When it comes to making a no win no fee personal injury claim, time is usually of the essence. Known officially as the “limitation period”, the time period in which a claim can be made is three years after the date of the accident in question. If a claim is not made within this time, then a court will usually not consider a personal injury claim on grounds of either a statutory or time-based bar to action. If you’re seeking the compensation for an injury you feel is due to you, then you need to act without delay.
Exceptions for minors
For most people over the age of 18, the standard three-year limit pertains. If a claimant is under 18 at the time of the accident, then the three-year period starts from the date of their 18th birthday, allowing them to make a personal injury claim at any time up to their 21st birthday. If the claimant or their parents/guardian wishes to make the claim before the 18th birthday then they can claim on their behalf and represent them in the case. In these circumstances, any compensation awarded will be held in a special account which the injured party can access when they hit the age of 18.
More exceptions – industrial diseases and mental illness
Other exceptions can be made – such as in the case of industrial diseases which only manifest their ill-effects decades after exposure, like asbestosis. In this case a “date of knowledge” is agreed upon based on when the party became aware of their illness or had it diagnosed by a doctor. The three-year limit then begins from that date. Another exception is made for people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 – they are only allowed to pursue a personal injury claim once they are no longer listed as being held under the Act.
A swifter claim is a stronger claim
Generally speaking, however, the faster a personal injury claim is made, the better its chances of a swift resolution. The sooner a claim is made, the fresher medical evidence will be and injuries may remain unhealed, giving further weight to the need for compensation. Remember: a case will be almost impossible to prove without medical evidence.