Personal injury time limit for compensation
You will probably have heard that the personal injury time limit for compensation is three years. This is generally the case but there are several exceptions which we will explain more fully here.
Under UK law, there is a limitation period of three years in which a personal injury claim must be brought before the courts. If this time limit is exceeded, the case becomes statute barred or time-barred. Put simply, this means that the deadline to present the case has passed.
However, another piece of legislation states that the three year injury time limit for compensation claims can begin from the time that you became aware that your symptoms or injuries were linked to the original incident. This is known as the date of knowledge and it can significantly extend the deadline for making a compensation claim.
Different rules apply for children under the age of 18 and patients being treated under the Mental Health Act. The limitation period begins when the person is deemed legally competent. For children and mental patients, the 3 years begin on their 18th birthday and when they are discharged as a patient, respectively.
- In fatal cases the limitation period may be extended even further. For example:
- A person dies from asbestosis which was not diagnosed during their lifetime. The three years begin from the date of death, or the date of post-mortem
- A person is pursuing a compensation claim when they die. The three year time limit is reset to the date of death to allow the family time to continue with the claim.
There are also some cases where the injury time limit is less than three years. This usually applies to air accidents, which are governed by the Montreal Convention, rather than UK law. The Montreal Convention allows a two year period in which a claim can be commenced.
If you are still unsure whether you qualify to make a claim either for yourself or a loved one who has passed away, call our 24-hour helpline on 0800 689 0500 or from your mobile on 0333 500 0993.