We tend to find that the majority of unsuccessful cases fail because the primary limitation period has expired. Generally speaking, the time limit in place for making an abuse claim is three years from when the abuse took place or, in cases where the abuse took place in childhood the time limit is three years from your 18th birthday.
Despite this, due to the nature of these claims, the Courts take a more sympathetic view to the time limit in these cases than in other personal injury cases. Consequently, the Court does have the ability to allow these claims to proceed out of time.
However, in order to allow a claim to be brought out of time, the Courts will still need to be satisfied that a fair trial can still take place. If you’re claiming for abuse that took place a long time ago, there is always a risk that important documents and records may have been lost or key witnesses could have passed away; these are factors that the Court will consider when deciding if a claim can be brought out of time.
Making a claim for abuse outside of the limitation period is not impossible and we’ve helped numerous people bring forward successful historic abuse claims. However, where it’s possible, we would advise seeking legal advice early to increase your chances of obtaining a fair outcome.