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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Past injury compensation claims


    In general, you must start your personal injury claim within three years of the date of your accident. This time limit is imposed by the Limitation Act 1980. The reason for the three year limit is that as time passes, people’s memories fade. Also, any documentation relating to the incident may have been lost or destroyed. This makes it more difficult to determine the facts of the case if it ends up having to go to court.

    It is important to note the three-year limit refers to taking legal action rather than simply taking advice on whether you have a valid claim. If you are thinking of making a claim it is advisable to start earlier rather than later, as you will need to do some preparation before starting legal action. There are a few exceptions to the three year limit for past injury compensation claims:

    • Claims where the injured person is under 18 years old
    • Claims where the injured person suffers from mental incapacity
    • Medical negligence claims
    • Claims for industrial diseases

    Past injury compensation claims for young people and those who suffer from mental incapacity

    The three-year time limit applies to people who are under 18 years old on the date of their accident, but it does not start running until their 18th birthday.

    For people with mental incapacity, the three year time period may never start to run, and they may be able to make a claim at any point in the future. If, however, they regain mental capacity, the three-year time period starts to run and they may lose their right to make a claim if they do not act in time.

    Medical negligence claims

    The three-year time limit applies to medical negligence, but rather than running from the date of the accident, it runs from the date the claimant learns about his condition, when he has the knowledge and medical facts required to bring legal action.

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    Some medical negligence cases result in injury that is not immediately apparent, so this can include the date that the claimant became aware of their injury. It can also be the date that the claimant became aware that their injury had been caused by medical negligence rather than something else.

    Claims for industrial diseases

    The three-year time limit applies to claims for industrial diseases, but like medical negligence claims, it only starts to run once the claimant knows what is required to bring legal action. This means the date that the claimant was diagnosed with the disease and became aware that the cause of the disease was someone else’s negligence.

    How do you make past injury compensation claims?

    It is important to take action as soon as possible. First take the unique 30-second test on the Accident Advice Helpline (AAH) website to find out if you have a valid claim. Accident Advice Helpline has hundreds of solicitors across the UK specialising in past injury compensation claims and will be able to help you on a no win, no fee basis. Give our team a call on their freephone numbers 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.

    Date Published: 25th May 2013

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with licence number 591058 and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.