Claims for compensation following a car accident can be made up to three years after the accident occurred, or up to three years after you discovered your injuries were linked to the accident – whichever is later.
Is There A Time Limit Of Limitation For Car Accident Claims?
Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980) states the limitation period for a personal injury claim, which include road traffic accidents, is three years.
The three-year time limit applies to either of the following.
- Three years from the date of the accident.
- Three years from the date you discovered your injuries were a result of the accident.
You have the right to claim from whichever is later in your particular case.
However, there are exceptions for cases where a child or someone of diminished mental capacity has been injured.
There is also further guidance for instances where the person looking to claim may have died in the three year limitation period.
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What Is The Time Limit For Children To Claim Compensation For A Road Accident?
Any injuries suffered by children can be claimed for up until their 21st birthday; three years after they turn 18.
In essence, the three-year time limit still applies, but only starts once the child has reached maturity in the eyes of the law – when they turn 18. They then have three years from their 18th birthday to bring a claim.
However, parents or legal guardians can claim on their behalf while they are minors. Speak with our legal team for more information.
What Is The Time Limit For Those With Diminished Mental Capacity To Claim Compensation For An Accident?
There is no set time limit for someone unable to claim for themselves if they had a diminished mental capacity when the accident took place.
If a claimant were receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983 at the time of the accident, the three-year time limit to claim would not start until the date the claimant was discharged as a patient.
In some cases, it may be possible for a family member to make a claim as a “litigation friend” on behalf of a person with diminished mental capacity.
What Is The Time Limit To Claim On Behalf Of Someone Who May Have Died During The Three Year Time Limit?
Should a person pass away during the three year time period in which they had a legal right to claim, the executor of their estate has up to three years from the date of death or the date of the personal representative’s knowledge, whichever is later to bring a claim.
Why Should I Start My Claim As Soon As Possible?
We would recommend you start your claim as soon as you are aware you have been injured. This is because it is easier to prove the direct link between the accident and the injuries suffered.
Additionally, it is much easier to find and record accurate witness statements and other supporting evidence to support your claim.
In the vast majority of cases, you will notice your injuries soon after the accident, or in the case of whiplash and soft tissue injuries, symptoms can take a few weeks to develop.
In all these cases, it’s usually reasonably straightforward and easier to attribute the injury to the accident.
I’m Close To The Three Year Limit, Should I Still Claim?
There is considerable work that goes into making a claim. Many of the activities your solicitor may carry out will take months to complete.
These activities will include a thorough investigation of the accident to discover who was responsible for your injuries. This may require reviewing evidence, police reports, and witness statements.
Additionally, medical examinations to assess your injuries are vital to value your claim accurately. All of this is even before your case is presented to the other party.
Because of this, you may find it more difficult to find a solicitor to take on your case if you have less than 9 months of your period of limitation left.
Are There Any Other Exceptions To The Three Year Time Limit?
Only in very rare circumstance could a court decide to ignore the statutory limitation period. As outlined in Section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980, the court may choose this option if there was an exceptional reason for the delay.
Do I Need To See A Doctor To Make A Claim?
For any compensation claim, you will need to have a medical report to determine the extent of the injuries suffered and the likely recovery time.
This is so your solicitor can accurately value your claim and make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
When we make your claim for compensation, we need to provide medical evidence and have an expert medical opinion on the extent of your injuries. This enables us to value your claim to present it to the insurers accurately.
As part of the services we provide to our clients, we offer instant access to private physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
Appointments can be set up immediately, which means you could start receiving treatment for your injuries within days. We offer physiotherapy from specialist rehabilitation companies with locations throughout the UK.
Why Should I Use A Solicitor?
We recommend that you use a specialist No Win No Fee solicitors such as Bott and Co who are independent of any insurance company.
Our independence ensures that you’ll not only receive completely independent advice about your claim, but you’ll receive the maximum amount of compensation you’re legally entitled.
In some cases, solicitors may be affiliated with insurance companies and may not have your best interests at heart. Some insurance companies may try to settle your claim quickly, and at a fraction of the amount you may be legally entitled to claim for.
Do I Need To Pay Anything When Claiming?
Our legal services are offered on a no win no fee basis, meaning there is no financial risk to you when claiming.
Unlike most firms, we don’t deduct fees for certain types of out of pocket expenses we’ll claim for on your behalf. This means you may receive significantly more when claiming with us than with another firm.
We also cover all the upfront costs, and we make sure you are protected on the rare occasion we don’t win your claim with our After The Event (ATE) insurance policy. This means you won’t be liable for the other side’s costs should we not win the claim.
Similarly to all law firms, we deduct a success fee should your claim be successful. Our award-winning team will provide further information once you contact us for a free claim evaluation.
What Can I Claim For?
The total amount of compensation you may be able to claim for is calculated by combining the compensation you may receive for both General and Special Damages.
Compensation for General Damages is specific to the severity of your injuries and the care you may require while you recover.
This is calculated from the Judicial Board Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases; which lists compensation amounts for a particular level of injury. Usually, the more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you’ll be entitled to.
Compensation for Special Damages reimburses you for all of the out of pocket expenses such as medical costs, loss of income or damage to your vehicle that you may have incurred.
Bott and Co do not make any deductions from some of the out of pocket expenses we recover for you. As these amounts can be quite high, this can make the overall amount of compensation you receive from us considerably higher than what you may receive with another firm. Speak with our team to discuss your claim in more detail.
Find Out If You Can Claim
Our experienced legal team are usually able to advise you if you can claim on your initial call, which will take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes.SPEAK TO OUR LEGAL TEAM