UK Time Limit for Personal Injuries Compensation

Time Limits for Personal Injury Claims in the UK

Anybody who wishes to make a claim for injury compensation must take into account that a UK time limit for personal injuries claims may apply. The time limits for personal injury claims in the UK are generally three years – although some exceptions can occur – and are governed by the Limitations Act 1980 (often referred to as the “Statute of Limitations”); which was introduced in order to ensure that a claim for injury compensation can be made while evidence of negligence is still recent, as well as protecting defendants from constant fear of legal action.

When Does the UK Time Limit for Personal Injuries Claims Begin?

The time you have in which to make a claim for compensation in the UK most often begins immediately you are aware that an injury has occurred due to somebody else´s lack of care. This is usually on the day of an accident; however sometimes the “date of discovery” can be much later than an injury was sustained – for instance, if you are seeking compensation after developing an occupational disease or due to medical error, the three year UK personal injuries time limit will begin on the date on which the injury is diagnosed.

Exceptions to the UK Personal Injuries Time Limit

It should be noted that the three year UK time limit for personal injuries claims is not universal, and exceptions can be made for certain types of personal injury. For instance, according to the Montreal Convention and Athens Convention, the time limit for injuries sustained while airborne or at sea is two years. This applies for travel to or from the UK, and any country which has ratified the relevant convention.

Another example of an exception to the UK personal injuries time limit is if you have been injured due to a faulty product. You would usually have three years from the “date of discovery” in which to make a claim for injury compensation; but, with claims concerning product liability, only if the item in question has been in circulation for no longer than ten years. For example, if the product which caused your injury had been available in the UK for eight years, you will have a time limit of two years to start a personal injury claim.

Time Limits for Childrens Personal Injuries Claims

Under UK law, a legal minor cannot launch a legal action in order to claim compensation. In these cases, the minor must wait until they have reached the age of eighteen before initiating legal action, at which point the UK time limit for personal injuries claims will commence. However legal action can be taken at any time before the age of majority if a parent or guardian launches a claim, acting as a “Litigation Friend” on the child’s behalf.

How Mental Incapacity Affects Injury Claims Time Limits

In cases where a victim lacks the mental capability to take legal action, the UK personal injuries time limit will not commence until they are considered able to make a claim. For instance, if a potential claimant has been left in a coma following an incident, the time limits for personal injury claims in the UK will not begin until they have regained cognitive ability. In cases where a claimant does not regain the mental capability to take action, a “Litigation Friend” can initiate a claim on their behalf.

Conclusion

Finally it should also be taken into account that the UK time limit for personal injuries claims can be extended by a court in exceptional circumstances. There is also a concept called the “Standstill Agreement”, which stops the clock on the time limit for claiming personal injury compensation in the UK and allows an extension should both parties agree to this action.

The time limits for personal injury claims in the UK should always be given considerable thought by a claimant, even if it the amount of time available seems like enough. A personal injuries claim can take some time to prepare and, in some cases, it may take years to establish the full consequences of an injury. As always it is highly advisable to discuss your case and the UK personal injuries time limit with a personal injury claims solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.