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After a Personal Injury Claim how long do I have to Claim?

When you have an accident which wasn’t your fault and you are injured, it can be hardwork to get back to where you were before. Initially  you need to recover physically and on top of this you may also have financial worries to deal with, especially if your injuries have stopped you working.

You may know you are able to make a claim but may not be able to cope with the stress that you may think bringing a claim maybe. You may feel better once your physically injuries have healed (or as best as they will) but then may think you can no longer claim. Just remember you have 3 years from the date of the accident to claim.

There is law which lays down time limits for making claims (Limitation Act 1980) and in most accident and injury claims it is three years from the date of your accident. After the three years are up, you are not able to make a claim for compensation. There are of course always exceptions to this three year rule though:

– The first is where children are involved. Children under the age of eighteen are not adults in the eyes of the law so if your child has been injured in an accident you have two options open to you. You can make a claim on behalf of your child whilst they are still a minor, that is under the age of 18 and then any compensation obtained will be placed into a fund for them to use when they reach eighteen years old. Alternatively, you can wait until they turn eighteen and then they can make a claim themselves. However, as soon as they turn eighteen, the clock starts ticking on their claim. They will then have three years from the date of their eighteenth birthday to make their claim.

– The second exception is in fatal accident claims or claims where someone loses mental capacity but later regains it. Sometimes when an accident happens and a person suffers from very serious injuries, they may not die immediately. They may survive in hospital for weeks, months or years after their accident. Because of this possibility, limitation does not start until the person dies, so you will be able to make a claim for compensation for three years after the date of the death of your loved one or if they lost capacity, the date that returns. This also allows you some time to be able to try to grieve first, or for the person recovering capacity to put their affairs in order before making a claim.

Whatever has happened to you, if you are not sure it is really important to get advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. Just simply ask us. We can tell you either way over the phone/in person or via email whatever is easier for you.

If you are nearing the three year time period, there are steps your solicitor can take to protect your claim, but you should act immediately to make sure you don’t miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our accident and injury claims services, please call us on 01772 424999 or fill in the form below and we will call you free of charge:

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