If you were injured in an accident more than 3 years ago, unfortunately you may not be able to make an accident claim. This is because there are time limits that apply to most legal claims. In the case of personal injury claims, the time limit is 3 years from the date your injury became clear, otherwise known as the date of limitation. However, there are some important exceptions to this rule which we’ll discuss below:
Special rules apply to minors
Special rules apply for children. The 3 year limit does not begin until the child’s 18th birthday, at which point the limit automatically begins. Therefore, if you were a minor at the time of your accident, you have until your 21st birthday to make an accident claim.
The Mental Health Act 1983
Special rules apply for people who are incapable of handling their own affairs due to any form of mental disability, or for people who have otherwise been treated under The Mental Health Act 1983. However, if this applies to you do not automatically assume that you are entitled to an extension on the standard 3 year limit — in this instance specific litigation applies. Get in touch with a law firm to discuss your case to find out if you are eligible.
The above doesn’t apply to me — I simply wasn’t aware that I only had 3 years to make a claim and I wish to do so now. Can I make a claim or not?
You may still be able to make a claim under the circumstances. If for example your accident happened years ago, it may still be possible to make a claim if you have only recently been made aware that your accident was potentially a result of negligence. For example if you were injured in a fall at work years ago and only now have you realised that your employer breached Health and Safety regulations, you could be eligible to make a claim.
However, it’s important to consider that all cases are different and also that the rules are complicated. There is a chance that you will be unable to make a claim if your accident happened years go. Under the circumstances, you should discuss your case with a claims advisor.
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It’s also important to consider that in some cases, the courts will make exceptions to the 3 year limit. This is not uncommon with regards to asbestos and industrial disease claims.