If you are considering claiming compensation for an accident at work, you only have a certain time within which to take legal action against your employer. It is called a limitation period and it varies, depending on your age and state of health.

What is the claim period after an accident at work?

In most cases, the limitation period is three years, starting from the date on which you sustained your injury in an accident at work. This means that you must contact Accident Advice Helpline and start legal proceedings within three years of your accident. If you fail to do so, your claim will be time barred and you will not be able to receive compensation from your employer.

I did not realise that I had sustained an injury – what is the claim period after an accident at work?

If you did not realise that you had sustained an injury in your accident at work, the limitation period is three years, starting from the date on which you realised that your symptoms resulted from an injury caused by your accident at work. This is called the date of knowledge, and it may apply to your case if your injury arose not from a single, identifiable accident but rather a long course of events.

I was under the age of 18 at the time of my accident – what is the claim period after an accident at work?

If you were under the age of 18 at the time of your accident at work, the three-year limitation period will begin on the date of your 18th birthday. This means that you must make your claim before you turn 21.

Are there any exceptions to the limitation period?

The court has the power to extend the three-year limitation period. However, it will only do so in rare and exceptional cases. When assessing your delay, the court will determine whether your employer acted promptly and reasonably following learning that your injury was caused by your accident at work. Hence, the court will consider all of the circumstances that may have caused you to delay pursuing your claim. The court will only allow you to make a claim if it is satisfied that you have a justifiable reason for pursuing your claim outside of the three-year limitation period.

Still have unanswered questions?

If you would like further information on the time limits surrounding your accident at work claim, please call our freephone helpline and talk to one of our knowledgeable claims advisors.

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