During these unpredictable times, some people, who for no fault of their own, have sustained an injury may think it is too late to investigate if they have a valid claim. Joanna Bailey, Head of our Personal Injury Department says:
Partner - Head of Personal Injury
In most accident cases, the Limitation Act 1980 confirms that you have 3 years’ from date of your accident or knowledge of injury to bring a claim. You must show that you were owed a duty of care by an another individual or organisation; that that duty was breached and that it directly lead to the injury and financial loss you want to claim.
- This means if you know when your actual accident occurred (which is likely if you were involved in road traffic collision) it you have 3 years from that date to bring a claim;
- If you are only aware of your injury much later on, then the 3 year time limit runs from then often from when you got a diagnosis. The injury must be significant, attributable in full or part to the breach of duty and you must know who is that you wish to make the claim against. This scenario deals with situations where if you have become unwell and it transpires that you now suffer from a disease as a result of where you worked along time ago like mesothelioma, you can still bring a claim.
- If you were younger than 18 when the accident occurred then the limitation expires on your 21st birthday as long as no one has made a claim on your behalf before as a result of the particular accident.
- If the injured person lacks mental capacity so that they are unable to either understand or commence a claim, then the 3 year time limit starts when mental capacity is regained. If it is not, then another person can bring a claim on their behalf. They are known as a “Litigation Friend”. Crucially, the original 3 year limitation is applicable if the injured person had capacity at the time of the accident but then losses it.
If your loved one died in the accident their personal representatives can take the matter forward on their behalf. You will need talk to a specialist about this scenario. To keep the claim alive court proceedings need to issued by the end of the relevant limitation otherwise your claim will be statue barred and you will not be able to progress. There is much work to do to prepare a claim to be ready to issue court proceedings and an emphasis under the court rules to try and resolve your matter before the court even become involved.
It is best to get advice early and allow you and your legal team, time to prepare.
As a Legal 500 Directory recognised Personal Injury Team we are ready to help you. In these uncertain times, we remain committed as ever to our clients’ and their cases, continuing to prepare to seek financial redress for the accidents our clients’ have been involved in, on the road, at work, in public places and sometimes, sadly that cause death.
We Can Help
At MW we recognise the need to talk to someone when an accident occurs and to obtain clear advice in a straightforward way. Our team, although small, has over 130 year’s experience in providing clear advice from the start and working with you to secure a just outcome. We are also well connected being able to signpost you to other organisations which can help. Small enough to care, big enough to make a difference.