In the immediate aftermath of an accident or injury, claiming compensation is probably the last thing that will be on your mind. In addition to the physical pain, you may also have to contend with a great deal of emotional strain too as well as a loss of general amenity.
However, the standard period for commencing proceedings in a personal injury compensation claim could be longer than you previously thought. Therefore, there is a good chance you can still receive deserved remuneration long after the accident or injury occurred.
Having said all that, time limits do still exist for compensation after an accident or injury. So, here’s what you need to know in order to make an informed decision.
Typical limitation period
Generally speaking, you have a time limit or “limitation period” of three-years from the date of the accident or injury to bring a claim for compensation forward. However, the nature of the accident or personal injury and your own circumstances means there can still be exceptions to this rule.
On account of that fact that these limitation periods and exceptions can be quite complex, it is highly recommended you seek legal advice about making a compensation claim as soon as possible. Otherwise, your case might become time-barred before proceedings can even begin.
Time limits on different types of accident and injury
For things like road traffic collisions, accidents at work, and tripping or falling on public or private property, the three years will start from the date of the accident.
But for industrial diseases such as mesothelioma and other similar illnesses, the three-year period starts from the date you knew or indeed would be deemed to know, that you developed symptoms, the condition, or the disease.
Date of knowledge
The date you knew or ought to have known about your injury or illness is usually fairly simple to determine. However, some are more difficult if the injury or illness is not readily visible or slow to develop. For instance, initial symptoms may have become apparent that were seemingly unrelated to the symptoms that eventually fully reflected the underlying issue that you want to claim for.
Things can also get complicated if you sought medical treatment following your accident and were advised the injury was minor, only for it to become more serious in the future. In this instance, the three-year period would start from when symptoms became apparent or the date that the injury was linked to your accident.
Limitation periods for serious and fatal injuries
If victims are unable to deal with the case themselves due to serious injury, family members may bring a claim on their behalf. However, a three-year limitation period still applies.
As for cases involving a fatality, the family are also able to bring a claim for compensation on behalf of the deceased. If the victim had already started a compensation claim before succumbing to their injuries, the family may continue the case as long as the three-year period had not expired during the lifetime of the deceased.
The overriding piece of advice for time limits relating to compensation after an accident or injury is to seek legal help as soon as possible or else your case might become time-barred.
Here at Accident Compensation 4UK we know the full ins and outs of how these time limitation periods can impact upon a successful claim. If you are in any doubt regarding your own personal circumstances regarding a potential claim then do get in touch with us and we will endeavour to help.
Above all, do not leave things until it is too late by simply burying your head in the sand, as that will get you nowhere fast!