What is the time limit for bringing a personal injury claim in England?

by Personal Injury Claims Blawg on February 8, 2018

If you have suffered an accident or injury and another party was at fault, you are entitled to make a personal injury claim. However, it is important to note that the law imposes strict time limits on bringing a personal injury claim, whether you’re bringing a general accident claim or a more specific type of action, such as a road traffic accident claim. Precisely how much time you have to bring your claim will depend on your general circumstances and so it is always prudent to contact an expert personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. However, this post looks at some of the main time restrictions and considerations when making a personal injury claim in England.

General Time Limit

Normally, you will have three years from the date of your injury to bring a claim. This sounds straightforward, but in practicality there are many things which can affect this general time limit. For example, if you are involved in an accident and you do not discover your injury until a later date, this may affect when your time limit will run from.

Under 18s

One of the exceptions to the three-year time limit is for those aged under 18. If you were injured before you were 18 years old, the time limit for bringing a personal injury claim does not begin until your 18th birthday, as a result, you must commence your case before your 21st birthday to prevent your claim from being time-barred.

Disease Claims

If you have contracted a disease as a result of someone else’s negligence, for example an asbestos related disease, the time limit begins from when you knew or ought to have known that you have contracted a disease. Typically, this will be from the date when you first started showing symptoms, or where a medical professional diagnosed you with the disease before you noticed any symptoms of illness. This will be determined by the court on a case-by-case basis, and so it is crucial to bring your claim as soon as possible.

Failure to diagnose / delay in diagnosis

Where a medical professional has failed to diagnose your injury or illness, and this results in further injury, the time limit will generally run from when you discovered that the medical professional had failed in their obligations to you. Again, this will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Worsening of an injury or condition

Where an injury or condition substantially worsens at a later date, the time limit will normally run from the date you discover the severity of your injury. Say for example, you are involved in a car accident and believe you have escaped with minor cuts and bruises. If this injury later develops into a more serious internal injury, even months down the line, the time limit will generally run from when you discovered that you have a more serious injury than you believed. If your injury ends up going to an extreme, please be sure to contact a Personal Injury Attorney right away.

It is always best to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, and not to rely on the time limit for your specific circumstances beginning at a later date.

And if you’ve had an accident or injury in America as a result of someone’s negligence, see our best personal injury attorneys page here.

Personal Injury Claims Blawg

Personal Injury Claims Blawg

PI claims blogger at PIClaimsBlawg
Personal Injury Claims Blawg is a personal injury law blog, inviting contributions from practitioners, PI law firms and legal academics across the UK, US and beyond. The post above has been published because of the high value associated with the author's work. Contact us if you'd like to get published today.

Previous post:

Next post: