or its connection to the incident after the limitation period has expired, such as an injury due to clinical negligence, the three-year limitation period might start from the date you became aware, rather than from the date of the incident.
  4. Fatal Accidents: In cases of fatal accidents, the family or representatives of the deceased typically have three years from the date of death to make a claim.
  5. Criminal Injuries: If you’ve been a victim of a violent crime and have suffered physical or psychological injury as a result, you may be eligible to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The time limit for making a claim to CICA is usually two years from the date of the incident.

Can you make a claim after the limit has passed?

It’s generally tough to pursue a claim once the limitation period has expired, as your claim will be known under legal terms as ‘time-barred’ or ‘statute-barred’.

What is a no win, no fee claim?

Beacon Law offer our services on a “no win, no fee” basis, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

In a no win, no fee agreement there are no upfront costs. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may not have the financial means to cover legal expenses. Our solicitor fees are only charged if the case is successful. If the case is not successful, you will not have to pay anything.

If the case is successful, we typically take a success fee in addition to standard fees. This success fee is usually a percentage of the compensation awarded to you. However, it’s important to note that there are caps on the amount of the success fee that can be charged, and this will be discussed with you at the outset of your case.

In some cases, you may be required to take out an insurance policy to cover any potential costs if the case is unsuccessful. This is known as After the Event (ATE) insurance.

Why should you make a claim sooner rather than later?

Aside from the legal time limits in personal injury claims, there are perhaps many other reasons why you should start the claims process sooner rather than later, including:

  • Preservation of Evidence: Evidence, such as witness statements, medical records, and physical evidence, can degrade over time or become more difficult to obtain. By making a claim promptly, you increase the likelihood of preserving crucial evidence that can support your case.
  • Fresher Memories: Memories fade over time, both for the individuals involved and for witnesses. By making a claim sooner, you’re more likely to have access to witnesses who remember the incident clearly and can provide accurate testimony.
  • Prompt Resolution: Initiating the claims process early can lead to a quicker resolution. Many claims are resolved during negotiations, however some will progress to court proceedings which take more time to resolve. Delays in filing a claim can prolong the legal process, resulting in additional stress and uncertainty.
  • Financial Relief: If you’ve incurred expenses related to the incident, such as medical bills or loss of income, initiating the claims process sooner can lead to quicker reimbursement or compensation, providing financial relief when it’s needed most.
  • Peace of Mind: Addressing legal matters promptly can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on recovery and moving forward with your life.

How can Beacon Law assist?

If you have suffered an accident that was not your fault, a personal injury claim may help you to get your life back on track. Beacon Law is a leading law firm of personal injury solicitors, offering expert legal advice and a range of personal injury claim services to our clients. We provide a high level of service to all our clients and work hard to ensure they receive the appropriate treatment and the highest level of compensation for their injuries.

We provide all personal injury claims on a no win no fee basis. This means that we can help you get the compensation you deserve without you having to worry about the costs of making a claim.

If you require advice on bringing a claim, please contact us on 0330 1332 857. Alternatively, please complete our online form, and one of our specialist solicitors will contact you to help you start your claim.

Beacon Law are a Solicitors registered in England and Wales with our registered office based in Manchester. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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