There will almost always be a time limit for you to have either settled a claim for personal injury compensation or to have started formal court proceedings.
The safest approach is to instruct a solicitor shortly after the incident who can then advise you on the applicable time limit for bringing a claim in your particular case. The below is intended to give some guidance on the applicable time limits but is not intended to be a substitute for formal legal advice.
The time period for bring a claim for personal injury compensation will vary depending on where the incident occurred, and whether the injured person at the time was below the age of 18 or had mental capacity.
As a general rule the claim for personal injury compensation must have been concluded, or formal court proceedings started, within 3 years of the incident date otherwise Statute will prevent the injured person from pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation unless you have secured from the Court permission to proceed.
There are a few exceptions to the above rule being:-
1. If at the time of the incident the injured person was below the age of 18 then the claim must have concluded or formal court proceedings started by their 21st birthday;
2. If an incident occurred on water then a different time period may apply, typically 2 years;
3. If an incident occurred in the air then a different time period may apply, typically 2 years;
4. If the incident occurred in a country other than England and Wales then you may be restricted to the time period set down by the laws of that country.
5. If the injury was sustained over a period of time, such as a repetitive strain injury at work, then the point in time is taken as the date of knowledge when the cause of the injury is identified.
If you make an Application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority then you must have submitted to them the Application within 2 years of the incident date.
It, therefore, is important if you wish to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation that you instruct a solicitor as soon as possible after the incident to enable your claim to either be concluded or court proceedings issued within the set time period.
Matthew Claxson is a Solicitor and Partner at Moore Blatch specialising in serious injury and fatal incidents.
Call Matthew on Freephone 0800 157 7611 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Profile available on LinkedIn. Twitter: @matthewclaxson