A strict time limit applies to making personal injury claims. The standard time period within which a claim for compensation has to be made is called the limitation period, or the statute of limitation, and is a period of three years.
If no court action has been started by the time this period elapses, the personal injury compensation claim becomes statute barred, or time barred, and the injured individual is no longer able to claim compensation.
Limitation period for injuries
For the majority of injury compensation claims, the limitation period is three years. This period will commence from the date the accident causing the personal injury occurred.
This applies to all types of accident, including slips, trips and falls, road traffic accidents and accidents at work, at home, or in any public place.
Limitation period for diseases
The three-year limitation period also applies to injuries resulting from work accidents causing exposure to toxic or otherwise harmful substances and the development of occupational diseases such as hand-arm vibration syndrome, occupational asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In cases of industrial illness, the three years start from the date the affected individual was diagnosed or told that they had developed the work related condition or disease, or symptoms thereof. This could be the date:
- Symptoms first became apparent or started
- The industrial condition was suspected by the affected individual or others, such as medical advisors
- The occupational illness was diagnosed
The limitation period may commence from whichever was the earliest of those dates.
There are some possible exceptions to the three-year limit.
If a minor is injured by accident, the three years would not start until the minor turns 18. In a similar way, if a person was being treated under the 1983 Mental Health Act at the time of the incident causing his/her injury, the limitation period would not begin until the date their disability ceases or they are discharged as a patient.
The limitation period makes it necessary to act fast if you intend to claim compensation after being injured at work, by slipping, tripping or falling, or on the road through no fault on your part.
Our confidential and obligation-free Accident Advice Helpline freephone number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us now on 0800 689 0500 to start your claim for injury compensation as soon as possible.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice