Personal Injury Claim Time Limit FAQs

Posted on: 4 mins read
Melanie Burden

Partner, Head of Employer's Liability - Serious Injury

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As Serious Injury Solicitors we’re often asked very similar questions by people who don’t know if they can still make a personal injury claim a long time after they were injured in an accident. So below we provide answers to some of these frequently asked questions.

If you’re unsure about whether you can still make a claim for compensation and rehabilitation support, get in touch with our Serious Injury Solicitors for a free consultation and free legal advice. We may be able to manage your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.

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Personal Injury Claim Time Limit FAQs

Am I Too Late to Make a Personal Injury Claim?

If you had an accident in the last 3 years as an adult or if your child had an accident more than 3 years ago and they haven’t yet turned 21, then you can still make a claim.

What’s the Latest Time I Can Make a Claim?

If your accident happened in the UK, you have up to 3 years from the date of the accident in which to make a claim. We always recommend you instruct us as soon as possible so we can start work on your case right away, as it’s always best to gather witness evidence while the details are fresh in everyone’s minds. But a claim can still be brought further down the line.

As a general rule, the latest we would normally take a case on for an adult would be 2-and-a-half years after the accident date, as it can sometimes be very tricky to take out insurance to protect you against the risks of pursuing the case if there is less than 6 months to go until the 3-year anniversary of the accident date. However, there are some exceptional circumstances where we may consider this so it would be in your best interests to contact us to find out if we can help you.

I Decided Not to Claim Following an Accident 2 Years Ago to See How My Recovery Went. Can I Still Start the Claim Now?

Yes, but it can sometimes be a little trickier to gather supporting witness statements and evidence. If you’re still thinking about taking legal action, we can advise you if we think you’re still able to claim.

My Child Had an Accident Over 3 Years Ago. I Didn’t Pursue it at the Time as I Thought They’d Get Better, But They’re Still Suffering? Can I Still Claim?

Yes. In fact, if the accident happened to a child, the limitation period is much longer, and you have until just before the child turns 21 to make a claim.

Could Coronavirus Delay Court Proceedings and Stop Me Making a Claim?

We have put systems in place so we can still bring legal proceedings on behalf of clients at this time, even though the Solicitors in our teams are working from home. We have already successfully issued lots of proceedings since the lockdown began as the Courts are still open for business.

If there is any difficulty in gathering any evidence or information which means you aren’t quite ready to serve the proceedings, there are other options we can explore for you. Given the current situation with Covid-19, most defendant insurers and Solicitors are being very flexible about extending the time limit.

You do need an expert Solicitor instructed though to carefully guide you through this process and ensure that the extension to the limitation period is formally documented and watertight.

Can I Claim for a Loved One Who has Since Died Following the Accident?

Yes, it’s still possible to make a claim on behalf of the Estate within 3 years of the date of death. The sooner you can instruct us the better.

Can I Get in Trouble with My Employer if I Make an Accident at Work Claim?

It’s natural to be nervous about making a work accident claim against your employer, but they shouldn’t discriminate against you or treat you any differently just because you want to claim compensation. You can also be reassured that we don’t need to deal with your employer directly, and will instead deal with their insurance company as the claim progresses.

I’m Worried that Claiming Might Cause My Employer Financial Problems - What Should I Do?

Your employer has to carry mandatory Employer’s Liability Insurance to protect precisely against the risk of workers having an accident. If a claim is pursued, then the employer’s insurers will pay any damages and costs if the case is successful. If your employer has a policy excess, then they will be responsible for the excess on the policy.

We often see clients come back to us further down the line when they realise the financial impact of their injury, for example their recovery hasn’t gone as well as expected and is preventing them from returning to work, they’ve been dismissed from their employment or they’re struggling to access the treatment they need on the NHS.

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